Lauds of St. Ursule, Hildegard von BINGEN / Musicians from the Early Music Institute, Thomas Binkley
Focus 911
febrero de 1991
Musical Arts Center, Indiana University, Indiana

01 - Opening. Deus in adjutorium meum intende   [0:50]
02 - Antiphon. Studium divinitatis   [0:51]
03 -      Psalm 92. Dominus regnavit decorum indutus est   [2:24]
04 - Antiphon. Unde quocumque venientes perexerunt   [1:02]
05 -      Psalm 99. Jubilate Deo, omnis terra   [2:21]
06 - Antiphon. De patria etiam earum   [1:07]
07 -      Psalm 62. Deus, Deus meus   [3:10]
08 - Antiphon. Deus enim rorem   [0:50]
09 -      The Song of the Three Children. Benedicte omnia opera Domini, Domino   [4:12]
10 - Antiphon. Aer enim volat   [0:47]
11 -      Psalm 148. Laudate Dominum de caelis   [3:19]
12 - Chapter, Verse, Response. Qui gloriatur in Domino glorietur   [0:26]
13 - Hymn. Cum vox sanguinis   [4:59]
14 - Versicle with Response. Dirigatur Domine oratio mea   [0:22]
15 - Antiphon. Deus enim in prima muliere   [0:36]
16 -      Benedictus. Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel   [2:57]
17 - Collect. Da nobis quaesumus Domine Deus noster   [0:58]
18 - Benedicamus  Domino   [0:33]
19 - Processional Antiphon. Sed diabolus in invidia sua   [0:28]
20 - Sequence. O Ecclesia, oculi tui similis saphiro sunt   [6:16]
21 - Collect and Closing Verses. Da nobis quaesumus Domine Deus noster   [0:54]
22 - Benedicamus Domino   [0:35]

Musicians of the
Indiana University School of Music
Thomas Binkley

Margaret Bruner, Andrea Fullington, Angela Mariani, Rebecca Miller, Amanda Simmons, Allison Zelles

Amanda Simmons, Assistant Dir.

Wiesbaden, Hessische Landesbibliothek, Hs. 2 [Riesenkodex]
Dendermonde, Belgium, St.-Pieters-&-Paulusabdij Cod. 9

Of all the saints in the medieval church calendar, none seemed to appeal to Hildegard as much as Ursula and her 11,000 virginal companions. Today the account of Ursula's martyrdom in late antiquity in the city of Cologne seems among the most legendary of all of the medieval saints' accounts, but in the Middle Ages it was greatly admired.

Its earliest basis seems to be a fifth century stone from Cologne which vaguely refers to a site where some holy virgins shed their blood for Christ. By the ninth century the story appears as an elaborate account of an extremely beautiful British princess who preferred virginity, even though she was betrothed to a son of a king. By an elaborate ruse she gathers around her 11,000 young women and converts them to Christianity and a life of virginity. All of these women then undertake a pilgrimage to Rome. Along the way they stop at Cologne, where Ursula receives a vision which foretells her slaughter and that of her companions when they return to the site after their visit to Rome. The women proceed to the Italian city, where they so move the Pope by their devotion to virginity that he resigns hin see and joins them on their quest for virginal martyrdom. The women also collect a large group of young men who are equally dedicated to virginity and who serve as their protectora. Arriving back at Cologne, they receive the martyrdom promised them--according to some versions, at the hands of the Huns who could not bear the sight of all these young people dedicated to virginity. Ursula is said to have been slain by her fiancee, who appears on the scene apparently in order to allow Ursula to choose a heavenly bridegroom over an earthy one.

The story of Ursula and her companions received a great stimulus in 1106 when a burial ground near the Church of St. Ursula in Cologne was discovered. This event stimulated further embellishments to the account (especially in order to account for the large number of male skeletons on the site), and greatly stirred the imaginations of both Hildegard and her protege Elizabeth of Schonau. It is important to notice that in the liturgical text performed here, the antiphons refer to the specific events in the legend of Ursula and her companions, while Hildegard's hymn seizes upon these events as symbols of wider elements of the Christian mythology as well as her own celebration of female virginity, a celebration frequently tinged with elements of an erotic mysticism.

Clifford Flanigan, Indiana University