"O Virtus Sapientiae" for Clarinet Quartet
Uploaded on Sep 15, 2013
This is an arrangement of a modern motet by artist Cheryl Lynn Helm (b. 1957 and user: https://musescore.com/user/482661) of an antiphon by the Saint Hildegard of Bingen, O.S.B. (1098 – 1179), also known as Hildegard von Bingen, Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.
She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising brilliant miniature illuminations. Although the history of her formal recognition as a saint is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by parts of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church.
Hildegard's most significant works were her three volumes of visionary theology: Scivias ("Know the Ways", composed 1142-1151), Liber Vitae Meritorum ("Book of Life's Merits" or "Book of the Rewards of Life", composed 1158-1163); and Liber Divinorum Operum ("Book of Divine Works", also known as De operatione Dei, "On God's Activity", composed 1163/4-1172 or 1174). In these volumes, the last of which was completed when she was well into her seventies, Hildegard first describes each vision, whose details are often strange and enigmatic; and then interprets their theological contents in the words of a "voice from heaven."
The ten visions of this work's three parts are cosmic in scale, often populated by the grand allegorical female figures representing Divine Love (Caritas) or Wisdom (Sapientia). The first of these opens the work with a salvo of poetic and visionary images, swirling about to characterize the dynamic activity of God within the scope of his salvation-historical work.
This work "O Virtus Sapientiae" ("O strength of Wisdom") introduces the famous image of a human being standing astride the spheres that make up the universe, and detail the intricate relationships between the human as microcosm and the universe as macrocosm.
The English Lyrics read:
O strength of Wisdom who, circling, circled, enclosing all in one lifegiving path, three wings you have:
one soars to the heights, one distils its essence upon the earth, and the third is everywhere.
Praise to you, as is fitting, O Wisdom.
Although originally written for Chorus (SATB), I created this arrangement for Clarinet Quartet (Bb Clarinet (3) & Bass Clarinet) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
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