Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
A German mystic and abbess and composer of monophonic settings of lyric and dramatic poetry. Hildegard was one of the most creative and celebrated personalities of the Middle Ages: a visionary, naturalist (she wrote two books on natural history and medicine), playwright (her morality play Ordo Virtutum predates other works in that genre by a century), poet, and composer -- her Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum ("Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations") contains some of the finest and most elaborate songs written in that time and are conceived on a massive, synaesthetic scale ("of writing, seeing, hearing, and knowing, all in one manner"). She was called the "Sybil of the Rhine" and was deeply involved in politics and diplomacy. Her poetry is Byzantine, lyrical, erotic, and transcendent, and the music is likewise of the whole spirit and body.