Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century German mystic, abbess, writer and composer, burst into popular music sales during the 1990’s with the astonishing success of the compact disc “Chant.” The global appetite for polyphonic Medieval music was surprising. Hildegard’s chants were displayed in CD racks, downloaded for MP3s and muted as background music for advertising videos.
Hildegard’s spiritual play “Ordo Virtutum” was staged in several venues including the Washington National Cathedral. Overlooked for centuries, Hildegard’s music now appears on concert hall programs and is featured on meditation recordings. The pure melodies and calming harmonics appealed to audiences in search of consoling and relaxing sound. Feminists and scholars knew about Hildegard’s achievements. That her creative message now reaches mainstream audiences is a worthy tribute to her enduring appeal.
Hildegard von Bingen lived and composed with vital creative energy. That we’re here on earth to use the time wisely, helping others, giving flower to the talents bestowed us. She believed in nature and the healing power of the green. The traditions of music, scholarship and enjoyment of life are continued at Kloster Eberbach, which is near Bingen on the Rhine.