Manuscript and score of Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum ("Order of the Virtues"), composed around 1150. Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/classicalmusicanalysis Website: http://www.classicalmusicanalysis.com
Ordo Virtutum is an allegorical morality play, or liturgical drama composed during the construction and relocation of her Abbey at Rupertsberg. It is the earliest morality play by more than a century, and the only Medieval musical drama to survive with an attribution for both the text and the music. A short version of Ordo Virtutum without music appears at the end of Scivias, Hildegard's most famous account of her visions, and is also included in some manuscripts of the Symphonia armoniae celestium revelationum ("Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations"). But the music score is found on the Riesencodex or Wiesbaden Codex, a vast codex containing the abbess' works. The subject of the play is not typical for a liturgical drama. It shows no biblical events, no depiction of a saint's life, and no miracles. Instead, Ordo Virtutum is about the struggle for a human soul, or Anima, between the seventeen Virtues and the Devil. The idea that Hildegard is trying to develop in Ordo Virtutum is the reconnection between the "creator and creation". The work's story can be divided in a prologue and four more parts. This video contains the prologue (first part) and the second part.