Fassler Publishes New Book on Hildegard of Bingen’s Musical Compositions in their Cosmic Contexts
Keough Hesburgh Professor Emerita and Fellow of the Medieval Institute Margot Fassler’s new book Cosmos, Liturgy and the Arts in the Twelfth Century: Hildegard’s Illuminated Scivias (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023) is an interdisicplinary study with sacred music and its liturgical meanings at the heart of its arguments. The book also has two chapters on Hildegard’s music drama, the Ordo Virtutum, and shows the many ways that Hildegard used sets of interlocking melodic phrases to build dramatic tension and demonstrate theological understandings regarding the meanings of penance in the epic human journey. Fassler suggests that the unique illuminated manuscript, the only one with paintings produced in Hildegard’s scriptorium and during her lifetime, has Volmar, Hildegard’s provost and friend, as its main scribe. If this is true, then the famous Hildegard portrait, the first “selfie” of a composer, is of both the author and of the scribe of that particular manuscript copy.
Originally published by sacredmusic.nd.edu on January 13, 2023.at