#03 Stella Maris / Hildegard von Bingen

Ensemble Oriscus, vocal and instrumental ensemble
Emmeran Rollin, organist

Anne Bertin-Hugault mezzo-soprano
Colin Heller medieval instruments
Emmeran Rollin organ
Cédric Baillergeau voice, bells

Recorded at the chapel of Montvalent (Lot, France) in April 2022.

Saint Hildegard’s works were vast, innovative and spiritual. While she was a visionary and naturopath as well as a dietician and illustrator, it is her music that most subtly reveals the true genius of this 12th-century saint and the revolution she brought about. This was the height of Romanesque art and freedom reigned.

The music of this pivotal period is still little-known: the notation is scarce with missing parts and pieces were passed on by tradition rather than in writing. But Hildegard revolutionised things, leaving us several dazzling works that came from the depths of her soul. For the first time, music had a composer, and it was a woman. No longer did grand anonymous Gregorian pieces dominate, but free compositions adorned with original bold notation that never contravened any of Western sacred music’s immutable rules. The German abbess communed with the angel realm, transcribing what she heard in the “living light” during her visions.

Her music was completely original, the result of listening inside herself. Singing her songs is a life experience that not only requires and develops specific vocal qualities, but also brings zeal, strength and sweetness – an extreme and divine sweetness she called “suavitas”. The benefits of this music are undeniable: it is invigorating and, just like its creator, has the power to heal.

Pierre Dumoulin and Catherine Schroeder

Press review

Anne Bertin-Hugault and the Oriscus ensemble offer us a very fine CD. Even if the sacred music of the twelfth century may seem ‘severe’, this is far from being the case, and Bertin-Hugault’s reading gives it back its letters of nobility as well as a deserved place in the spotlight.Hélène Biard, Toute la culture – 15 November 2022


1. Caritas, antienne
2. Ave Maris Stella, hymne grégorien et improvisation
3. O aeterne Deus, antienne
4. O magne Pater, antienne
5. Rex noster, répons

6. Ave Maris Stella, hymne grégorien et organum
7. Cum erubuerint, antienne
8. O quam pretiosa, répons
9. O splendidissima, antienne
10. O clarissima, répons

11. Ave Maris Stella, hymne grégorien et improvisation
12. Spiritus Sanctus, antienne
13. O nobilissima viriditas, répons
14. O vos angelis, répons
15. Alleluia, O virga mediatrix
16. Alma Redemptoris Mater, hymne grégorien, ton solennel