O viridissima virga by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Performed by Allison Mondel, soprano, Gothic harp, and director
Excerpt from “Beguiled”. Performed and recorded live at St. Thomas’ Parish, Washington, DC, November 20, 2020. – Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music
O viridissima virga,
ave, que in ventoso flabro sciscitationis
Cum venit tempus
quod tu floruisti in ramis tuis,
ave, ave fuit tibi,
quia calor solis in te sudavit
sicut odor balsami.
Nam in te floruit
pulcher flos qui odorem dedit
omnibus aromatibus que arida erant.
Et illa apparuerunt omnia in viriditate plena.
Unde celi dederunt rorem super gramen
et omnis terra leta facta est,
quoniam viscera ipsius frumentum
protulerunt et quoniam volucres celi nidos
in ipsa habuerunt.
Deinde facta est esca hominibus
et gaudium magnum epulantium.
Unde, o suavis Virgo,
in te non deficit ullum gaudium.
Hec omnia Eva contempsit.
Nunc autem laus sit Altissimo.
Hail! O greenest branch
that went forth in the windy gusts
of the saints’ discernment.
When the time came
for you to blossom on your branches,
“Hail! Hail!” was said to you,
because the heat of the sun produced sweat
like the fragrance of balsam on you.
For in you
a beautiful flower bloomed, which gave scent
to all the spices which were dry.
And they all appeared in full freshness.
Whence the heavens poured dew over the grass
and the whole earth was made happy
since its womb produced grain
and since the birds of the sky
had nests on it.
From there food for humans was made,
and the great joy of banqueters.
Whence, o sweet Virgin,
no joy is lacking in you.
All these things Eve scorned.
But now let there be praise to the Most High.
(Latin translation by Hugh McElroy)
ABOUT EYA: ENSEMBLE FOR MEDIEVAL MUSIC
Crossley Hawn, soprano
Allison Mondel, soprano and director
Kristen Dubenion-Smith, mezzo-soprano
Eya (pronounced “EH-yah”) is a Latin exclamation of sacred joy.
Leading from the heart and pointing to the Divine, Eya is an award-winning and pioneering women’s vocal ensemble specializing in medieval music. Eya’s artistic vision is to weave together luminous early music with timeless stories that surround women’s identity, viewpoints, and experience. Formed in 2010 and celebrating its tenth anniversary season, Eya is building a global community through unique offerings, including singing and learning opportunities, sheet music resources, workshops, and outreach programs.
Eya has performed at many distinguished venues including the National Gallery of Art, The Music Center at Strathmore, Washington National Cathedral, and Dumbarton Oaks, as well as performances and workshops at numerous colleges, universities, and concert series across the United States. The ensemble has recently collaborated with The Amra Project (based at Trinity College Dublin) as its sole U.S. partner, presenting rare medieval Irish music dedicated to Irish saints.
Eya has been featured on Voice of America radio and NPR (Millennium of Music, Harmonia Early Music), and is the recipient of the 2013 Greater DC Choral Excellence Award for “Best Specialty Group: Early Music.” They have two recordings, including the US-premiere of “The Three Marys” (2018).
Learn more at https://eyaensemble.com/.