10119 O Virtus Sapiente
St Hildegard of Bingen
arranged for 10 brass by Roger Harvey
O virtus Sapientie,
que circuiens circuisti,
in una via que habet vitam,
tres alas habens,
quarum una in altum volat
et altera de terra sudat
et tercia undique volat.
Laus tibi sit, sicut te decet, O Sapientia.
O Wisdom’s energy!
Praise be to you, as is your due, O Wisdom.
Whirling, you encircle
and everything embrace
in the single way of life.
Three wings you have:
one soars above into the heights,
one from the earth exudes,
and all about now flies the third.
This version is freely transcribed from the monophonic antiphon. The original music has no exact metre and would be sung, as with plainsong, to fit the flow of the words. For this instrumental interpretation a rhythmic suggestion has been applied but the players are encouraged to feel this freely. Additional resonances have been added to create atmosphere and colour.
Further detailed information about St Hildegarde and her music can be found here:
The solo line should follow the suggested rhythmic pattern but can be freely played in order to articulate and stress suitable syllables, in vocal style.
The player could be separated slightly from the rest of the ensemble to emphasise the solo role.
The lower parts, horn, trombones and tuba, should give a distant, steady drone effect but the rhythms can be slightly stressed to impart an inner pulse.
The 3 lower trumpet parts should never cover the solo line but their lines should also be discernable and, where necessary given gently stressed articulations. They should colour and give middle ground resonance.