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Sanguine is a collection of three miniatures inspired by Hildegard von Bingen’s O Rubor Sanguinis. Hildegard always fascinates me with not only her beautiful music but also the powerful images in her texts. In Sanguine, I stayed away from any explicit musical references to O Rubor Sanguinis. Instead, I have tried to recreate a musical interpretation of the text, which of course, is very different from Hildegard’s version.
Movement one sets out a flowing and transparent texture depicted in the first two lines of the text. Movement two is about the darkness, chaos, and intensity of “winter with serpent’s blast.” In movement three, a delicate and fragile soundscape is restored to create an ethereal and other-worldly mood.
English translation of O Rubor Sanguinis:
O bloody red
that flowed from up that height
divinity has touched: a bloom you are
that winter with the serpent’s blast
has never marred.
By Nathaniel M. Campbell
Pages - 28