O Virtus

Program note

Hildegarde von Bingen is a visionary figure of the Middle Ages. Her knowledge of the sciences and the arts as well as her spirituality greatly inspired the writing of “O Virtus”. I found particular inspiration in her writings on music, which for her, among other things, “mirrors the harmony of the celestial spheres and choirs of angels”.

I also wanted to reflect her desire for simplicity and liberty.

Von Bingen preached simplicity and tried to respond to her contemporaries’ spiritual needs exacerbated by the image of a Church that was ever richer, ever more powerful. Artistically, her music evokes rhythmic freedom in which the motifs are in perpetual mutation.

This is why I wanted “O Virtus” to express itself through very simple, pared-down motifs, and for the piece to allow the musicians to interpret them freely.

- Katia Makdissi-Warren


O virtus Sapientiae,
quae circuiens circuisti
comprehendendo omnia
in una via, quae habet vitam,
tres alas habens,
quarum una in altum volat,
et altera de terra sudat,
et tertia undique volat.
Laus tibi sit, sicut te decet,
O Sapientia.


Year of composition

Last performances