Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Association of Canadian Choral Condutors

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Schola Magdalena Sings Hildegard of Bingen

On Sunday, August 8 at 3 p.m., the five-voice women’s ensemble Schola Magdalena presents music of Hildegard of Bingen at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, 477 Manning Avenue, Toronto. A “pay what you can” collection will be taken at the door. Schola Magdalena, which specializes in singing ancient music, is led by Artistic Director Stephanie Martin. 

After three years of devotion to medieval music and Gregorian chant, Schola Magdalena tackles this most challenging of chant repertoire, composed by the 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen.
Hildegard was a powerful woman of science and letters who counselled kings and popes, and whose mystic writings have a strong resonance with many modern-day listeners attracted to her visions of abundant life, renewal and “greenness.” Her music, though confined to the medieval practice of plainchant, encompasses an astonishing scope of emotional and musical colour, and demands a unified and detailed interpretation. Schola Magdalena’s acclaimed intelligent, expressive and natural approach to chant equips the group well for this task.

Schola Magdalena was formed in 2007 and has performed in Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo and Montreal, garnering standing ovations at each appearance. On August 13, the ensemble will perform at Saint-François-Xavier Cathedral in Chicoutimi, Quebec, as featured guest artists at the Gregorian Institute of Canada’s annual colloquium. Schola Magdalena’s 2009 CD recording, O Gracious Light, has had an extraordinary reception. Listeners comment that the recording evokes an unmistakable feeling of calm and tranquillity – a welcome balm for city dwellers. John Terauds of The Toronto Star wrote: “It’s a treat from beginning to end. Martin makes the roll and rhythm of plainsong sound as natural as breathing.”

Join Schola Magdalena to experience the power and simplicity of this ancient music, in the tonally exquisite acoustic of the historic Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, Toronto.

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