Hyperion Records

O Jerusalem
O Ierusalem celebrates Saint Rupert. Hildegard re-founded his monastery in 1150 and moved there with her nuns. The original buildings were destroyed by the Normans (the ‘fools’ of the Sequence), providing Hildegard with a potent but implicit comparison between her monastery and Jerusalem, destroyed on Earth and rebuilt in Heaven (Revelations 21, whence some of the imagery of this Sequence is derived). The ‘living stones’ (‘vivis lapidibus’) have been taken from the hymn Urbs beata Ierusalem for the dedication of a church (but compare 1 Peter 2: 4–5). Perhaps Hildegard composed this Sequence for the dedication ceremony, or for its commemoration. In this case the ‘ostensio’ of stanza six may be an ostension, or ‘showing’, of the relics of Saint Rupert during the ceremony.

from notes by Christopher Page © 1982

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