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NEWS
January 24, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Capturing the voice of a saint might be impossible with anybody but Hildegard of Bingen. Though among the most chronologically remote composers in history, this 12th-century Rhineland nun (1098-1179) left a long trail of writings, hallucinatory paintings, and some 77 liturgical songs that the medieval music group Sequentia needed years to record. A cross section of them will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in yet another stage of her rediscovery.
NEWS
June 26, 2016
Flourishing Firebird. The Firebird myth didn't begin and end with Stravinsky - rather, it was plucked by him after weaving its way through various cultures. The myth is traced through illustrated books, costume sketches, advertisements, and other materials in "Stravinsky and Multiculturalism," a show at the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library on the Parkway, through July 31. The show - in conjunction with several citywide events and shows related to the Mann Center's Firebird: Spirit Rising project this summer - includes not only a facsimile score of Stravinsky's masterpiece, but also albums by the English rock band Yes. The connection?
NEWS
December 7, 1994 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
"Vision" is a hot CD. It's New Age. It's now. But this music wasn't written at 11:40 a.m. It was written around 1140 A.D. After outselling the Three Tenors with the "Chant" CD of Spanish Benedictine monks singing medieval Gregorian chants in Latin, Angel Records figured older was better. And you can't go back much farther than the hypnotic vocal music of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), unless Fred Flintstone wrote music. The 850-year-old settings of Hildegard's inspired revelations have an other-worldly, mystical quality that immediately grips the emotions and causes an exhilarating connection.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2000 | By Charles Huckabee, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Delaware Chamber Music Festival concludes its 15th season with concerts Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at the Wilmington Music School in Wilmington. Barbara Govatos, the festival's music director, is a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra, and festival artists include orchestra colleagues of hers, musicians she has met at other festivals, and outstanding rising young musicians such as clarinetist Igor Begelman, who recently was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Begelman will join festival musicians Tuesday in Beethoven's Septet (Op. 20)
NEWS
October 4, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The music world now has no lack of opportunities to hear Christopher Theofanidis' "Rainbow Body. " Like Jennifer Higdon's "Concerto for Orchestra," this neo-tonal orchestral work, only four years old, is arriving on symphonic programs with encouragement from a good Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano. But even though the recording is on the audiophile label Telarc, the Haddonfield Symphony's Saturday performance suggested the piece requires you to be in the same room if you're to fully take in the transfixing impression it has to offer.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Tina Davidson's River of Love, River of Light, a choral work written to celebrate the Fleisher Art Memorial's centennial, was premiered there in weekend concerts entirely formed from new works. Robert A.M. Ross led his Voces Novae et Antiquae chamber chorus in the pair of challenging season openers and introduced from the audience three of the five composers (Ross was a fourth) represented on the program. Before Sunday's concert, Davidson said she was inspired by the Fleisher's performance space, a converted church, and had used her ideas to mark the beginning of her three-year term as composer-in-residence there.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1994 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Although the premiere of Stephen Paulus' Visions of Hildegard, Part 2 was the main event in Friday's concert by the Music Group, a work by Gyorgy Urban captured the main interest. Sean Deibler conducted the chorus in Urban's unaccompanied Stabat Mater, a piece of complexity and clarity, tonality and modal excursions, innocence and the beauty of sophisticated counterpoint. The performance was virtuosic, for the piece moved through regions where clear intervals were crucial - as in chantlike sections, and through places in which the moving musical lines grew closer and closer until a kind of ringing dissonance filled the air. The work illustrated the text in the best sense, suggesting emotional depths rather than the visual elements of the text.
NEWS
July 3, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Just because Vivaldi's The Four Seasons is about the outdoors doesn't mean it's a good piece to perform there. No doubt the music has been used in so many movie soundtracks that you could easily believe Vivaldi is suitable anywhere. Also, its popularity implies that it can't be hard to perform. Not so, since the early-music world has shown in recent years that Vivaldi no longer feels repetitive and second-rate when his manic energy is given full rein. So even though The Four Seasons seems closer to home in the semi-outdoor Mann Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra's middling tempos and fitful momentum on Wednesday went halfway back to the bad old days.
NEWS
January 17, 2002 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
In a self-portrait now on display in her one-woman show at Villanova University, the figure of Sister Helen David Brancato, androgynous in a black overcoat and short haircut, looms large in the foreground, inviting the viewer, almost conspiratorially, to come closer. Prominent in front of her is a pair of big, assertive hands - her primary tools - while behind her a stained-glass window floods the left side of the canvas with bright orange light. In the 43rd Year of My Life, as Sister Helen has titled the painting, marks the period when "a certain awareness came over me," she said recently as she prepared for the opening of the show at the campus art gallery in the Connelly Center.
LIVING
August 23, 1998 | By Frank Wilson, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The first Western composer we know of by name was a woman - Hildegard von Bingen, an abbess who composed extraordinarily beautiful hymns and other sacred music. She did a lot else besides. Called "the sybil of the Rhine," she corresponded with and advised kings, popes and emperors. She wrote a mystical treatise (Scivias), a music drama (Ordo Virtutem), and even a work on medicine (Causae et Curae), in addition to founding the convent she headed for most of her life. Though Hildegard's music has gained a considerable audience in recent years - and is being played a lot this year to honor the 900th anniversary of her birth - the fact remains that it has taken nearly nine centuries for her to receive her due. Other women composers have yet to receive theirs.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 26, 2016
Flourishing Firebird. The Firebird myth didn't begin and end with Stravinsky - rather, it was plucked by him after weaving its way through various cultures. The myth is traced through illustrated books, costume sketches, advertisements, and other materials in "Stravinsky and Multiculturalism," a show at the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library on the Parkway, through July 31. The show - in conjunction with several citywide events and shows related to the Mann Center's Firebird: Spirit Rising project this summer - includes not only a facsimile score of Stravinsky's masterpiece, but also albums by the English rock band Yes. The connection?
NEWS
January 24, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Capturing the voice of a saint might be impossible with anybody but Hildegard of Bingen. Though among the most chronologically remote composers in history, this 12th-century Rhineland nun (1098-1179) left a long trail of writings, hallucinatory paintings, and some 77 liturgical songs that the medieval music group Sequentia needed years to record. A cross section of them will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in yet another stage of her rediscovery.
NEWS
November 1, 2011 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Hildegard Gutzmann Stephans, 83, formerly of Sellersville, a librarian at the American Philosophical Society for 33 years, died of cancer Thursday, Oct 27, at Lutheran Community at Telford, where she had lived for three years. The American Philosophical Society was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743. Its library in Society Hill houses printed materials and manuscripts ranging from 18th-century natural history and American Indian linguistics and culture to nuclear physics, computer development, and medical science.
NEWS
January 17, 2011 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Soon it will be spring again. The snow will melt, the dogwoods flower. Trumpets will blast, graves will open, and Earth will begin a five-month descent to its fiery end. Radio evangelist Harold Camping can hardly wait. May 21 is Judgment Day, when "this world will be a horror story beyond anything we can imagine," he asserts. A fixture on Christian airwaves here and around the world, Camping, 89, is exhorting all who are listening to "make ready" for Jesus' triumphal return, whose precise date he says God has revealed to him with "fantastic proof" in the Bible.
NEWS
July 3, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Just because Vivaldi's The Four Seasons is about the outdoors doesn't mean it's a good piece to perform there. No doubt the music has been used in so many movie soundtracks that you could easily believe Vivaldi is suitable anywhere. Also, its popularity implies that it can't be hard to perform. Not so, since the early-music world has shown in recent years that Vivaldi no longer feels repetitive and second-rate when his manic energy is given full rein. So even though The Four Seasons seems closer to home in the semi-outdoor Mann Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra's middling tempos and fitful momentum on Wednesday went halfway back to the bad old days.
NEWS
October 4, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The music world now has no lack of opportunities to hear Christopher Theofanidis' "Rainbow Body. " Like Jennifer Higdon's "Concerto for Orchestra," this neo-tonal orchestral work, only four years old, is arriving on symphonic programs with encouragement from a good Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano. But even though the recording is on the audiophile label Telarc, the Haddonfield Symphony's Saturday performance suggested the piece requires you to be in the same room if you're to fully take in the transfixing impression it has to offer.
NEWS
January 17, 2002 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
In a self-portrait now on display in her one-woman show at Villanova University, the figure of Sister Helen David Brancato, androgynous in a black overcoat and short haircut, looms large in the foreground, inviting the viewer, almost conspiratorially, to come closer. Prominent in front of her is a pair of big, assertive hands - her primary tools - while behind her a stained-glass window floods the left side of the canvas with bright orange light. In the 43rd Year of My Life, as Sister Helen has titled the painting, marks the period when "a certain awareness came over me," she said recently as she prepared for the opening of the show at the campus art gallery in the Connelly Center.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2000 | By Charles Huckabee, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Delaware Chamber Music Festival concludes its 15th season with concerts Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at the Wilmington Music School in Wilmington. Barbara Govatos, the festival's music director, is a violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra, and festival artists include orchestra colleagues of hers, musicians she has met at other festivals, and outstanding rising young musicians such as clarinetist Igor Begelman, who recently was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Begelman will join festival musicians Tuesday in Beethoven's Septet (Op. 20)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Tina Davidson's River of Love, River of Light, a choral work written to celebrate the Fleisher Art Memorial's centennial, was premiered there in weekend concerts entirely formed from new works. Robert A.M. Ross led his Voces Novae et Antiquae chamber chorus in the pair of challenging season openers and introduced from the audience three of the five composers (Ross was a fourth) represented on the program. Before Sunday's concert, Davidson said she was inspired by the Fleisher's performance space, a converted church, and had used her ideas to mark the beginning of her three-year term as composer-in-residence there.
NEWS
October 23, 1998 | By Kay Raftery, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
An all-day conference on St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) will be held beginning with registration at noon Tuesday and ending with a concert of medieval music by Anonymous 4 at 8:15 p.m. at Villanova University, Connelly Center, off Lancaster Avenue. The sessions will include: 1 p.m., "Theology and Cosmology in Hildegard's Paintings and Visions," with Ann Matter, professor, University of Pennsylvania; 2:20 to 3:45 p.m., four breakout sessions on aspects of the saint's life; 4 p.m., a talk by Judith Sutera, editor of "Magistra: A Journal of Feminine Spirituality"; 5:15 p.m., "The Play of the Virtues," a liturgical morality drama; 7 p.m., a talk by JoAnn McNamara from the department of history, Hunter College.
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