August 11, 19:00  

Kalv Church

Concert | Christina Meißner

[concert introduction 18.00 | parish home]

Who was Hildegard by Bingen, and what is so special about her music? In a short introduction, we get to hear a little about tonight’s concert, and the dialogue project between Hildegard and newly written works that Christina Meißner at this concert gives evidence of.

Christina Meißner | Ispariz. Plus.

The cellist Christin Meißner has in recent years been engulfed by Hildegard of Bingen’s 1000-year-old music. Her antiphons and hymns have been transcribed and interpreted through the cello body. Meißner has also had Bingen’s hymns reflected through several newly written works. She lets today’s composers be inspired and touched by the medieval tones. A first double CD was released in 2020, Ispariz. A vision. Ispariz, one of the more than 1,000 preserved words of Bingen’s secret language, lingua ignota, and whose meaning is roughly, spirit. The project is  continuous one and during tonight’s concert we get to take part in a selection of its achievements in a seamless form which alternates between the 12th century and the 21st century.


Hildegard av Bingen – O frondens virga

Sofia Gubaidulina – from Hildegard av Bingens visione [1994/2019]

Hildegard av Bingen – Aer enim volat

Martin Rane Bauck – The air from afar [2018]

Hildegard av Bingen – O deus, quis es tu

John Palmer – Lux Ardens [2022]

Lisa Streich – FLEISCH [2017]

Hildegard av Bingen – De Sancta Maria – O splendidissima gemma


About Christina Meißner

Christina Meißner’s cello playing evokes a musical experience that is inspiring and transcendent at the same time. Her concerts are a tribute to life where music is the ultimate voice for existential values. Meißner is distinguished by the boldness of her virtuosity, a captivating repertoire and a fascinating technique that takes the listener to unknown, fantastic, places.

Christina Meißner is one of the founders of Ensemble Klangwerkstatt Weimar, and over the years has deepened the study of contemporary music through collaborations with, among others, Isang Yun, Toshio Hosokawa, Georg Katzer, Isabel Mundry, Helmut Lachenmann, Rebecca Saunders, René Mense and Georg Crumb.

Meißner’s musicianship is documented on several CDs, ranging from chamber music to several solo records with music from the Middle Ages to the newly composed.


Program notes

Martin Rane Bauck – The air from afar [2018]
The air from afar is based upon Hildegard of Bingen’s (1098–1179) hymn Aer enim volat.
According to Hildegard, who didn’t lack any of the confidence typical of a medieval theologist, Adam knew angelic song before the fall of man, and «he had a voice that sounded like the monochord». Despite being sent into exile, we still possess traces of this primordial peace and innocence, and when we listen to music, we are reconnected with this original state and send forth a lamentation.
Whether one believes in this or not, the imagery is striking. And The air from afar is based upon this idea of putting oneself in contact – through the noise of sound – with distant music, distant songs, distant voices, distant air – with a mythic beginning, and with the 12th-century hymn of Hildegard.

Aer enim volat
Die Luft nämlich fliegt
und versieht ihren Dienst mit allen Kreaturen
und das Firmament hält sie
und die Luft wird durch seine Kräfte genährt.
er nim volat
et cum omnibus creaturis officia sua exercet
et firmamentum eum sustinet
ac aer in viribus istius pascitur.


John Palmer – Lux Ardens [2022]
“Karitas habundat de imis excellentissima super sidera atque amantissima in omnia quia summon regis osculum pacis dedit.”

(Love flows everywhere, raised from the depths above the stars and supremely fond of everything, for it has given the kiss of peace to the supreme king.)

  • Hildegard of Bingen

Inspired by a vision of the medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen, Lux Ardens explores the burning light as a metaphor for dramatic sequences of images. Hildegard experiences cosmic relationships as a tension between malice and goodness, life and death, sin and redemption. In Lux Ardens, nine short melodic fragments of Hildegard’s chants develop into secret melodies as well as superimposed harmonies that unfold in diverse timbres and changing form.

Lisa Streich – FLEISCH [2017]
FLEISCH attempts to to focus on the interface between man-made flesh and metal nail. The causative pain that throbs, is constant, dissipates or moves to other levels where the pain is only secondary.

The beauty of the soft, fine flesh branched by blood vessels and the inescapable coldness, sharpness and hardness of the nail that bores through the flesh.

An excerpt, as it were, of a brief moment in a painting, a time: a presence.

More info about the artist: