Norma Gentile | Unfurling Love's Creation: Chants By Hildegard of Bingen in Praise of Sophia

Go To Artist Page

Album Links
Download Text and Notes HERE

More Artists From
United States - Michigan

Other Genres You Will Love
Classical: Gregorian Chant New Age: Energy Healing Moods: A Cappella
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Unfurling Love's Creation: Chants By Hildegard of Bingen in Praise of Sophia

by Norma Gentile

With Tibetan Singing Bowls and subtle overtone chant as accompaniment, I have chosen these chants for those seeking deeper stillness in meditation, healing, Reiki, massage, etc
Genre: Classical: Gregorian Chant
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Buy 2 or more of this title's physical copies and get 10% off
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Rex Noster Promptus Est / Our King Stands Ready
4:33 $0.99
2. Hodie / Today
1:50 $0.99
3. O Splendidissima Gemma / O Most Splendid Gem
3:55 $0.99
4. Ave, Maria / Behold, Mary
9:44 $0.99
5. Ave, Generosa / I Behold You, Noble Woman
5:42 $0.99
6. Caritas Abundat in Omnia / Loving Tenderness Abounds for All
1:57 $0.99
7. Spiritui Sancto / Holy Spirit
7:03 $0.99
8. O Rubor Sanguinis / O Ruby-Red Blood
2:12 $0.99
9. O Eterne Deus / O Eternal Lord
2:14 $0.99
10. O Clarissima Mater / O Luminous, Shining Mother
9:54 $0.99
11. O Ecclesia / O Beloved
7:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With Tibetan Singing Bowls and subtle overtone chant as accompaniment, I have chosen these chants for those seeking deeper stillness. Sophia, an aspect of the Divine Feminine also known as Wisdom, allows us to see clearly from within the world of Spirit that which our outer world most needs to receive from us. Trusting our own clarity of vision allows us to express the wisdom of Sophia through acts of compassion, self-forgiveness, and engaged hearts. This album of Hildegard’s music encourages each of us to open and allow this sacred Wisdom to express through us now. This music can be used to accompany meditation, massage or Reiki, and assists in creating sacred quiet space.

Gentile's artful renditions of these 12th century pieces are impressive, but this album is essentially about devotional ecstasy. The soprano's glorious voice celebrates Hildegard's union with the divine, which she has long made a subject of study. While the lyrics are overtly Christian, the sense of intimacy, trust, and abandonment in God are not typical of today's theology. – Yoga Journal

“Norma Gentile sings them radiantly and they soar up over a constantly sustained drone choral pedal. Beautifully recorded…this collection is one of the more memorable CDs of Hildegard’s very remarkable and individual melismas”.
Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs

“...deeply committed and sensuously spiritual.”
-Dr. Christopher Rothko, former Contributing Editor
High Fidelity and Musical America Magazine

... a genuinely valuable contribution to the discography of Abbess Hildegard (1098-1179). She [Gentile] has a fine, rich-toned, splendidly controlled voice; and she realizes the shape of the melodies, in relation to the words, with great sensitivity, capturing the uniquely hypnotic, rhapsodic quality of Hildegard's mystical outpourings. -- John W. Barker, American Record Guide, July/August 1997

...a mesmerizing loveliness, a loveliness that heightens the effectiveness of those moments of seemingly intense spiritual is astonished by the rightness of her phrasing throughout the disc, by the subtlety in how she swells her voice to fullness and softens it to delicate, velvety pianissimos, and, most importantly, by how she so consistently captures Hildegard's simple yet elusive and vocally challenging idiom. There are many Hildegard discs on the market today, but this offering surely ranks among the best. It features splendid sound, excellent notes, beautiful singing, and the music of the intriguing, the remarkable Hildegard of Bingen. -- Robert Cummings, Classical Net, 1999

...a superior recording... -- J. F. Weber, Fanfare Magazine, May/June 1997

Like Gentile's previous recording, it shimmers. -- Mark Longaker, Early Music America Magazine, Winter 1997/98

Soprano Norma Gentile's contribution is a lovely collection of works based primarily around the legend of St. Ursula, a would-be nun who took eleven thousand women with her on a pilgrimage to Rome in order to escape an arranged marriage. All died as martyrs at the hands of Attila the Hun's army rather than be taken as concubines. Gentile's dark, rich voice -- augmented occasionally by a drone choir -- is a wonderful vehicle for these pieces, and she sings with a commitment that reveals musical depths often hidden in some of the more academic recordings available on the market...Highly recommended -- Rick Anderson, Critics' Choice/College Press Service, 1997

The main virtue of this recording is that she approaches the music like the concert recitalist tackling Schubert, asking questions...And for each piece she offers a different answer. We need more singers with that attitude in this repertory. -- David Fallows, Gramophone, August 1998

_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _

I dedicate this album to those who sang and meditated, wherever they were, to hold open the portal through which this music came into audible form. - Norma

“Today a closed portal has been opened…Now the flower of the Virgin is alight in the dawn.”
~ Hildegard von Bingen (Hodie)

Sophia, an aspect of the Divine Feminine also known as Wisdom, allows us to see clearly from within the world of Spirit that which our outer world most needs to receive from us. Trusting our own clarity of vision allows us to express the wisdom of Sophia through acts of compassion, self-forgiveness, and an engaged heart. Hildegard’s music encourages each of us to open and allow this sacred Wisdom to express through us now.

_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _

In the fifth century, a British king bequeathed his fair daughter, Ursula, to the prince of another land. Ursula, not wishing to marry the prince, desired to follow her own heart into a union with Christ and the Church. She begged her father to reconsider the arrangement, and, failing that, she won instead the privilege of a three-year pilgrimage to Rome before the wedding. She gathered about her ten women, who in turn each gathered another ten. The cycle continued until the party numbered eleven thousand women, their servants, and an escort party of male bishops. During their return trip from Rome they encountered the army of Attila the Hun near Cologne, Germany. Rather than submit to the men of the army and serve them as concubines, Ursula led the women, along with their escorts and servants, to martyrdom.

During Hildegard’s lifetime it was thought that a mass grave discovered adjacent to the Cologne Cathedral (1106) was that of the martyrs. Another prophetically gifted nun, Elisabeth of Schonau, experienced a series of visions (1156-57) which seemed to confirm this. At that time a partially legible Roman inscription (XI MV) in the Cathedral was interpreted as XI Milles (eleven thousand) Virgines rather than the current reading of XI Martyres Virgines (eleven martyred virgins).

The music in this collection reflects aspects of St. Ursula’s tale. The story is retold directly in O Ecclesia, while Spiritui Sancto reflects Hildegard’s more personal view. Ave, Generosa and Ave, Maria invoke and describe the Divine Feminine which Mary and Ursula personify. O clarissima Mater illustrates the power of this divine aspect to bless and heal with the gentlest of sounds, while O splendidissima gemma is a revelation of its glory. O rubor sanguinis and Rex noster promptus est share a concern with the paradox of blood.

As one who ministered to the sick and dying, Hildegard experienced the shedding of blood as a precursor of physical death. Yet for a woman, the regular monthly shedding of blood is a sign of well-being. In her theology, blood became an element which is transmuted into an ever-giving life-force through martyrdom. Rex noster promptus est is dedicated to some of those martyrs, the children slain by King Herod. O eterne Deus, dedicated simply to God, opens as a quiet, inward prayer which expands to include a petition
of blessing for all Life. The symbiotic relationship shared by Jesus and Mary, the Sacred Masculine and Divine Feminine, is made evident in many of Hildegard’s texts. Just as the Divine Feminine incarnate in Mary loved and cared for the infant Jesus, He as Christ returns that love to the world. This is particularly touching in the gentle Caritas abundat in omnia and the joyous Hodie.

The twelfth century was a time of rising feminine influence in the Catholic Church. Just as Ursula was believed to have led a large and powerful group of women, Hildegard’s fame for her many talents and leadership spread throughout northern Europe. This fame attracted not only many visitors to her monasteries, but also women wishing to join her. Hildegard was born in 1098, the tenth child of a noble family. For many reasons, her parents placed her in a monastery at the age of eight. She chose to take the veil, and as an abbess she established and led two monasteries for women in her native Germany, near Bingen. She wrote two biographies of saints and five books concerning medicine, herbology and theology.
Her musical legacy includes seventy-seven sacred monophonic chants with her own Latin texts for use in worship services, as well as a morality play, again with both text and music of her own authorship.

Gifted from childhood with visions, she experienced both images and sounds which she attributed
to heavenly sources. She described her music as translations of the sounds of the Celestial
Symphony which she heard during these visions. She died in 1179 at the age of eighty-one,
leaving behind a culture and world touched by the artistry of her deep spiritual expression.

Norma Gentile (BM, MM in Voice) developed her interest in Early Music during her studies at the University of Michigan with harpsichordist Edward Parmentier. She continued by moving to Europe and performing with Eduardo Lopez-Banzo. Returning to the US she pursued her interest in esoteric healing by studying and living in spiritual communities and working with Seth channel John Friedlander and mystery school teacher Drunvalo Melchizedek. She coached performances by historically informed choirs in both Europe and the US and directed one of the first American performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria with members of Ars Musica on period instruments. Norma mixes the chants of Hildegard, meditation bowls from Tibetan Buddhism and her own sense of healing energies into her singing. As an artist and a healer, Norma’s concerts and workshops on sound and healing reflect her passion to bring music from the inaudible realms into the world for the purpose of healing the body, mind and spirit. Her discography includes Meditation Chants, Songs of Spirit, and Healing Chants by Hildegard of Bingen. She has also recorded over fifty hour-long spoken word meditation albums. Her music, meditations, and essays on sound and intuitive healing are available at her website:

_ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _ . _ . _ . __ . _ . _

Our King stands ready
to accept the life-blood of the Innocents.
Let angels sing and sound praises
while the clouds grieve over that same blood.
However the Tyrant is suffocated
in heavy sleep by his own malice.
And the clouds grieve over that same blood.
Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
As the clouds grieve over that same blood.

Today a closed portal has been opened
that which the serpent suffocated
in the wise-woman is revealed to us.
Now the flower of the Virgin
is alight in the dawn.

O most splendid gem,
this fair grace like the sun
which pours through you,
is as a spring leaping from the Father’s heart,
For this is His only Word,
and from this
the prime matter of the world was created,
which Eve disturbed.
So the Word was fashioned, by the Father,
into human form,
And therefore you are that one shining matter,
whereby the Word exhales all virtues,
drawing out all creatures from prime matter.

Behold, Mary,
you who increase life,
who rebuilds the path,
You who confused death
and wore down the serpent,
To you Eve raised herself up,
her neck rigid with inflated arrogance.
You strode upon this arrogance
while bearing God’s Son of Heaven,
through whom the spirit of God breaths.
O gentle and loving Mother,
I behold you.
For Heaven released into the world
that which you brought forth.
This one,
through whom the spirit of God breaths.
Glory to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And to this one,
through whom the spirit of God breaths.

I behold you,
noble, glorious and whole woman,
the pupil of purity.
You are the sacred matrix
in which God takes great pleasure.
The essences of Heaven flooded into you,
and the Great Word of God dressed itself in flesh.
You appeared as a shining white lily,
as God looked upon you before all of Creation.
O lovely and tender one,
how greatly has God delighted in you.
For He has placed His passionate embrace within you,
so that His Son might nurse at your breast.
Your womb held joy,
with all the celestial symphony sounding through you,
Virgin, who bore the Son of God,
when your purity became luminous in God.
Your flesh held joy,
like grass upon which dew falls,
pouring its life-green into it,
and so it is true in you also,
o Mother of all delight.
Now let all Ecclesia shine in joy
and sound in symphony
praising the most tender woman,
Mary, the bequeather of God.

Loving tenderness abounds for all
from the darkest
to the most eminent one beyond the stars,
Exquisitely loving all
she bequeaths the kiss of peace
upon the ultimate King.

Honor be to you, O Holy Spirit,
who, through the mind of the virgin Ursula,
brought together a whirling tumult
of the purest doves.
Thereupon, like Abraham,
she relinquished her homeland,
and releasing herself from worldly betrothal,
she entered into the embrace of the Lamb.
So this pure golden army with flowing hair
passed over the sea.
O whoever heard of such as this?
For she released herself from worldly betrothal,
and entered into the embrace of the Lamb Himself.
Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
She released herself from worldly betrothal,
and entered in to the embrace of the Lamb Himself.

O ruby blood
which flowed from on high
where divinity touched.
You are a flower
that the winter
of the serpent’s breath
can never injure.

O eternal Lord,
it is pleasing to you
to burn in that same fire of love,
like that from which our bodies are born,
and from which you begot your Son
in the first dawn before all of Creation.
So consider this need which falls upon us,
and relieve us of it for the sake of your Son,
and lead us in joyous prosperity.

O luminous shining Mother of sacred healing,
through your holy Son you poured your salve
upon the wailing wounds of death,
which Eve opened as torments for our souls.
You destroyed this death,
allowing life to come forth.
Pray for us through your child,
Mary, star of the sea.
O instrument of life
and ornament of joy,
the sweetness of all delights
is forever within you.
Pray for us through your child,
Mary, star of the sea.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Pray for us through your child,
Mary, star of the sea.

O Beloved,
your eyes appear as sapphires,
your ears as the mount of Bethel,
your nose as mountains of myrrh and incense,
and from your mouth issues sound,
as a multitude of waters.
Enraptured by true faith,
Ursula gave her love to the Son of God,
leaving behind men with the things of this world,
and she gazed into the sun
summoning the fairest youth, saying:
“With the greatest desire
I have longed to come unto you
and cleave to you in heavenly marriage,
hastening to you on this unknown path,
like clouds that in the purest air
appear to fly in sapphire.”
After Ursula had so said,
a rumor spread through all the peoples.
And they said:
“This innocent young girl is ignorant
of what she is saying.”
And in a single great sound
they began to mock her,
until a fiery burden fell upon her.
Then they all realized
that whosoever rejects this world
is as the mountain of Bethel.
And they also recognized
the sweetest aromas of myrrh and incense,
for disregard of this world rises above all.
Then the devil
entered into the bodies of his allies,
and these women,
in whom the most virtues had been incarnated,
were slaughtered.
Their voices were heard by all the Elements,
who came before the throne of God, saying:
“Ah! the ruby blood of each innocent lamb
is poured out in betrothal to Heaven.”
Let all heavens hear,
and in the greatest of symphonies
give praise to the Lamb of God.
Because the ancient serpent is suffocated
by these pearls,
made from the Word of God.



to write a review

maria teresa

unfurling love creation Norma Gentile