Hildegard's Songs

The program HILDEGARD'S SONGS is a distinct collaboration of Latvian composer GEORGS PELĒCIS and German medieval composer HILDEGARD VON BINGEN, who was an outstanding personality of her time. Pure and positive energy, simplicity and spiritual vitality in 12 parts performed by eight female voices, Latvian traditional instrument kokle, recorder and organ.

Performers: PUTNI, kokle’s trio (artistic director Anda EGLĪTE), Jānis PELŠE (organ), Dagnija TUČA (recorders).
Oratorio by Georgs Pelēcis based on the music by Hildegard von Bingen for 5 female voices, 3 kokles, recorder and organ.

Georgs Pelēcis

Latvian composer GEORGS PELĒCIS (1947) is one of the most knowledgeable of musical scholars in Latvia, especially in the fields of history and theory of counterpoint. His music is full of pure, positive energy and includes both Renaissance and Baroque aesthetics as well as minimalist features. Pelēcis' compositions brings a new, bright, unknown color to Latvian music. Of all the designations that the author himself and music critics have given to his music, the most appropriate is the new simplicity - a style of music whose harmonious ideal is euphony.

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Composer's note

True explosions of human spirit can never been of local importance. In one way or another, they are recorded for the world and for the eternity, they allow us to seek resonance, response and agreement in the souls of other people, far beyond any boundaries of time and space.

Latvian music, too, has encountered this gathering of the noblest spirits of humankind, with its universal values and eternal importance. In this particular case, Hildegard von Bingen allows us to find faith, joy, inspiration and strength in the immortality of her spirit. She was one of the most passionate and unusual bearers of light in the Christianity of the Middle Ages. After learning about these songs, I found myself deeply surprised and enthusiastic by the liricism of Hildegard's soul, her poeticism, gentleness, intimacy and femininity. It was very easy to attach my own musical viewpoint to this world. I did not leave the intonations completely unchanged, I felt free to arrange them. This collaboration between the 12th and the 21th century led to the emergence of a 12 part composition, in which the songs of St. Hildegard interweave with instrumental fragments – a prelude, five interludes and a postlude.

Anda Eglīte and kokle

Kokle is a Latvian plucked string instrument (chordophone) belonging to the Baltic box zither family. The first possible kokles related archaeological findings in the territory of modern Latvia are from the 13th century, while the first reliable written information about kokles playing comes from the beginning of the 17th century. The first known kokles tune was notated in 1891, but the first kokles recordings into gramophone records and movies were made in the 1930s. Both kokles and kokles playing are included in the Latvian Culture Canon.

To play academic music works, kokle players use larger instruments specially built for professionals. The leading kokle player, the initiator of different kokle activities and festivals and kokle teacher ir Latvian Music Academy is ANDA EGLĪTE. She performs with various chamber ensembles, is a winner of several competitions and awards, often collaborates with many well-known Latvian and foreign performers, symphony orchestras and choirs.


The vocal group PUTNI (BIRDS) was established in 1993 in Riga by eight singers from the leading professional choirs in Latvia. The women's vocal ensemble is revered for their beautiful tone and adventurous programming and has received wide acclaim for their concerts in Latvia, Europe, Australia, Japan and the United States.

The group has won numerous prizes including the Grand Prix in five international competitions. Their programming weaves together traditional Latvian music, new compositions by Latvian and foreign composers, music of classical and early music composers, and elements of jazz and rock music. Since its founding, group have premiered over 100 new pieces by Latvian and foreign composers and recorded seven CDs.