Schola Magdalena is a five member women's ensemble, singing music from the medieval period, Gregorian chant and the music of Hildegard von Bingen, an extraordinary German woman who wrote music, led a religious community, wrote books on medicine and the natural world and entertained kings and princes at her Abbey. Schola Magdalena re-creates this medieval world, recording in the ethereal acoustic of the historic St. Mary Magdalene church in Toronto. The CD also contains polyphonic pieces by Guillaume Dufay, transcribed for women's voices by the group's director Professor Stephanie Martin.
Much of the music on this CD is devoted to the Virgin Mary. The four Marian anthems for the changing seasons of the liturgical year are all represented here, as well as the polyphonic motets addressed to our Lady.
The album cover is taken from an icon painted by a member of the Russian royal family who lived in Toronto. She offered the icon as a gift to Healey WIllan, and it now hangs in the Lady Chapel of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
What people are saying about Schola Magdalena:
"Thank you again for your beautiful CD. I was playing it all last week when I was driving, and I have to tell you, I think my blood pressure dropped as soon as I heard the songs, even on the 401. That is quite a feat!" D. Paris, Toronto
"As soon as I put on this CD I am transported to a serene world of music which exists only in sound and in memory."
Schola Magdalena is a resident musical ensemble at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto, Canada.