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JANUARY 10 & 11
When I used to work at a local book and music store, we would occasionally mock the avid new-agers who came in looking for divine guidance from the sublime musical pronouncements of Yanni, Enya, and John Tesh. When a new CD of the “collected works” of 12th-century German abbess/mystic/writer Hildegard von Bingen appeared, catering to this same audience, I was disgusted to find it wasn’t really her music at all, but a watered-down version of crappy chant played on synthesizers, designed to fool people into believing they were actually listening to mystical revelations from the Middle Ages. Luckily, we’ll be able to hear the real thing when the Folger Consort (in conjunction with the National Cathedral) presents Hildegard’s Ordo Virtutum, fully costumed and in its entirety. This medieval drama is considered to be the earliest morality play, as well as one of the first prominent existing works by a female composer. And if that’s not enough, it features the conquest of the Soul by the 16 Virtues and the Devil, so pull out that spiritual armor, lest ye be swept away by demons—or Robert Aubry Davis’ pre-performance verbosity. At 8 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin & Massachusetts Aves. NW. $22-35. (202) 544-7077. (Amy Domingues)