The Twelve Gardens
Santa Caterina of Bologna Canticum (1413-1463)
4/5 singers and instrumentalists
The Twelve Gardens is the name of a devotional text, written sometime around the year 1435 by Caterina de Vigri, a Bolognese nun of the order of Saint Clare, now venerated as St. Catherine of Bologna (1413-1463).
The author – the first woman in European history of whom a substantial number of original documents in her own hand are conserved – describes in the treatise the spiritual "journey" of a soul towards union with Christ, describing the various points along the way as "gardens" which are full of symbolic sensual images of light, color, heat, odor and taste, sound and rhythm, song and dance, much in the style of the Biblical Song of Solomon.
In each garden we can hear the song of the Bride, in which the intimate resonance of the divine Word resounds within her soul, drawn more and more closely in attraction to her beloved.
Through meticulous musicological research, laReverdie has reconstructed the performance of the twelve spiritual compositions in use at the Monastery of Corpus Domini, founded by St. Catherine in Bologna in 1456, the texts of which perfectly reflect the content and the atmosphere present in the Saint's work in The Twelve Gardens.