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Hildegard von Bingen: 11,000 Virgins - Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula
 
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Hildegard von Bingen: 11,000 Virgins - Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula

11 Oct 2005 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Label: harmonia mundi
  • Copyright: (c) 1997 harmonia mundi usa
  • Total Length: 1:12:00
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00B3QPZPK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,262 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 20 Dec 2005
Format: Audio CD
The music on this CD comes from the great Hildegard of Bingen, one of the towering female figures from the Middle Ages. Hildegard is not only one of the few women whose name has come down to us from the Middle Ages, but one of the few composers of any sort whose name survives together with his or her compositions. Hildegard was a sort of Renaissance woman before the Renaissance, whose fame spread in her lifetime such that she was advisor of monarchs and popes, as well as a significant creative and mystical figure.
Between 1150 and 1160, she composed and collected poetry and musical works under the title 'Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations'. Much of her music was monophonic in nature, and tied to the liturgy. The Anonymous 4 in their performance sometimes add polyphonic embellishments and vocal drones to chants and psalmody.
Hildegard's abbey possessed relics of St. Ursula, and Hildegard wrote many pieces in honour of the saint to be performed by the women of her abbey. This particular recording of women's voices doing these pieces is therefore quite natural and back to the original intent of Hildegard's compositions.
Hildegard's style is unique, as are the vocal talents of the Anonymous 4 - the combination here is something that approaches perfection.
-- Liner Notes --
This text accompaniment to this disc is very full, so much so that the booklet is not contained within the jewel case, but rather within a slipcover in which both the CD/jewel case and the booklet reside. The liner notes include a description of the work, a brief piece about the quartet, and the lyrics of the songs both in original language and in translation - all repeated in English, German, and French sections.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 July 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are more than enough recordings of Hildegard knocking about, and to stand out from the crowd might need something a little different. Anonymous 4 have chosen here to put some of her compositions in context.

The works selected are hymns, sequences, responsories and antiphons dedicated to Saint Ursula, alongside contemporary liturgical pieces for Vigil (midnight), Lauds (morning) and Vespers (evening) services on her feast day.

The notes state that "We believe that hearing Hildegard's works in this setting is an effective way to recreate the powerful impression they made on their first audience". To do this however the quartet has added a drone voice or polyphonic embellishments to Hildegard's pieces to distinguish them from the other plainchant - a beautiful effect, but probably not authentic?

The album in total suffers slightly from sameyness. Other interpreters of Hildegard have tended to vary the personnel from piece to piece, but the same four vocalists every time doesn't draw arraction to this disc quite so much.

Don't get me wrong, this is a decent disc, but in my opinion there are other Hildegard recordings to check out ahead of this and the other Anonymous 4 disc The Origin of Fire. There is the three decades old recording by the Gothic Voices with Emma Kirkby, A feather on the breath of God, which kicked off something of a craze for Hildegard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roger Willcox on 8 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a Mediaeval historian and a Catholic, I find this inspirational and a good aid to relaxation. To lie back on my Study chaise longue and just let the purity of the female voices and the devotion of the words is truly restorative. Thank you.
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By Shuttlj on 10 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A delightful and soothing celebration of the Feast of St Ursula. Pleasent to listen to while reading or working (shame about the OTT title)
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