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96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Christian Mysticism committed to CD
I first heard this on the radio, and one track in particular - "O Virga Mediatrix" sung with harp accompaniment, performed by Laurie Monahan. I had studied Sacred Vocal music for 'A'level, with particular attention to the mediaeval period but had heard nothing like this before. A delicate beauty and a profound peace seemed to accompany this track. It has a...
Published on 15 Dec 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Superb music
Beautiful music but sadly the music sticks and skips spoiling the experience. It is disappointing but love the superb sound.
Published 3 months ago by Wise owl


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96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Christian Mysticism committed to CD, 15 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
I first heard this on the radio, and one track in particular - "O Virga Mediatrix" sung with harp accompaniment, performed by Laurie Monahan. I had studied Sacred Vocal music for 'A'level, with particular attention to the mediaeval period but had heard nothing like this before. A delicate beauty and a profound peace seemed to accompany this track. It has a greater breadth in terms of "soul-feel" to male Gregorian chanting. I bought this album and have never been disappointed. Sequentia capture successfully Hildegard's mystical approach to her beloved God. The music is more than just a text setting as Hildegard attempted (successfully in my opinion) to try and capture, quite literally, the heavenly harmony of the spheres. It is not surprising that Sequentia have won a barrel full of awards for their interpretation of von Bingen's hitherto neglected works of beauty. I would say out of the Sequentia albums I possess of her work, this album is the triumph of this German mystic's "ecstasy".
The other tracks show Hildegard's ability to get inside the meaning of the texts to present them in ways which are not just understood by the ear but also instinctively by the soul. For those who feel a particular connection to Mary, this album is full of pieces honouring her, but not in the distant, side-lined cliche of dogma we have come to experience down the centuries. Rather, by using Mary, Hildegard had no fear of reaching out to touch the female principle of the heavens and then to bring that down to earth under the name of the mother and maiden Mary. An interesting insight, particularly as male interpretation of Mary as a figure is quite different. This is a woman's approach to the work of a woman and finds the female mystical spirit in that, and then commits it to music. And all this from a woman who entered convent life at the age of 9 !!
This is a fine CD and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luscious, 31 Aug 2007
By 
A.K.Farrar "AKF" (Timisoara, Romania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
From the first soul stroking notes of 'O vis aternitatis' there is no doubting the intensity of feeling to be found in both the music and performance.

Recorded over a decade ago, this Sequentia c.d. remains not only the best introduction to the music of Hidegard von Bingen available, but also amongst the finest recordings of mediaeval church music ever made.

All the voices are female and maintain an individual clarity which is distinguishable even when singing in chorus - and in a marvellously atmospheric church acoustic. The voices are sometimes supported by instruments giving a vaguely resonant effect as if the crystal spheres themselves were ringing.

If this sounds as though there is a touch of the `Mystic-Meg' about all this - there is: Hildegard was attempting to capture in sound the ecstatic experience of, in the final words of the recording, `the embraces of the divine mysteries'.

Sequentia have not attempted to reproduce an historically accurate performance: As Ken Clark pointed out in the BBC Series, Civilisation, we `moderns' can never think or feel or believe as the medieval mind did. Instead, we get an intelligent and very accessible programme of pieces which allow us a glimpse into the mind of a woman attempting to reach beyond the stars to `the power of eternity'.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting monastery music, 3 July 2009
By 
K. Armstrong - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
It is astounding to think that this music was composed in the early 12th century, by a nun/abbess/herbalist/healer/spiritual guide and public speaker. Hildegard was enclosed with another nun at the age of about twelve years old and began to learn about music in the anchorage built around her. She listened to mass through the walls of the adjoining monastery, learnt to play the psaltery in order to pray, and became a composer - the first we have a biography for. She was an amazing woman, transcending the boundaries placed on her as an anchorite, a nun, a woman at this point in history. The music is calming and inspiring; very beautiful. Learn about Hildegard and you will appreciate it even more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canticles of Ecstacy, 15 May 2011
By 
Ms T. Delacey "Tess De Lacy" (West Cork) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
I find Cnicles of Ecstasy more beutiful than A Feather On The Breath Of God,which I also love,if you have a calm quiet place to listen undisturbed, you are transported. Its the last thing I hear at night as I drift off to sleep, WONDERFUL
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bargain boxed set available, 29 Oct 2012
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
Potential purchasers of this may wish to know that there is a bargain boxed set available of all eight discs of Hildegard's music recorded by Sequentia: Sequentia: Hildegard von Bingen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great cd, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
lovely relaxing melodic music quality of sound lovely would definitely recommend it to my friends or as a meditative aid
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagining Disibodenberg, 13 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
This collection brings to mind a visit to a snow covered Disibodenberg on a very cold January day some 8 years ago. The climb was difficult, encumbered as we were by our heavy black wool overcoats. We explored the ruins, identifying those remnants that are thought to have been for the women of the community, at the edge of the peak overlooking the river below. The music brings it all back, clearly - utterly evocative, spiritual and beautiful!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Superb music, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy (Audio CD)
Beautiful music but sadly the music sticks and skips spoiling the experience. It is disappointing but love the superb sound.
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Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy
Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (Audio CD - 1995)
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