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4.2 out of 5 stars
Vision - Music of Hildegard von Bingen
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2004
Hildegard's music can be performed in many different ways. There's the 'purist' approach, that seeks to use top-class vocalists such as Emma Kirkby ('Gothic Voices') - who isn't on this album - in arrangements that come as close to the original as possible. The problem is, we simply don't know how the music really sounded when Hildegard wrote it. If you're a specialist, you'll already know why that is. But if you're not, it's all to do with the problems of interpreting the original manuscripts, and guesswork about what instrumentation Hildegard may have used. And we don't know how good Hildegard's nuns were at singing. The chances that any of them came close to technical virtuosi like Kirkby are pretty small.
One thing's for sure, though. Saint Hildegard - one of the most amazing and interesting women in recorded history - didn't have a bank of synthesisers, bass guitar samples, and sequencing machines back in the twelfth century. But, if they had been available to her, I think she would probably have made good use of them. She wrote books on science, sexuality, animals, healing, indeed all manner of things, as well as religious works, paintings, a secret language, songs, plays and letters to Emperors and Popes. Would such a woman say "No electricity in my convents, thank you very much"? I don't think so. She might well have seen the opportunity to use such facilities to discuss and glorify God and the universe.
For that reason, I think this recording is not really any less 'authentic' than the supposedly purer ones. The modernised arrangemnets here are hardly "Heavy Metal Madness, featuring the Nuns of Bingen"; the synths etc complement the vocals very delicately and effectively indeed.
I wouldn't say this is the *only* way to record Hildegard's music, for that would be very foolish. But it makes it very accessible to a modern audience, and I think it adds a new dimension to her work. If you don't have any other Hildegard works, I'd say start with this one, because it's very pleasant to listen to and it's likely to make you want to hear - and read - a lot more. If you know the 'purer' versions, I'd still say listen to it, because it's a different perspective on the material. And Hildegard herself often approached the same subject from various angles. And if you start humming some of the 'hooks' that Hildegard put in her songs, well don't blame me!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2009
Vision is an awasome mix of modern electronic music and middelage songs and chants written by the multitalentet non and abbess Hildegard von Bingen. The combination results in a strong, energetic moving experience that continues everytime I listen. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2013
This is just a bit too much interpreted in a modern fashion for me, I expected something ethereal, I got something with too much drum and synthesizer, my fault maybe.

David
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It wasn't till the 1990s that the music of the earliest known composer Hildegarde von Bingen was discovered for the CD Age.Since then its been interpretated many ways from how it could have sounded in the convent to the New Age version by Grammy nominated American musician Richard Souther whose website lists 21 albums from the 80s downwards.
He uses 2 girl singers-soprano Emily van Evera and mezzo soprano Sister germaine Fritz.
Fortunately my copy on HMV Classics has a different sleeve to the one shown here-which was on a CD single
Souther's other interpretation of the same composer is called Illuminations and used a few Irish musicians plus singer Katie Macmahon
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2011
That's an inspired album, i can tell. Apart from the tracks that have some unique appeal/sound, as if heavenly composed, the booklet also matches this "mysticism", containing writings of Hildegard. It's like a lore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2012
\I was unaware of her music and used internet remmendations to choose this particular CD. It was not what I expected in that the mediaeval music was modernised with dome modern instruments. However the performance is to a very high quality and this CD rapidly became one of my favourites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The recording is just outstanding and the condition of the cd was perfect.

The music is just wonderful, ancient and modern twist blend together so well.fans of Gregorian chants and Enigma would also like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2013
The magical chanting combines with non intrusive beat to transport you to another plane entirely. Escape the pressures of everydya life and emerge renewed
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on 1 February 2015
Some reviewers here have made the mistake of purchasing this album without realising that the music has been altered beyond recognition by the addition of a cheesy 1990s-style pop backing, not unlike the previous decade's 'Hooked on Classics'. If you are a fan of Enya and Enigma you will probably love it, but those wanting a more 'authentic' arrangement should seek out recordings by Gothic Voices or Sequentia. If in doubt, try the sound samples!
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on 10 June 2015
I have some of Hildegard of Bingen's other work on CD. This CD simply does not match the simple and purist resonances emitted by more original interpretations of the music of Hildegard von Bingen. I would NOT recommend this CD to anyone wanting to hear authentically interpreted chants from Hildegarde von Bingen. This is far to synthetic and lacks spirit and heart due to the electronics in the music that take away from the original essences.
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