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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
This record is one of the best early music cds available, or perhaps it IS the very best, despite being over 20 years old. The musicianship, singing and recording are all wonderful, and the sound is so good, your living room will be transformed into a Gothic chapel.
Unfortunately, this disc should come with a musical financial health warning, as newcomers to early...
Published on 29 Aug. 2003 by Dobester

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I've hear better Bingen. Chose the wrong selection!
Published 1 month ago by Mr. E. E. Gill


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 29 Aug. 2003
By 
Dobester (Istanbul, Turkey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
This record is one of the best early music cds available, or perhaps it IS the very best, despite being over 20 years old. The musicianship, singing and recording are all wonderful, and the sound is so good, your living room will be transformed into a Gothic chapel.
Unfortunately, this disc should come with a musical financial health warning, as newcomers to early music will probably find themselves shelling out for more and more of Emma Kirkby and Gothic Voices' recordings. And that's just the beginning: you'll develop a need for ever more obscure ensembles and composers for the rest of their lives. However, before you remortgage the house to buy similar music on full-price labels like ECM and so on, try the Jeremy Summerly discs on Naxos. They are marvellous and a fraction (not seven-eighths) of the price.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We have learned nothing, 23 May 2011
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
I was surprised to read that a few reviewers complain about the lack of variety in the Abbess Hildegrad's music. Have they been listening to the same recording I have had in my possession for over twenty years? On my Hyperion recording there's a wide variety and no two pieces are the same and there are eight singers in all: four sopranos, one contralto and three tenors. Male and female voices do not join together on any of the tracks. Emma Kirkby joins in with the other three sopranos on tracks 1 and 4 and does not sing solo on any track. The tenors sing together on tracks 3 and 6. Margaret Philpot, contralto, sings solo on tracks 2 and 7 The sopranos, Emily van Evera, Poppy Holden and Judith Stell sing together on the last track (8) without Emma Kirkby joining them.

So you see, there's plenty of variety and, for instance, Margaret Philpot singing solo is a good bit different from the four sopranos singing together. Margaret Philpot's deep, rich voice is a joy in itself. I'm also a fan of Emma Kirkby and have recordings of her singing solo. However, she was never a permanent member of Gothic Voices, jopining in with them just sometimes. Hildegarde composed her music around 900 years ago. When Picasso first set eyes on 12000 year old cave paintings he is reputed to have exclaimed: 'We've learnt nothing!' This observation also applies to Hildegard's music, which is as fresh, varied and meaningful today as it was on the day she composed it. Variety in music isn't necessarily about a lot of noise with all kinds of ups and downs and round abouts. Because Hildegard's music is so pure we're able to hear and appreciate its every nuance in a way which is not always possible in more sophisticated music. Just as beauty is often in the eye of the beholder, musical variation is often in the ear of the listener.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not a rehearsal., 28 Feb. 2001
By 
Baz Douglas (Thames Valley, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I was surprised to read some of the on-line reviews. I have owned this recording since it first came out on vinyl, when it recieved excellent reviews world wide. It has sold in shed loads ever since. Why? Two main reasons; one, it is stunningly sung by the Blessed Emma Kirkby (Whom God preserve) and others, and is an excellent introduction to early sung music forms and religious music in particular. Two, many people bought it because it is perfect for the purpose of chilling out after a bad day or simply relaxing. If you do not like it, you have my sympathy, and I suggest you do some serious thinking about your personal development. Also, stop listening to Classic FM as it is clearly bad for you.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and reflective, 16 Dec. 2010
By 
Marcia "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
Abbess Hildegard of Bingen created the pieces featured on this recording of sequences and hymns in honour of the Holy spirit, the Virgin Mary and Saints. These pieces are refreshing,
The recording has four soproano and contralto giving a impressive performance that creates an atmosphere that takes us to the imagined world of Hildegard and the Cloister surroundings of her world.
We are transported back to the middle ages and to a time around the 1140s.
Hildegard was very creative. Especially after a vision she had when she was about 43 years old. And went on to create two books on natural history and medicine and a morality play. This recording draws from a wealth of music she composed throughout the rest of her life.
The pieces illustrate the passion she had for her devotional life. They are poetic and spirtual. The pieces offer a truly meditive and calm feeling.
There are some notable items that are unacompanied. And the whole recording is delightful.
The Gothic Voices here include Emma Kirkby, Andrew Parrott and other performers.
The recording was made in 1981 and the digital sound is fantastic. The Gothic voices give us a first class and rich recording here that will always be remembered by those interested in music of the middle ages.
It is a wonderful release and should not be missed.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime., 26 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
I have owned this cd for almost 20 years & it still rewards listening.

Emma Kirkby's voice is magnificent & if you are seeking an introduction to early vocal works then this is as good as any; there is no guarantee that you will enjoy it as we all have varying tastes however it is a fine example of its genre.

I particularly enjoy playing this in the car when driving in the country in winter or through some awesome scenery; it helps put me in touch with the miracle that is creation.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give it time, 10 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This is wonderful music, but it is not in the Germanic tradition of leading voices and suchlike: it must be given time. Furthermore, such is the vocal beauty and purity of timbre I do feel that one must wallow slightly in it. After all it was written for edification and to focus the mind on the Almighty. For those who do not like very "samey" music, allow yourself an hour or two just to listen to it, and even, dare I say, nod off to it, just so it percolates into the system. Simply wonderful music, though, and good for Hyperion for recording it. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars and I wanted an up to date replacement - if you love the music of the Middle Ages, 26 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
Bought because I had an old tape done while a student, and I wanted an up to date replacement - if you love the music of the Middle Ages, this is the stuff. Emma Kirkby and Gothic Voices, still the best rendition of Hildegard to my mind, although I preferred the old LP to the rather more clinical CD timbre.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Singalongabingen, 13 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
Just being cheeky - soaring and precise music - I am no expert so will not presume to critique the musicians - only say this makes me feel the opposite of soporifically soothed ... it is the serenity of exquisite and sublime appreciation this injects into the soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is an amazing work - Now that I have finally got this ..., 17 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
This is an amazing work - Now that I have finally got this in my collection, I can enjoy her soothing meditative style all the more. Her music is so profund even after all these centuries - Do youself a favour, buy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 13 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God (Audio CD)
This is a truly special recording of music that inspires and transports. Bingen's work is simple and profound, I am very glad to have discovered it.
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Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God
Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (Audio CD - 2000)
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