Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God CD
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although the content of the CD was excellent the packaging was poor. I know this was a used item but the CD had come out of the container as there were insufficient sprockets to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by hj
This was the first CD of early music that I bought, more than 20 years ago, followed by many more purchases since then. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marand
Great - really love it to create a beautiful, calming, background for reading and writing to.Published 6 months ago by J. W
Fabulous recording and highly recommended. Arrived in good time and in good packaging.Published 14 months ago by Timothy G. Simmonite