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Hildegard of Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Performer: Emma Kirkby, Gothic Voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Composer: Abbess Hildegard of Bingen
  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000002ZGD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,915 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Columba Aspexit
  2. Ave, Genorosa
  3. O Ignis Spiritus
  4. O Lerusalem
  5. O Euchari
  6. O Viridissima Virga
  7. O Presul Vere Civitas
  8. O Ecclesia

Product Description

Ave generosa - O Jerusalem - Columba aspexit - O ignis spiritus - O Eucharisti - O viridissima virga - O presul vere civitatis - O Ecclesia / Emma Kirkby, soprano - Gothic Voices, dir. Christopher Page

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Audio CD
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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By H. A. Weedon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 May 2011
Format: 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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By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2010
Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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