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A Feather on the Breath of God / Kirkby, Page, Gothic Voices

Album Summary

>Hildegard of Bingen : Columba aspexit
>Hildegard of Bingen : Ave generosa
>Hildegard of Bingen : O ignee Spiritus
>Hildegard of Bingen : O Jerusalem aure civitas
>Hildegard of Bingen : O Euchari, in leta via
>Hildegard of Bingen : O viridissima virga
>Hildegard of Bingen : O presul vere civitatis
>Hildegard of Bingen : O ecclesia oculi tui
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"This beautiful chant-like music has a haunting tranquility, superbly caught by one of the most intelligent and homogenous vocal groups performing today." -Classic CD

'A superb record. Exploring these pieces is a moving experience when the performances are as superlative as these. Very strongly recommended. Record of the Month' (The Monthly Guide to Recorded Music)

BBC Music Magazine
Gothic Voices chose to perform the hymns and sequences with great simplicity, alternating a single voice with unison voices over drones. Bingen's spellbinding melodies are clear and meditative, achieving a rare, high beauty whose integrity has proved timeless.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Here's a collection of choice gems from one of the greatest creative personalities of the Middle Ages. We've limited means of assessing how these inspired pieces were performed in Hildegard's time; but the refreshingly unsophisticated timbre of the four sopranos and the reedy, almost boyish, vocal quality of the contralto are convincing enough to transport the listener right back to the unpolluted atmosphere of her cloister. Most to be savoured are the unaccompanied items, amounting to 50 per cent of the total. Indeed, since the notes make a point of telling us us that 'distractions such as the intrusion of instrumental decorations' were to be avoided, why did the producer go out of his way to introduce symphony and reed drones in the performance of the other 50 per cent? However, this is a delightful recording. When it was first released it sparked new interest in the music of the Middle Ages, and it remains a jewel in Hyperion's crown.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Poppy Holden, Emma Kirkby, Judith Stell, Emily van Evera (soprano); Kevin Breen , Andrew Parrott (tenor).

Recording information: Church Of St. Jude, Hampstead, London, England (09/14/1981).

Hymns and sequences by the remarkable 12th-century Abbess Hildegard of Bingen are recorded here under the direction of Christopher Page, with Emma Kirby and Gothic Voices. Two of the eight pieces are solos while most are choral and a few have the support of a symphony as well. The title is indeed appropriate for this sacred vocal music. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats



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Works Details

>Hildegard of Bingen : Columba aspexit
  • Performers: Poppy Holden (Soprano); Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Doreen Muskett (Symphony); Christopher Page (Lute); Judith Stell (Soprano); Emily van Evera (Soprano); Gothic Voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 5 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : Ave generosa
  • Performers: Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Christopher Page (Lute); Margaret Philpot (Alto); Gothic Voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 4 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1180
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : O ignee Spiritus
  • Performers: Kevin Breen; Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Howard Milner (Tenor); Christopher Page (Lute); Andrew Parrott (Organ); Gothic Voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 4 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : O Jerusalem aure civitas
  • Performers: Poppy Holden (Soprano); Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Doreen Muskett (Symphony); Christopher Page (Lute); Judith Stell (Soprano); Emily van Evera (Soprano); Gothic Voices; Robert White (Bodhran)
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 7 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : O Euchari, in leta via
  • Performers: Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Christopher Page (Lute); Emily van Evera (Soprano); Gothic Voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 5 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : O viridissima virga
  • Performers: Kevin Breen; Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Howard Milner (Tenor); Doreen Muskett (Symphony); Christopher Page (Lute); Andrew Parrott (Organ); Gothic Voices; Robert White (Bodhran)
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : O presul vere civitatis
  • Performers: Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Christopher Page (Lute); Margaret Philpot (Alto); Gothic Voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 6 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Hildegard of Bingen : O ecclesia oculi tui
  • Performers: Poppy Holden (Soprano); Emma Kirkby (Soprano); Doreen Muskett (Symphony); Christopher Page (Lute); Judith Stell (Soprano); Emily van Evera (Soprano); Gothic Voices; Robert White (Bodhran)
  • Conductor: Christopher Page
  • Ensemble: Gothic Voices
  • Running Time: 5 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Written: circa 1140-1179
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio