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The Black Madonna


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Audio CD, May 26, 1998
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$11.30
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Cuncti simus concanentesBelinda Sykes 6:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Quant voi la flor noveleBelinda Sykes 4:00$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: A Madre do que a bestiaBelinda Sykes 7:10$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Amours, ou trop tart me sui prisBelinda Sykes 4:39$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Quant ay lomon consiratBelinda Sykes 6:08$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Mariam, matrem VirginemBelinda Sykes 6:11$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: O Virgo splendensBelinda Sykes 5:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Tanto son da groriosaBelinda Sykes 6:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Comencerai a fere un laiBelinda Sykes 5:29$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Cantiga de Santa Maria No. 77-119Belinda Sykes 2:21$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: O Maria, maris stellaBelinda Sykes 3:16$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Pilgrim Songs from the Monastery of Montserrat [1400-1420]: Los set gotxsBelinda Sykes 7:17$0.89  Buy MP3 


Frequently Bought Together

The Black Madonna + On the Way to Bethlehem: Music of Medieval Pilgrim + From Byzantium & Andalusia
Price for all three: $30.14

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Performer: Belinda Sykes, Bernhard Landauer
  • Orchestra: Ensemble Unicorn
  • Conductor: Michael Posch
  • Audio CD (May 26, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000007N63
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
4 star
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3 star
0
2 star
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1 star
1
See all 19 customer reviews
The quality of the singing and musicianship is amazing.
Amazon Customer
Having a fair collection of religious and medieval music, this CD really stands out.
Valerie Extermann
Not sure what I was expecting, but this is a very refreshing collection.
Weesel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I picked this up because I am interested in the Black Madonnas of Southern Europe and Medieval history in general. I also like "early music." This CD was an incredible surprise. The quality of the singing and musicianship is amazing. The Islamic influences in early European music are really brought out here. I can't recommend this more highly although it is probably not for the casual listener. But if you are curious, you can't beat the price!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'm not just some ignorant and rabid fan: I've surveyed hundreds of early music CDs in my time, and have performed a great deal of medieval music. I can assure you that Unicorn -- also known as Oni Wytars and Accentus -- is the best instrumental ensemble performing this repertory. Hands down. They rarely appear on critics' golden lists, but that's because most early music critics (and performers) are desiccated scholars and not impassioned musicians. The only reason this CD isn't perfect (unlike "Codex Faenza", which is flawless in every respect) is that the arrangements are less than historical. In medieval monophonic music, rule no. 1 about song accompaniment is that the instrumentalist must NEVER draw attention away from the voice -- go crazy with preludes and interludes, but be VERY discreet during actual singing. Since Unicorn is concerned primarily with the emotive and evocative capabilities of its instruments, it tends toward the densely orchestrated (but not to the absurd extremes of, for instance, Philip Pickett). Such an approach is not historically justified in most cases, but I'd be a desiccated scholar if I didn't reassure y'all that this CD is one hell of a fun ride.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sator on February 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
One of the hidden gems of the Naxos catalog are the series of recordings of Medieval music by the Ensemble Unicorn with Michael Posch. The music they choose to record here comes from the 14th century Llivre Vermell de Monstserrat preserved there in an codex of five parts. The book resulted from an attempt to set contemporary popular music to spiritual texts to help to reach out to a wider audience.

This CD is exemplary in every possible way. The liner notes written by Michael Posch himself are superb. Furthermore, the recorded sound quality is pretty much audiophile grade and runs rings around those produced by major record labels for the fraction of the price. The music making is beautiful, evocative and fascinating with all performances having the intensity and brilliance you can always count on from this superb ensemble.

Very highly recommended.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Extermann on May 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Having a fair collection of religious and medieval music, this CD really stands out. The voices are superb, the instruments spot on, and by closing my eyes, I can just imagine the pilgrims taking up the refrains, while slowly making their way up the rocky slope to the sanctuary of Montserrat (yes, I've been there, and the Black Madonna is very special). Of particular note is the passion , the fervor and the vigor that is transmitted to the listener. I highly recommend this CD
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Andy Van Ness on April 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Aside from the beauty and uniqueness of the material chosen for this recording, the Ensemble Unicorn has amazed me on other recordings as well with their talent and flavor for re-creating early music. The fact that these recordings, "Naxos Early Music", are offered at such low prices should never sway anyone to think less of it. These recordings are among the absolute best in my collection.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By sam the record man on December 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I picked up this cd because of a family connection with the Black Madonna of Monserrat. She's an integral part of the religious life of my dad's hometown. I thought the cd would make a good present for my dad but I didn't really expect the music to be anything special. However, I was simply blown away upon listening to it. This is an incredible blend of voice, rhythm and percussion that conveys the earthiness and transcendence of peasant pilgrim experience. I'm not a fan of early music -- I don't dislike it, I just don't know that much about it. Most of the early music I have listened to, however, is nowhere near as textured and intricate as these songs. What's amazing to my ears is that arrangements manage to sound both ancient and startlingly contemporary at the same time. I'm betting that sooner or later, someone will be giving these songs a trance-music treatment -- if that hasn't already happened.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I don't know how I came across this cd, but I am grateful that the gods led me to it. I was very much surprised and pleased by the extraordinary quality of the performances; but, Belinda Sykes' voice and interpretations simply 'floored' me. How can one describe it? One can't! You'd have to listen to it for yourself...and then you'd probably wonder, like I do, why there aren't more recordings featuring this truly incredible and unique singer. This music is a gift.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Senior Citizen on February 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Let me add my two cents to the laudatory reviews already given. I bought this CD some time ago when I was developing an interest in early music. The title and the theme fascinated me. Also it was inexpensive, and I know from my experience that NAXOS, even though inexpensive, delivers quality goods. I was not the least disappointed. This is the music of an important era in history brilliantly performed by Unicorn Ensemble and Belinda Sykes. Belinda Sykes deserves to be better known than she is. She has a marvelous voice, and her delivery is without peer. When she sings, I am transported back to the days of those pilgrims whose songs she is singing. This music is not like other music. at times it may seem raucous. Just keep in mind the epoch from which these songs come. Open your mind. I assure you that you will be transformed.
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