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Vision: The Music of Hildegard von Bingen CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, November 1, 1994
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$11.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Vision: The Music of Hildegard von Bingen
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  • Von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy
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  • Hildegard von Bingen: A Feather on the Breath of God
Total price: $42.08
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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"Vision--The Music of Hildegard von Bingen"? Make that "Hildegard--the Dance Remix." (Yes, it has been used on the dance floor of at least one New York City nightclub.) What else can you call it when Richard Souther takes the stark, ecstatic plainchant of the 12th-century abbess and adds heavily produced electronic trance-and-dance tracks? Souther's additions aren't bad in themselves--they are a bit New Age-y, yet danceable in a druggy 3:00-a.m. kind of way--but slather them over Hildegard's spare, intense chant melodies and the effect is perverse, if not just silly. Don't blame poor Emily van Evera--she is a fine interpreter of Hildegard, and EMI simply asked her to record some unaccompanied solo tracks of the abbess's music and send in the tapes; she had no idea what was going to be done with them until this disc came out with her name on it. This shows up in the final product: the gently fluid pulse van Evera applied to Hildegard's music (which would make perfect sense in the a cappella performance she thought she was giving) feels completely disconnected from the rigid rhythms inherent in Souther's electronic accompaniment. Now, there are a number of customer reviews, below, from listeners who like this title a great deal--have a look at them, check out the sound clips, and by all means get this title if you're interested. But, if you're curious about Hildegard, go to the recording that made her famous eight centuries after her death: A Feather on the Breath of God. --Matthew Westphal
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 1, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Angel
  • ASIN: B000002SL6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I found the below review from the UK amazon site extremely helpful.

"Hildegard's music can be performed in many different ways. There's the 'purist' approach, that seeks to use top-class vocalists such as Emma Kirkby ('Gothic Voices') - who isn't on this album - in arrangements that come as close to the original as possible. The problem is, we simply don't know how the music really sounded when Hildegard wrote it. If you're a specialist, you'll already know why that is. But if you're not, it's all to do with the problems of interpreting the original manuscripts, and guesswork about what instrumentation Hildegard may have used. And we don't know how good Hildegard's nuns were at singing. The chances that any of them came close to technical virtuosi like Kirkby are pretty small.

One thing's for sure, though. Saint Hildegard - one of the most amazing and interesting women in recorded history - didn't have a bank of synthesisers, bass guitar samples, and sequencing machines back in the twelfth century. But, if they had been available to her, I think she would probably have made good use of them. She wrote books on science, sexuality, animals, healing, indeed all manner of things, as well as religious works, paintings, a secret language, songs, plays and letters to Emperors and Popes. Would such a woman say "No electricity in my convents, thank you very much"? I don't think so. She might well have seen the opportunity to use such facilities to discuss and glorify God and the universe.

For that reason, I think this recording is not really any less 'authentic' than the supposedly purer ones. The modernised arrangemnets here are hardly "Heavy Metal Madness, featuring the Nuns of Bingen"; the synths etc complement the vocals very delicately and effectively indeed.
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Format: Audio CD
SOARING, ETHEREAL voices are followed by haunting, vaguely Middle Eastern new age sound. HILDEGARD meets ENIGMA. It works. The purists make no room for this kind of interpretation of Hildegard but I remind you that the Louvre built a separate museum to house the Impressionist art not because they were so valued but because they did not consider it serious art and would not put it under the same roof with the classics. Time made buffoons of them. Listen to the sound clips and judge for yourself.
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Format: Audio CD
Hildegard Von Bingen (1098-1179) was known as the "Sybil of the Rhine", who was one of the first women to produced major works of theology & visionary writings. She became so popular that she was able to advise bishops, popes, & kings. She also used & wrote about the curative powers & medicinal uses of plants, animals, & stones.

She wrote liturgical plainchant honoring the saints & the Virgin Mary for the Roman Catholic Holy Days. Emily Van Evera & Sister Germanine Fritz sing Hildegard's songs with tasteful modern production from the masterful musical arrangements of Richard Souther. Together they intermix the ancient words & rhythm of Hildegard Von Bingen with modern electronic instrumentation & style. Cleverly not losing either "Time Period" producing a CD that can be played over & over. If you become tired of this semi-new age music, leave the CD alone for a while, & return a few months later for added enjoyment. If you have a good stereo, this CD will offer a vast timber with lots of background sound effects. The best I can write is that the music is very spiritually uplifting.
3 Comments 22 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I bought VISION, THE MUSIC OF HILDEGARD VON BINGEN without even hearing it first. I couldn't resist the album's cover art and the premise of recording the chants of a 12th century nun with modern original scores. I was delightfully surprised at how well the experiment works. The tracks are absolutely beautiful and haunting. In listening to one of the chants accompanied by an almost jarring drum beat, I felt as if I were dropped deep into a dense African jungle where a safari of large powerful natives are escorting small white hooded nuns to some mysterious lost city. A very different, very intriguing, very fine work.
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Format: Audio CD
Hildegard Von Bingen (1098-1179), 12th century Benedictine nun, abbess and mystic wrote some of the most heavenly spiritual chants, psalms and canticles in the history of the Catholic Church. Compositions that are so unique and universal in appeal that they were embraced by the 'New Age Movement' more enthusiastically then they were originally by her own Church.

Similiar yet subtly different from the lofty, remote gregorian chants sung in the monastery, the music of Hildegard is much more accessible. Her experience of the 'Divine Mysteries' is conveyed in more emotional and earthy tones, thus linking the higher aspirations of the soul with the passionate nature of the human heart.

'Vision' was performed and recorded within the stone walls of St. Andrew's Church in Toddington, England, an almost perfect location to capture the medieval atmosphere of Hildegard's compositions. The female voices involved in this project are a sharp and welcome contrast to the all male gregorian choirs most of us are more familiar with.

Truly a mystical musical experience has been captured on these 17 exquiste tracks. For the spiritual seeker in all of us!
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