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Von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy


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Audio CD, June 30, 2010
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Von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy + A Feather on the Breath of God + Voice of the Blood
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy by Cologne Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music

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Although Hildegard von Bingen's music has been around for 900 years--and recordings of her music for decades--it seems that only now, as we approach the turn of another millennium, the time is right for the world to pay attention. In this first-rate traversal of her music--the most popular of several volumes released by the early-music ensemble Sequentia--we hear music that resulted from Hildegard's legendary visions, which often included song texts that she subsequently collected and dispensed to her religious community of women. As rendered here by the voices and instruments of Sequentia, her music invokes an unobscured sense of mystery, conforming to Hildegard's belief that music was our bridge to the harmonies of the heavens. Whether or not we're experiencing that "heavenly harmony" here, the simple, direct, beautifully turned melodies, sung by pure, finely tuned, warm-colored women's voices, often eerily accompanied by an instrumental drone, is heavenly enough. --David Vernier

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. O vis aeternitatisSequentia 7:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Nunc aperuit nobisSequentia;Barbara Thornton 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Quia ergo femina mortem instruxitJanet Youngdahl 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Cum processit factura digiti DeiJanet Youngdahl 6:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Alma Redemptoris MaterSequentia 2:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Ave Maria, O auctrix viteHeather Knutson 8:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Spiritus Sanctus vivificans vitePamela Dellal 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. O ignis spiritus ParaclitiSusanne Norin 6:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Caritas habundat in omniaSequentia 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. O virga mediatrixLaurie Monahan;Sequentia;Barbara Thornton 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. O viridissima virga, AveSequentia 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. InstrumentalstückSequentia 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. O Pastor AnimarumElizabeth Glen 1:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. O tu suavissima virgaSusanne Norin11:22Album Only
listen15. O choruscans stellarumBarbara Thornton 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. O nobilissima viriditasGundula Anders;Elizabeth Glen 6:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Composer: Hildegard von Bingen
  • Audio CD (June 30, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001TYF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

I Love listening to it after a long day.
Grace
Further I recommend this one highly to anyone just wishing to expand their musical horizons.
Robert E. Murena Jr.
The music of Hildegard Von Bingen resonates across the millennia.
R. Webb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on May 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The more I study Hildegard of Bingen, the more I am amazed at not only the depth of knowledge that she had in many fields, but I am continually struck by the talent she had for expressing this knowledge in beautiful ways. She wrote a wonderful book chronicling her visions called the Scivias. She was an able visual artist. She was a healer who was more successful than many doctors of her time. Most significantly (at least in this review) she wrote music that was revolutionary in her time and is still beautiful today. The Canticles of Ecstasy is a wonderful starting point from which to begin listening to her music. Sequentia has captured the spirit of her writing and the majesty of her sound. Hildegard was an amazing woman. This is an outstanding recording. I recommend it.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mike Powers on May 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard this extraordinary CD it, it left me speechless. Sequentia, accompanied only by a medieval fiddle and harp, sing the deeply spiritual music of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) with an almost unfathomable spiritual depth. This is music of the divine; it never fails to draw me closer to God. It's the best CD for quiet meditation I've ever experienced.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Murena Jr. on July 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album of Hildegard's music is ethereal sublime and glorious in its composition and execution. If you have never heard (or heard of) Hildegard von Bingen let it suffice to say that her music, while of spiritual nature was an essential step in the development of western music and I rank her in the top ten important composers of the last millennium. If you have heard Hildegard then you will be amazed by the quality of the recording. Canticles of Ecstasy is very clean and richly recorded and is among the finest recordings of Hildegard's music.

Naturally the tone of this music is very meditative and is relaxing yet uplifting. This makes excellent music to listen to in the morning while reading or when you want to be peaceful. That being said it isn't simple ambience and an attentive listen will reveal how Hildegard's orchestrations of the voice shift and create harmonies that one could easily call "magical". I recommend this CD to the fan of Hildegard von Bingen as well as a starting point to exploring her music. Further I recommend this one highly to anyone just wishing to expand their musical horizons. Fans of early music and classical, along with fans of music like Aphex Twin or Autechre will certainly appreciate this CD. - Enjoy

- Ted Murena
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MistressOfDoom on September 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Eloquent proof of the power of music to transcend time. The music of Hildegard von Bingen conveys her spiritual sense across the centuries intact, and Sequentia's performance is truly wonderful. To be so moved by someone who lived 900 years ago reminds one of the continuity of the human experience, both spiritually and on earth. Not just beautiful music...an experience.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By runchuckrun on October 2, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Having enjoyed "A Feather on the Breath of God" for quite a few years and after having listened to this intoxicating disc by Sequentia for the past several months, I have no qualms in recommending this disc as the perfect starting point for anyone interested in discovering Hildegard of Bingen for the first time. This disc is magical! The title says it all!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ontic Logos on August 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was enraptured by Hildegard von Bingen when I first heard her chants on NPR.

"Nunc Aperuit Nobis" (track 2 below) was playing and my father and I were both silenced by it. I felt such a wellspring of warmth and peace that I insisted on listening for another 30 minutes to find out who the composer was.

As a musician with a Catholic upbringing, playing the entire CD beginning to end is a now marvelous experience for meditative sessions.

Honestly however, most listeners will only appreciate tracks 2, 5, and 6; they are the brightest of the bunch (the rest have been described by most as "depressing"; a prior reviewer referred to them as "cold."). If you're a fan of Gregorian chant however, this collection will likely be one of your favorites (it is mine).

Nonetheless, "Nunc Aperuit Nobis" is so beautiful and timeless that it was worth this college student's dollar to simply buy the whole album for it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Carol Klavon on November 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I am a huge fan of music by the Medevial composer Hildegard von Bingen, but this, as well as "Voice of the Blood" are the best recordings I have heard. In fact, I would recommend buying both together...and listening to them back to back with the "Chant" box set by the The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "dtrr" on August 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This spectacular music is every bit as moving as other reviewers have described it. On another level, its sublimity is even more stunning. The inspiration for the music is the visions that Hildegard experienced, which present, through music, a more profound view of God than any twelfth-century contemporary thinker - let alone composer - ever attained. And who thereafter? To transform this mystical vision of the Absolute into music that successfully conveys this experience is astonishing. And Sequentia captures the right sense of the composer. Soaring voices, yet a simple line, infused with spirituality but not sentimental or trite, very challenging, shocking in the best sense. This is a wonderful recording.
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