Hildegard von Bingen Enhanced
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Top Customer Reviews
to Hildegard of Bingen, a Christian mystic who lived mainly
in the 12th century. Her connection to God manifests itself
in the intimate wedding of the text with the complicated
This also may be one of the more accessible recordings for
modern listeners, since not only do Gamarna sing with some
instruments (from later periods) but have a backup reminiscent
of . . . Enigma. You know, guitars, drum beats, etc. I find
this recording to be a lot more listenable than Engima, though.
Whereas Enigma revels in irreverence, Gamarna seems to have a
great respect for the material.
As far as the Latin pronunciation goes (mentioned in another
review), I have to point out that this is not classical Latin
but rather medieval Latin. We actually *do* have a good idea
of the standard classical pronunciations. The other reviewer
defends Gamarna's evident Swedish accent. I also find it
pleasant, since their vowels are nice and pure. However, from
an historic standpoint, it might have been more appropriate to
sing these canticles with the "German" pronunciation (fecit=
"feh-TSEET") rather than the "Italian" Latin (fecit= "feh-CHEET")
. . . I think it might be more appropriate for 12th century
Bingen, and migh have jibed better with their accents. But still,
if you would like and introduction to v. Bingen's music, and
don't mind modernized arrangements, this is your recording!
The songs are sung in Latin, with Emma Hårdelin's voice singing them with her Swedish accent. The basic premise is taking ancient poems (written by the German nun Hildegard von Bingen) and setting them to modern techno-backed orchestrations.
Our first glimpse of this is on "Euchari". Some fans may remember "Euchari" from the Vengeance album; they performed the song on there as well. However, the Hildegard version is extraordinarily good in comparison. The fiddles, rush of air, thumping and clicking beat, and Emma's voice just go well together. I think this is unquestionably the best song on the album.
Other songs, such as Salvatoris, O Frondens Virga and Viridisssima Virga are also extraordinary in their mix of old and new; but it is the other "potentials"--the songs that seem like they should have been cut out when the band was deciding which to include-- that threaten to ruin the album. Notice I said threaten, not "they ruin the album"--because they don't. Hildegard von Bingen is STILL GOOD. It jus could have been much better without technofied Unde Quocompque or the completely immemorably Kyrie. The use of Latin on the album is undoubtedly seductive and powerful; it is only in the arrangement of some songs that any flaws are noted, and they really aren't too big of a problem. However, on the whole I think this album will satisfy most Garmarna fans that enjoyed Vengeance, and may garner Garmarna a few new fans, too.
Emma's vocals soar high above and, though some have commented on her Latin intonation, this is exactly how I imagine it must have sounded in many a Scandinavian nunnery (minus techno track, and fiddles etc) in mediaeval days. Remember that nobody knows exactly how the Romans pronounced their Latin and that the intonation of every Latin speaker is heavily colored by their native language. So, in my mind, a Swedish accent rather adds to the authenticity in this case!
The techno tracks are innovative and fresh - I listen to this CD for hours on end.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's a market these days for mysticism, especially erotic mysticism written by a Medieval nun in ecstatic Latin. Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by Gio
The way Garmarna presents the works of Hildegard is really exciting - very different from the traditional interpretations. Read morePublished on February 22, 2009 by Kimberly
Emma joins the ranks of people like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins) here. Read morePublished on March 15, 2007 by supremefiction
I enjoyed this CD a great deal. I really did not get much of an impression of Hildegard merely by listening to it, however. Read morePublished on August 15, 2005 by B. Larson
As soon as I heard the song "Viridissima Virga" from a compilation album of artists on their label, and read about the album, I Knew i had to get this album. Read morePublished on March 24, 2003 by Beketaten
There are some surprisingly tough reviews of this CD here. Criticizing her pronounciation of the Latin lyrics!? Read morePublished on October 21, 2002
im not a follower of garmarna, but i was neither delightfully impressed or dissapointed with this purchase, the nordic vocals offer a change of pace from most hildegard modernists... Read morePublished on March 23, 2002 by daniel
I have had this CD for about half a year now (caught the Swedish release) and it's been a constant favorite along with the other Garmarna albums. Read morePublished on December 20, 2001 by Mattias Thorslund
A little bit of traditional. A little bit of progressive. A little bit techno. I don't know why all the hub-bub about this Garmarna being so different. Read morePublished on October 26, 2001 by Vaygar-Ingvald Elmersson aka Caroll EH Reimer