Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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A Feather on the Breath of God

Columba aspexit
Ave, generosa
O ignis spiritus
O Jerusalem
O Euchari
O viridissima virga
O presul vere civitatis
O Ecclesia

Doreen Muskett (symphony) Robert White (reed drones). Gothic Voices/Christopher Page
rec Hampstead, London 14 Sept 1981 HYPERION CDA66039.[43 mins]


This is an early digital recording and although it has been a staple of the catalogue for many years now it is right, given the prominence of the disc, that the site notes its existence.

The disc (originally issued as an LP A66039) plays a significant part on the history of Hyperion as a record company. It springs, as Ted Perry noted in a Radio 4 programme, from having heard the same forces broadcast a similar programme on BBC Radio 3. Insisting on exactly the same forces for the disc paid off and it was through this disc that the Hildegard of Bingen revival began and took wing.

The music-making is clean, it is evocative of abbeys, flows with devotional fervour, suggests condensation rising from the mouths of the singers, and delights in winter sunshine. With the involvement of Emma Kirkby, Howard Milner and Andrew Parrott we know that we are in inspired hands. The selected acoustic is atmospheric and is clearly a major player in the success of the disc.

Full texts and notes are provided.

While playing time is short by comparison with more recent issues if you have an interest in this era (or indeed in the modern/Scandinavian primitives) this disc will need to be in your collection.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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