9. Celestial Voices.
An early songbook on CD
Medieval music, although so distant from us in time -- it flourished,
very roughly speaking, from around 1000 to 1400 AD -- now makes a surprisingly
lively impact on people in our advanced industrial technocracies. The furore
-- or is it merely a vogue? -- seems to have been unleashed when
around ten years ago the group Gothic Voices issued a recording of
music by Hildegard of Bingen, the abbess, priestess, poet, composer, philosopher
and botanical scientist who, flourishing through a considerable span of
the 12th century, is now sometimes referred to as the Earliest Great Composer.
Adventitious circumstances -- her female sex and the multiplicity
of her talents -- in part bear on this; though in a general sense the
current popularity of medieval music springs from its religious, spiritual,
and mystical origins, since our scientific culture grows weary under the
burden of so much factual know-how, hoping or even believing that there
may be a further dimension to life and death. We don't want unequivocally
to know too much, since a sense of wonder is not readily to be forfeited.
Copyright © 2 June 2001
Wilfrid Mellers, York, UK
CD INFORMATION - HYPERION CDA67177
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