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Track(s) taken from CDA66039

Columba aspexit

composer
author of text

Emma Kirkby (soprano), Gothic Voices, Christopher Page (conductor)
Recording details: September 1981
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: April 1985
Total duration: 5 minutes 18 seconds
 
1
Columba aspexit  [5'18]

Reviews

'I was spellbound by both the music and the presentation … and have remained so ever since … a jewel in Hyperion's crown' (Gramophone)

'These hymns and sequences, most expertly performed and recorded, have excited much acclaim – and rightly so. A lovely CD.' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'The most beautiful choral record of the year … hauntingly compelling' (The Guardian)

'An outright winner that merits a place in every collection' (The Good CD Guide)

'It's magnificent … entrancing. Don't miss this very special record … utterly flawless' (Fanfare, USA)

'A beautiful CD' (Daily Mail)

'This is a marvellously moving recital … restrained, unexaggerated, and very, very beautiful. High loveliness like this is not common' (Hi-Fi News)

'Flawless' (Early Music)

'This remains the prime example of Von Bingen's astounding creativity and originality. Her expressive, often awesome music ranks as the greatest of medieval composers. It's already sold over 200,000 copies! If you missed it, there's no reason to hesitate. Sensational!' (In Tune, Japan)

'Spellbinding music … of rare beauty' (Westminster Press)
Columba aspexit presents a vision of Saint Maximinus as a celebrant at Mass. The imagery and general conception owe much to Ecclesiasticus 50: 1–26 (not in the Authorized Version), a celebration of the High Priest, Simon. The Holy Ghost hovers (symbolized by the dove and the lattice – Hildegard explains the latter symbol in the Scivias as the window of Christ’s mercy through which shines the perfect revelation of the New Testament) as Maximinus celebrates; flooded with grace he is a building – Saint Paul’s edifice of the temple which is in the devout heart. God’s love, represented in biblical fashion by the heat of the sun, blazes in the dark sanctuary. The ‘stone’ (lapide) of stanza four is the altar – these lines are rich in imagery drawn from the liturgy for consecrating and anointing an altar; as he moves to it in his celebration, Maximinus is like the hart of Psalm 41 (42 in the Authorized Version). Stanza five turns to the clergy who surround Maximinus in the ceremony. The ‘perfume-makers’ (perfume is a metaphor of Divine Grace) are the clerics of Trier: Maximinus was the patron of the Benedictine abbey there and Hildegard probably wrote this sequence for them. The ‘holy sacrifice with the rams’ was required by God in the ordination of Aaron’s sons to the priesthood (Exodus 29), but the ‘rams’ may also be the choirboys at Trier (Scivias, 2:5:45). Hildegard ends with a eulogy of Maximinus as celebrant, ‘strong and beautiful in rites and in the shining of the altar’.

from notes by Christopher Page 1982

Other albums featuring this work

Gothic Voices Gramophone Award Winners Collection
CDS44251/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
The Emma Kirkby Collection
This album is not yet available for downloadCDA66227
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