VOICE OF THE BLOOD is so named because the texts of Hildegard of Bingen's songs performed here refer often to the spilled blood of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins. Sequentia wonderfully presents Hildegard's monophonic "song cycle" here in the order she probably intended. … Thanks, Sequentia, for bringing this savory piece of history to life!
"I think there in the field of medieval music ensemble with a better level of interpretation and musicological rigor that Sequentia Ensemble. This vinyl is a convincing example. The pity is, that at least one of its members no longer living. In memory of Barbara Thornton. "
When you’ve got a good thing going, why mess around with it? That seems to be the philosophy that’s guided this amazing quartet to an unbroken string of 10 highly acclaimed recordings–and you can add this one to the list…
Paul Gerhardt (12 March 1607 – 27 May 1676) was a German hymn writer. Gerhardt is considered Germany's greatest hymn writer. Many of his best-known hymns were originally published in various church hymnbooks, as for example in that for Brandenburg, which appeared in 1658. The first complete collection is the Geistliche Andachten, published in 1666-1667 by Ebeling, music director in Berlin. No hymn by Gerhardt of a later date than 1667 is known to exist.
The Rhine turned crimson when the royal princess Ursula and her eleven thousand companions were slaughtered by the Huns. Many centuries later, Hildegard of Bingen composed a plainchant office in Ursula’s honour and sent a copy to the Abbey of Villers. The singers of Psallentes♀ sing from this famous manuscript (now housed in Dendermonde).
…The solemn majesty of the music is hard to miss: Slowly chiming church bells over a hauntingly beautiful chorus at the beginning of 'O Jerusalem' set the tone. Yet despite its seriousness, there is a joyful energy within. This sense pervades the piece, giving the music a buoyant quality within its medieval mode.