Album: Steve Wishart, Sinfonye Hildegard (Decca)

 

Released to coincide with the beatification of Hildegard Von Bingen, this album features modernised, but tasteful, adaptations of her texts and chants by Stevie Wishart, arranged into an evensong vespers in which medieval and modern come together with surprising congruence.

Wishart and her Sinfonye ensemble employ both solo vocal and choral performances suffused with cavernous, cathedral-like reverb, and period instruments allied to modern studio technology by Guy Sigsworth. Thus, an alio modo “remixed” version of “O Beata Infantia” combines a reverb-drenched vocal line with sub-bass drone and damped harp, while the climactic “Magnificat” is more notable for its exquisite monodic harmonies. An intriguing and mellifluous experiment.

Download: Magnificat; O Beata Infantia; O Virtus Sapientie

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