Meditation & Teaching CDs
Unfurling Loves Creation
Chants of Hildegard von Bingen
sung by Norma Gentile
renditions of these 12th century pieces are impressive, but
this album is essentially about devotional ecstasy. The
soprano's glorious voice celebrates Hildegard's union with
the divine...the sense of intimacy, trust, and abandonment
previous recording, it shimmers..."
"The range of recent
Hildegard recordings is impressive and a testimony to the
current standards in this kind of music...But there were
three recordings that gave me unexpected pleasure, all for
entirely different reasons...[including] that of the
American singer Norma Gentile. The main virtue of this
recording is that she approaches the music like the concert
recitalist tackling Schubert, asking questions...and for
each piece she offers a different answer. We need more
singers with that attitude in this repertory."
"... a mesmerizing loveliness, a loveliness that heightens the effectiveness of those moments of seemingly intense spiritual ecstasy... one is astonished by the rightness of her phrasing throughout the disc, by the subtlety in how she swells her voice to fullness and softens it to delicate, velvety pianissimos, and, most importantly, by how she so consistently captures Hildegard's simple yet elusive and vocally challenging idiom.
"There are many
Hildegard discs on the market today, but this Lyrichord
offering surely ranks among the best. It features splendid
sound, excellent notes, beautiful singing, and the music of
the intriguing, the remarkable Hildegard of Bingen."
"... a genuinely
valuable contribution to the discography of Abbess Hildegard
(1098-1179)...She [Gentile] has a fine, rich-toned,
splendidly controlled voice; and she realizes the shape of
the melodies, in relation to the words, with great
sensitivity, capturing the uniquely hypnotic, rhapsodic
quality of Hildegard's mystical outpourings."
"The melodies are
executed in a lyrically florid manner in a reverberant
chapel, suggesting the ecstasy of a mystic...a superior
recording...the Lyrichord disc is worth hearing."
Gentile's dark, rich
voice -- augmented occasionally by a drone choir -- is a
wonderful vehicle for these pieces, and she sings with a
commitment that reveals musical depths often hidden in some
of the more academic recordings available on the market...