Magazine article Gramophone

Hildegard of Bingen

Magazine article Gramophone

Hildegard of Bingen

Article excerpt

Hildegard of Bingen

Ego sum homo

Tiburtina Ensemble / Barbora Kabatkova

Ricercar (F) RIC383 (64' * DDD * T/t)

One of the special pleasures at this year's Antwerp Early Music Festival was hearing what may have been the Western European debut of the Tiburtina Ensemble from Prague. Founded 10 years ago by Barbora Kabatkova, the group is entirely of women with a particular interest in monophonie music, particularly from Bohemia (though they also perform new music). As is quickly clear from the present CD, they are all trained singers, and most of them also have a substantial career as oratorio soloists. So their ensemble sound is rich, with the occasional touch of vibrato.

Their Hildegard collection, mostly of lesser-known pieces of Hildegard (but with three anonymous polyphonic conductus and ending with a psalm), puts the focus on two aspects of the ensemble: the marvellously controlled unison of the 10 singers, flexible and at the same time energetic; and the nicely differentiated vocal colours of the individual soloists. In addition they have two medieval harps (played by Kabatkova and the other leading figure in the group, Hana Blazikova) as well as a dulce melos played by the Austrian virtuoso Margit Ubellacker. …

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