Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ferko: The Hildegard Organ Cycle
An ambitious, rewarding work
DJ Rix | NJ USA | 01/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although all ten sections use Hildegard chants as source material, the cycle is inspired by the visions of Hildegard, an important distinction. This is not an album of arrangements, or liturgical music. The visions account for the more cinematic organ expressions, the "wow" factor, as Virgil Thomson used to say - not always approvingly - of Messiaen's music. There are some floor-shaking passages showing off the organ & organist. But the most effective sections are those most evocative of Hildegard's chants & time. The opening section, "The Origin of Life," is a chant broken up into quietly sustained tone clusters, absolutely lovely, gave me goosebumps. This reverently meditative tone in found throughout the work, most subtly in the long "Preparation for Christ" section that captures the ambience of a peaceful, prayerful monastery. The composer provides the source chants in the liner notes, so it is easy to follow his adaptations & uses. The music manages to sound both very old & contemporary.
I'm tempted to give the CD five stars for the concept. But Ferko's best music here suggests that he could have reached higher by resisting the Organ Power concertizing a little more. Nonetheless, The Hildegard Organ Cycle is an ambitious & rewarding work, & I'm glad to have found it a decade after it was released."