Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Hildegard Portraits


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0652
Release Date: 2022-06-17
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871065222
Composers: , , , , , ,
Period: ,
Liner Notes

SOMM Recordings announces the exciting label debut of Voice with Hildegard Portraits, marking the tenth anniversary of the canonisation of the 12th-century spiritual leader, theologian, mystic, scientist and composer, St. Hildegard of Bingen.

Hailed by Gramophone as inheritors of “the slot left by the dissolution of Anonymous 4”, Voice – Emily Burn, Victoria Couper and Clemmie Franks – formed in 2006. Singing together since their early teens in the Oxford Girls’ Choir, and as members of Stevie Wishart’s Sinfonye, they have toured throughout the UK, USA and Europe.

Hildegard Portraits draws on close relationships between Voice and the featured composers. It takes its title from the first recording of Laura Moody’s seven-part setting of Hildegard’s letters forming a portrait, Moody says, of “not so much a saint, seer or symbol, but a woman who lived and loved”.

Their collaboration with “friend and mentor” Stevie Wishart continues with first recordings of Aseruz trium vocum and O choruscans lux (choir version), responses to what Voice describe as “the soaring, melismatic lines, the flourishes and ornamentation, and mesmerising unison sound” of St. Hildegard’s own music, heard to sublime effect in six pieces, including O clarissima mater, O virtus sapientie and Nunc gaudeant.

Other exclusive/first recordings include Marcus Davidson’s Musical Harmony and O Boundless Ecclesia, Emily Levy’s compelling blend of folk-inspired melody and Hildegardian ornamentation, How Sweetly You Burn, and Tim Lea Young’s Three Wings: pt.1 (all composed, like Moody’s title work, for Voice).

Ivan Moody’s O quam mirabilis exquisitely sets Hildegard’s own text “expressing to perfection awe at the mystery of the Creator God”.

Voice has self-released two albums – Musical Harmony (2013) and Patterns of Love (2015). Collaborative releases include I Have Set My Hert So Hy with Dufay Collective (2015), and Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared; Moravian Folksongs; Říkadla with Julius Drake and Nicky Spence (2019).

On This Recording

    St. Hildegard of Bingen arr. Wishart/Voice

  1. Responsorium: O clarissima mater
  2. Ivan Moody

  3. O quam mirabilis
  4. Laura Moody - Hildegard Portraits *

  5. Humility
  6. Universe as Body
  7. Tim Lea Young

  8. Three Wings: pt 1 **
  9. St. Hildegard of Bingen arr. Wishart/Voice

  10. Antiphona:O virtus sapientie
  11. Marcus Davidson

  12. Musical Harmony **
  13. Stevie Wishart arr. Voice

  14. Aseruz trium vocum *
  15. Laura Moody - Hildegard Portraits *

  16. Sermon
  17. Sing
  18. St. Hildegard of Bingen arr. Wishart/Voice

  19. Antiphona: O mirum admirandum
  20. Stevie Wishart

  21. O Choruscans lux (choir version)*
  22. St. Hildegard of Bingen arr. Wishart/Voice

  23. Antiphona: O orzchis ecclesia
  24. Marcus Davidson

  25. O Boundless Ecclesia *
  26. Laura Moody - Hildegard Portraits *

  27. O Woman
  28. Love
  29. Emily Levy

  30. How Sweetly You Burn **
  31. St Hildegard of Bingen arr. Stevie Wishart/Voice

  32. Antiphona: Unde quocumque venientes
  33. Laura Moody - Hildegard Portraits *

  34. The Living Light
  35. St. Hildegard of Bingen arr. Wishart/Voice

  36. Antiphona: Nunc gaudeant *

* First Recordings
** Exclusive versions for this recording


“Many will be drawn, as with Voice’s other albums, to the beauty and precision of the three-part female harmonies, but this album additionally represents a fresh way of presenting medieval chant, and it’s highly recommended, especially to those contemplating chant repertories other than the music of Hildegard.” —James Manheim, AllMusic

“This is a Hildegard recital with a twist, the life and work of the saint (canonised in 2012) interpreted not only through her own words and music but also through responses to it by several contemporary composers, written for this trio of women’s voices…

The centrepiece is a cycle of miniatures by Laura Moody, each of which explores a distinct facet of Hildegard’s persona. Several of these threads are picked up by the other new works, all of which audibly relate to her music, being neo-tonal in style, with a strong dash of modality. The result is a very coherent, engaging programme.” —Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone