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This column hasn’t featured plainchant recently, so here’s a proper fix in the form of three outstanding examples of wonderfully well- sung, well-researched, unusual repertoire in recordings which should excite chant aficionados. St Hildegard of Bingen continues to delight and inspire, so let’s welcome Ad caelestem Jerusalem perducando from the aptly named, recently formed Polish group Flores Rosarum, directed by Susi Ferfoglia. In a thoughtful sequence of 14 chants and six ravishing instrumental improvisations, these female voices convince and compel with fine, flowing ensembles and solos. The occasional use of upper drones is particularly striking, casting a nimbus around the saint’s visionary texts. Imaginative, but never to excess, with engaging devotional intensity, they evoke Hildegard’s spirituality in this tender, knowledgeable, tasteful, loving tribute, aided by warmly resonant acoustics.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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