Hilliard heaven

June 26, 2007

The Hilliard Ensemble are, in my judgment, the world’s greatest vocal ensemble. I’ve been privileged to hear them in concert twice, and both occasions are among the most moving and memorable musical experiences of my life. Their repertoire ranges from avant-garde medieval and Renaissance polyphony to avant-garde modern music. They sing with an unmatched beauty of tone, flawless ensemble, and imperturbable tuning.

I bring them up because to my delight I’ve discovered a documentary about the group, titled Whenever Angels Sing, posted at YouTube. Evidently it was made for a German-speaking audience, for the interview segments are largely inaudible owing to voice-overs by the German translator, but the singing is spectacular. The program shows them in concert, but also in rehearsal, working with composers and with other singers at their summer school. It’s extremely well done, and I recommend watching it. If you’ve not heard them before, you’re in for a treat. (Duration about 40 minutes.)


One Response to “Hilliard heaven”

  1. A graphic novel which may interest visitors to your blog is available from:


    ‘The Least Among Us’ explores the response of the Church to suffering in itself and a preview is available at: http://www.all-creatures.org/fol/ann-theleast.html

    Whilst the book challenges certain attitudes and dogma it remains a Catholic (if underground) comic.

    All best wishes,


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