|The Hilliard Ensemble : discography|
Riverrun Records 55
Andrew Keeling: Quickening the Dead
The Hilliard Ensemble (O Ignis Spiritus)
O Ignis Spiritus, for counter-tenor, two tenors and baritone, was written for The Hilliard Ensemble in 1993. The texts are by Hildegard of Bingen, William Blake, William Wordsworth and Andrew Keeling. The setting of William Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence' is written in memory of Molly and Nick Drake.
Tjarn itself slides into O Ignis Spiritus - a song cycle spectacularly realised by the Hilliard Ensemble. The sound perspective slips superbly from external to internal landscape. Keeling has set four texts - by Hildegaard von Bingen, William Blake, William Wordsworth and one of his own. My personal favourite is the setting of Blake's Auguries of Innocence written in memory of Rodney and Molly Drake, the parents of Nick Drake. The rising parallel harmonies reflect Keeling's deep study of Drake's compositional approach, while the lyric: to see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower: aptly condenses the best of Drake's mature work. The Hilliard's performance is taught, sensitive and utterly appropriate to the marvellous density of the material.