Mirabilis

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Although on paper the Mediaeval Baebes may look like a novelty act -- eight young women who sing ancient Latin and Middle English texts to music that falls somewhere between classical and pop, new age and folk -- they're still going strong after nearly a decade together, and they've grown artistically, too, as shown on their hauntingly beautiful fifth album, Mirabilis. The program takes the listener on an enchanting journey that leads to both innocent delight and to a darker, more perilous place, and while there's little pretense of medieval authenticity aside from occasionally using the hurdy-gurdy, psaltery, cittern, and other colorful instruments, there's an ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Although on paper the Mediaeval Baebes may look like a novelty act -- eight young women who sing ancient Latin and Middle English texts to music that falls somewhere between classical and pop, new age and folk -- they're still going strong after nearly a decade together, and they've grown artistically, too, as shown on their hauntingly beautiful fifth album, Mirabilis. The program takes the listener on an enchanting journey that leads to both innocent delight and to a darker, more perilous place, and while there's little pretense of medieval authenticity aside from occasionally using the hurdy-gurdy, psaltery, cittern, and other colorful instruments, there's an endlessly refreshing variety within the Baebes' distinctive sound. "Musa Venit Carmine" conjures up a pagan-sounding dance if a gentle one; the Gaelic "Lhiannan Shee" takes us to an aquatic world of tempting sirens; "Return of the Birds" rediscovers a pristine, pastoral world; and each of the 15 other tracks undertakes its own magical travels in time. The Baebes also offer a taste of the familiar -- the traditional "Scarborough Fayre" -- and expand their own horizons by singing in Swedish for the first time on "Märk Hur Var Skugga." But whatever they sing, it's always striking how they manage to penetrate to the essence of the mystical lyrics they choose.
All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
The Mediaeval Baebes combine elements of Western European myth and folkloric tradition with linguistic fancy and overdone sensualism. An example of the latter: in photos the octet will stand at the threshold of a leafy green forest, like an artisan's glistening porcelain figurines fashioned to please the provincial lord. On the other hand they'll perform in haunting a cappella, singing in Middle English, archaic Latin and Italian, Cornish, or even Manx, a unique Gaelic dialect originally spoken on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. So the Baebes are a study in contrasts, their work running fluidly between past and present. Mirabilis continues that conversation, collecting folk ballads, pagan dance music, ancient love songs, and parcels of pure mystery. Where some earlier albums emphasized synths and worldbeat textures too much -- whether as a crossover tactic or at the whim of a producer -- Mirabilis is happy with its zithers and recorders, finger cymbals and glockenspiels, and above all features voice. When a keyboard does surface "Kilmeny", it's as a mood accompanist. Opener "Star of the Sea" feels too much like a single, its Medieval English lilt too "period film" obvious. But the Baebes are better with something like "San'c Fuy Bellha Ni Prezada," with its unadorned vocal and twining autoharp, or "Musa Venit Carmine," sung in Latin, in the round, and stippled with dynamic percussion. These selections are exuberant, even catchy, but the mystery that lies in the heart of the Mediaeval Baebes' sound is never sacrificed. "Märk Hur Vår Skugga" is even better. A vocal trio harmonizes in an ancient Swedish tongue over the pluck of a zither and a violin's mournful sway; it's weird, cool, and beautiful. The ethereal "Lhiannan Shee" is another highlight -- its layers of beckoning voices are like lures to a spirit world -- and "Cittern Segue" is a gentle interlude played on the titular instrument, a Renaissance relic which sort of sounds like a mandolin crossed with a harpsichord.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/19/2005
  • Label: Nettwerk Records
  • UPC: 067003041522
  • Catalog Number: 30415
  • Sales rank: 12,302

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Star of the Sea (3:32)
  2. 2 Trovommi Amor (4:38)
  3. 3 Temptasyon (3:19)
  4. 4 San'c Fuy Belha Ni Prezada (1:35)
  5. 5 All for Love of One (3:38)
  6. 6 The Lament (3:27)
  7. 7 Musa Venit Carmine (3:26)
  8. 8 Kilmeny (3:59)
  9. 9 Lhiannan Shee (2:56)
  10. 10 Umlahi (2:14)
  11. 11 Cittern Segue (0:52)
  12. 12 Return of the Birds (3:45)
  13. 13 Tam Lin (4:24)
  14. 14 Scarborough Fayre (3:23)
  15. 15 Come My Sweet (3:20)
  16. 16 Märk Hur Vår Skugga (3:42)
  17. 17 The World Fareth as a Fantasye (4:07)
  18. 18 Away (2:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mediæval Bæbes Primary Artist
Graham Henderson Dulcimer
Sally Herbert Violin
David Levine Bowed Cymbals
Nick Marsh Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Double Bass, Slide Guitar
Steve Yates Acoustic Guitar, Saz, Sitar, Oud, Hurdy-Gurdy, Cittern
Calina de la Mare Violin
Katharine Blake Violin, Keyboards, Recorder, Tambourine, Vocals, Zither, Bells, Descant, Soprano Recorder, Shaker, Bowed Psaltery, Musical Direction, Group Member
Andrew Blick Trumpet
Andy Nice Cello
Teresa Casella Vocals, Group Member
Rachel Van Asch Vocals, Group Member
Sally Ward Viola
Ruth Galloway Acoustic Guitar, Autoharp, Recorder, Chant, Bass Recorder
Vince Johnson Percussion, Drums, Tabla, Tambourine, finger cymbals
Audrey Evans Harmonium, Vocals, Group Member
Marie Findley Vocals, Background Vocals, Group Member
Cylindra Sapphire Mellotron, Group Member
Emily Ovenden Concertina, Vocals, Bass Recorder, Group Member
Maple Bee Recorder, Vocals, Soprano Recorder, Bass Recorder, Tenor Recorder, Group Member
Pike Galloway Zither, E-bow
Carl J. Magnusson Percussion, Vocals
Mike Servant Keyboards
Marie Findley Vocals
Dru Masters Trumpet, Electric Guitar, Zither
Stephen Yates Sitar, Cittern
Pike Galloway Zither, E-bow
Rachel Van Asch Vocals
Cylindra Sapphire Mellotron
Vince Johnson Drums
Technical Credits
Carl Michael Bellman Composer
David Levine Cover Photo
Nick Marsh Composer
Gareth Williams translation
Steve Yates Arranger
Katharine Blake Arranger, Composer, Music Direction
Kevin Metcalfe Mastering
Toby Wood Engineer
Teresa Casella Composer
Rachel Van Asch Arranger
Ruth Galloway Arranger, Composer, Contributor
Traditional Composer
Audrey Evans Arranger, Composer, Contributor
Cylindra Sapphire Composer
James Myer Hogg Composer
Emily Ovenden Arranger, Composer
Maple Bee Arranger, Composer
Robert M. Durling translation
Carl J. Magnusson Arranger, translation
Dru Masters Audio Production
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You have to get this CD!

    I first heard trhis in a book store and it blew me away. I am not a classical music fan, but this is just great music no matter what your interest is. Star of the Sea and Tam Lin will take you on a fantastic voyage. Looks like I will have to clean some of the Rock CD's out of my carrying case, I know I'll be getting more of the Mediaeval Babes CD's.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I admit that I spotted this music collection when I was browsing

    I admit that I spotted this music collection when I was browsing one of the new age music sections in downtown D.C. “Mirabilis” by Mediaeval Babes is a collection of tranquil songs from the new age music genre. “Star Of The Sea”, “Temptasyon”, “All For Love Of One”, “All For Love Of One”, “Return Of The Birds”, and “Scarborough Fayre” are some of multiple soothing musical tracks on this cd. The other positive feature is that all of the voices within the group are utilized in harmony with each other. “Mirabilis” by Mediaeval Babes is a strong musical set of songs for those who like relaxing new age music.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews