Netherlands / Poland, 2022, modern classical
Holland Baroque Bastarda Trio – Minne: The first four tracks ease you in, the modern classical equivalent of easy-listening, but “Spiritus sanctus” raises pulses. As it should. I first became familiar with Hildegard von Bingen’s work on Monk and the Abbess, and her inspiration does not fail to disappoint here, either, even if it is only a thread in the tapestry. Judith Steenbrink’s arrangements of mystical, Medieval poetry (from Hadewijch of Brabant) sets a slow-burning flame at the heart of the music, inviting you closer. You can enjoy the glow from a distance, or you can venture in a little closer and feel its warmth. Holland Baroque’s strings dominate but graciously give way enough to allow Bastarda’s clarinets room to express sinuous and sonorous phrases that enchant the ear.