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The Requiem Mass is one of the most frequently performed Masses of the Medieval period. It is this mass that forms the centerpiece of Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola's acclaimed recording Gregorian Requiem. Not only are two traditional masses included, but there are antiphons for the vigil prior to the funeral, antiphons changed in the church beforehand, as well as chants sung as the casket leaves the church. Included also is the sequence Dies irae, dies illa, best known for its inclusion in more modern Requiems such as those by Mozart, Verdi and Durufle. Thus, this recording presents a medieval funeral mass, as it would have been chanted in the fourteenth century.
Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola brings a wealth of experience to the chants, as they have chanted the offices for thirty years. They are particularly known for their sensitivity to text and phrasing, and have spent many years studying the rhythmic aspects of the chants as reflected in the Laon manuscript, among others. This re-release follows their tradition of subtle, elegant interpretations of Gregorian chant that are most moving and worshipful.
How to tell one chant from another? Not easy for a non-specialist like myself. This is an unusually rich sampling from several requiem masses.Michael Barnes, Austin360.com
The Gloriae Dei Cantores Schola has made several chant programs notable for the choice of chants. This disc gives an unusually full account of the funeral service. The order follows the current Graduale Romanum of 1974 (familiar to scholars as the Graduale Triplex with medieval neumes added above and below the staff). Included are two of three antiphons assigned to the vigil service on the preceding night: all six responsories (called antiphons here) for the procession to the church (two of these have never been recorded): the familiar Ordinary and Proper that we know as the Requiem Mass, including the Dies irae: an alternate selection of Mass Propers assigned in the new Gradual: and finally the antiphons and canticle formerly sung at the grave but now sung after the Mass.
The schola is made up of men and women singing alternately, only rarely in octaves. Since the director has sung with Mary Berry's schola in Cambridge, England, and she has come to Orleans to each chant, the style of the singing reflects Dom Cardine's semiological theories with a smoothness of phrasing lacking in several of the most scholarly directors of chant. The singing is characteristic of a group that sings chant for worship rather than in concert, best described as a lack of striving for effect.
The sound is excellent, and the notes, texts, and translation are informative. The Gloriae Dei Cantores Schola is a finely honed choral group specializing in Gregorian chant. They are more than that, though, they are a mixed group of sixteen Benedictine religious whose daily lives incorporate chant and have since the mid-seventies. This is singing polished to the point of reflex with the added element of absolute conviction which turns finesse into inspiration. The subtleties of rhythm, nuance, movement are complex but as natural as breathing. Most amazingly, all is sung in absolute unison with not so much as a hint of an errant inflection. I don't imagine chant gets much better than this. The male and female vo
Recordings of the Gregorian Requiem have never been easy to find, but here you are. And not only that, besides the full Mass, the Glori╛ Dei Cantores provide all the attendant and optional chants╔.Music of extreme dignity as well as melodic beauty dominate these chants, some of the supreme examples in the entire liturgy. Performances are expert by the mixed choir mixed both as to women and men, and clergy plus laity. The 44-voice Gloriae Dei Cantores, elegant of timber, specialize in Gregorian music, and indeed, perform it almost daily. Outstanding!In Tune Magazine
The phrasing is carefully shaped, the articulation and intonation are precise, and the diction is crystal clear. In sum, this is a fine recording by a fine group: certainly a standout among the relatively large number of chant recordings abroad these days.John Ogasapian, The American Organist
A rich, wonderful presentation of Requiem chants. Many listen to chants for the meditative, relaxing atmosphere they set. Some enjoy this music in its classical sense. Still others use recorded chants as part of their personal worship. This album will satisfy all who enjoy chants. Gregorian Requiem was recorded at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass., one of the world╒s greatest music halls. The quality of recording is superior audiophiles will want this album for its nearly perfect sound. An album of Gregorian chant for those who want to experience authentic medieval worship or a deeply spiritual musical experience. Gregorian Requiem is an excellent recording in its own rite and a must for classical music fans.Jeff Dunn, Christian Retailing
Gloriae Dei Cantores Schola is dedicated to the singing and study of Gregorian chant. Its expertise and experience come from daily chanting of the Liturgy of the Hours as well as the Ordinary and Proper of the Mass at the Church of the Transfiguration. The Schola also conducts chant workshops and performs in concert with Gloriae Dei Cantores. Years of study with the late Dr Mary Berry, CBE, founder of the Schola Gregoriana in Cambridge, England, and the monks of St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmes, France, also contributes to the Schola's passion for Gregorian chant as a vibrant and living form of sung prayer.