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For enthusiasts of Gregorian Chant Solesmes remains the centre and the model. Crowds flock to hear this authentic sound of the Church on ordinary weekdays as well as at high festivals. This souvenir record presents many of the most famous chants of the liturgical year, starting with Christmas and moving through Holy Week to Easter, ending with a section of Marian pieces and the ancient hymn Te Deum, which used to be sung on every solemn occasion for rejoicing. The very sound of each of these pieces recalls the feast and all that it represents.
The sound is also the unmistakable sound of Solesmes, with its strong arching phrases gently caressed at their highest peak. The choice of repertoire includes two of the finest great Holy Week responsories: Tenebrae factae sunt and Christus resurgens. We also hear the monastic version of Ubi Caritas, uncharacteristically, maybe, for the ordinary church-goer, who is likely to be more familiar with the Vatican melody ╨ that is, of course, if he or she is still able to find a church that sings and values our great western liturgical tradition!
Dom Jean Claire adopts a good steady tempo and gives very few nods in the direction of semiology, through there is some attempt at repercussion, something which can really only be achieved by solo cantors. This disc is a must for any collector of chant recordings; many choirs have made their own contributions by way of chant anthologies: Solesmes above all deserves to be listened to with respect.Dr. Mary Berry, CBE, Musicologist, Founder of Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge
Singing beautifully arched musical lines, the monks' choir of the Abbey of Saint Peter of Solesmes presents a recording of chants with excellent intonation and splendid pacing. A sound that felicitously blends lightness and vigor makes this recording of chants the very best of all the ones I have heard. The performance of well sung familiar chants (such as Pange ligua and Victimae paschali) with very rarely heard ones (such as the trope Ecce nomen Domini and the sequence Salve dies) is an added bonus.Johannes Somary, Founder of Amor Artis
This anthology had gathered together some of the greatest gems of the Gregorian repertory and ordered them according to their liturgical order in the principle seasons and themes of the church year. They are sung with great vitality and a deep feeling for the religious meaning of the texts. Through their voices these chants become a truly inspired proclamation of Christian faith.Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB, St. Meinrad Archabbey
This album is an invaluable study aid, but some listeners may want it just for musical pleasure.Vernon Gotwals, The American Organist