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Program: #94-13   Air Date: Mar 28, 1994

Preservation of this program is made possible by a generous grant in honor of Carol Susan Whitney.

I. Gregorian Chant (Niederaltaich Scholars/Konrad Ruhland). Sony CD 53899.

From Amazon: This excellent disc of plainchant was given top ratings by NPR's Ted Libby. The ensemble is composed of superb professionals selected for their fine voices and musicality and is conducted by an early music specialist known for his many notable recordings. Performances are all very warmly attractive with clear, bright intonation and exact enunciation. The meaning and mood of each selection seems to be perfectly balanced between the word and the sound, and the effect is not only a spiritual experience, but an aesthetic one, as well. Prospective listeners shouldn't hesitate here based on ideas of cold, "monkish" sounds which only a few initiates could appreciate. Konrad Ruhland and his singers reveal great treasures in this "plain," supposedly simple music which brings thoughts of later great musicians such as Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, and even Brahms and others whose musical influences can be traced back to this source, this heavenly and earthly origin. Sony provides excellent notes and translations as well as warm and clear recorded sound. A classic which should remain in the catalogue.

1 Repleatur os meum laude tua 5:00
2 Regem regum Dominum - Venite exsultemus 8:16
3 Ecce iam noctis 1:19 
4 Kyrie - Rex aeterno 3:45 
5 Aurora lucis rutilat 2:17 
6 Tua est potentia 2:42 
7 Salve festa dies 5:28 
8 Veni sancte Spritus 3:14 
9 Gloria in excelsis Deo 2:42 
10 Pacem relinquo vobis - Laudate Dominum omnes gentes        2:13 
11 Inviolata integra et casta es Maria 1:47 
12 Magnificat anima mea Dominum 4:27 
13 Salve regina misericordiae 6:44 
 14 Coelestis aulae nuntius 2:24
15 Ut queant laxis 2:15 
16 Laeta quies magni ducis 2:23 
17 Kyrie eleison 4:00 
18 Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris  

II. Chant Grégorien (Damien Poisblaud). Pavane CD ADW 7239. 

Chant Grégorien (CD, Album) album cover

From MusicWeb International: This reviewer would never have expected to find himself in a position of saying that one of the most remarkable recordings heard in years was a disc of one man singing unaccompanied chant for over an hour. But, so it is. This disc upset every preconception this writer has ever entertained about Gregorian chant. Many listeners may think that they know what Gregorian  chant sounds like. Fair enough, but - believe it - you don’t!

This recording is the sort of disc for which the ‘early music movement’ was invented. It is much more than just a recording of some music, however fine or historic. The preconceptions that we all entertain about Gregorian Chant (for anybody over 30, probably based on the chosen listening of the dreadfully dull husband played by Geoffrey Palmer in the 1970s BBCTV sitcom "Butterflies") do not necessarily allow us to consider this repertoire as virtuoso music of incredible breadth and power. The soloist on this disc, Abbé Damien Poisblaud, uses the booklet note to outline a convincing argument for the necessity to rethink the way we perceive chant and its performance. His well structured and lucid notes revolve around the principal concepts that chant is part of a continuous oral tradition and that the performance of such unaccompanied music would normally have been undertaken in ‘just intonation’ i.e. pure tuning of intervals such as the fourth and fifth, which can sound strange to modern ears used to ‘equal temperament’. He has also carried out much research into the nature of early vowel pronunciations. As it is vowels that give singing its distinctive colour, this also is something that modern ears are not used to hearing. His other main premise is that this music was not designed to be sung by a choir of monks, but by highly skilled solo singers, using embellishment and improvisation techniques to enliven and enlighten the performance. Much of this research was based on surviving oral traditions from the Mediterranean region and then applied to the early sources of chant.

The end result of all this is a recording that comes as a revelation. Certainly the sound is unfamiliar, in places it is even bordering on the unattractive, and yet all the time there is a hard-to-shake-off feeling that this is very probably ‘how it was’. It takes a little time to get used to the sound, the tuning and the acoustic - more time than the samples here allow - but after a few tracks it all seems to make perfect sense. It seems ‘natural’ and that is the hardest thing to achieve in the false atmosphere of a recording.

The performances could have fallen into the merely ‘interesting’ category if they were not so convincingly brought across by the recording itself. It is interesting to note that the CD cover mentions the name of the venue in larger letters than that of the performer. This is justified. The acoustic of the Abbey of Thoronet is the single aspect that convinces this writer most about the premise advanced. The sheer beauty of the sound that results from singing into such an astonishing acoustic seems so ‘right’ for the music. That the engineers should have been able to capture the clarity of the performance and the splendour of the acoustic without compromising either is a sure credit to them. This is a rarely exceptional recording, which is most highly recommended.

Peter Wells

Read more:

1 Graduel "Beata Gens" 3:02 
2 Introit "Loquebar" 2:30     
3 Graduel "Adjuvabit" 4:07 
4 Graduel "Dirigatur" 2:12 
5 Graduel "Laetatus Sum" 2:19
6 Introit "Puer Natus Est" 1:29
7 Graduel "Audi Filia" 3:20
8 Communion "Vox In Rama" 1:02    
9 Alleluia "De Profundis" 3:35
10 Introit "Circumdederunt"  1:26
11 Graduel "Christus Factus Est" 2:22
12 Trait "Cantemus Domino" 3:03
13 Alleluia "Dominus In Sina" 2:38
14 Alleluia "Candor Est Lucis" 3:08
15 Repons "Collegerunt" 5:59
16 Alleluia "Omnes Gentes" 3:27 
17 Trait "Confitemini" 4:41  
18 Communion "Videns Dominus" 1:15
19 Alleluia "Dies Sanctificatus"    2:39  
20 Offertoire "Afferentur" 4:12  
21 Introit "Exsurge" 1:35
22 Communion "Panis" 1:07  
23 Communion "Passer Inveit" 1:38

III & IV—Salve Festa Dies & Adorate Deum  (In Dulci Jubilo/Nova Schola Gregoriana/Alberto Turco). Naxos CDs 8.550712 & 711.

      ADORATE DEUM (Nova Schola Gregoriana, Turco)   Salve Festa Dies: Gregorian Chant for Seasons of the Year

From Fanfare Magazine:  

ADORATE DEUM • Alberto Turco, dir; Nova Schola Gregoriana • NAXOS 8.550711 (75: 25) 

After listening closely to more than 500 CDs of chant in less than a year, many of them very worthy, others burdened with a variety of faults, one of them might seem to be worthy of a special recommendation. This disc stood out for several reasons. The very full program offers 20 Mass Propers, four each of introits, graduals, alleluia verses, offertories, and communions. Mass Propers are generally regarded as the cream of the early crop of chants, brought Read more Inside the Offertory for Oxford University Press. 

The performances, too, are special, for Alberto Turco is one of the leading scholars among the pupils of Eugène Cardine, who defined the semiological interpretation of neumes. These scholars have been busy for more than 25 years editing the Mass Propers, and the result has just been published in Regensburg as Graduale Novum—Editio Magis Critica Iuxta SC 117. Tomus I: De Dominicis et Festis . That means a more critical edition of the Gradual according to the explicit directive of the Constitution on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, with the first volume including the Sundays and major feast days. The Graduale , of course, is the collection of Mass chants, currently known in the official 1974 edition annotated in 1979 as the Graduale Triplex . This new edition is not official in the same sense, just as the Nocturnale Romanum (Cologne, 2002) edited by the late Holger Peter Sandhofe was not, but these books both serve a purpose. On the Naxos disc, the soloist in the verses of all the chants is Alessio Randon, who has also directed his own schola (between them, Turco and Randon made a group of six discs for Naxos, of which this one was the first). Easily the best aspect of the program is Randon’s singing of two verses for each introit, the verse of each gradual (with the respond repeated), the verse of each alleluia, the verse of each offertory, and a verse for each communion. In the old days most church choirs sang chants straight through and no one got a solo turn, despite the formal requirements of the piece. 

In addition to these 20 chants, the 21st and last selection is another communion. In the one glitch on this package, the notes identify the piece as the Gregorian communion for the eighth Sunday after Pentecost, but in fact this is an entirely different chant, a communion chant (the term is ad accedentes ) from the Hispanic repertoire that is one of the most familiar of the small number of such chants on records. Hispanic chant is gaining new attention lately with a forthcoming study by Rebecca Maloy and Emma Hornby and the publication this spring of a lavish color facsimile of the oldest and most important Hispanic source, the 10th-century antiphonal, Leon MS 8, a complete neumed collection of chants for both Mass and Office. This disc is equally appropriate for the chant specialist and for someone who wants as little as a single disc to fill an empty space in his collection. 

FANFARE: J. F. Weber

Salve Festa Dies: Gregorian Chant for Seasons of the Year


Tempus Adventus


Ecce Dominus Veniet



Veni, Domine



Populus Sion



Dicite: Pusillanimes



Verbum Salutus



Tempus Nativitatis


Ecce Nomen Domini



Puer Natus Est



Alleluia: Dies Sanctificarus



Vidimus Stellam






Tempus Quadragesimae


Prosternimus Preces



Media Vita



Tempus Passionis


Christus Factus Est



Crux Fidelis



Vexilla Regis



In Die Resurrectionis


Quem Quaeritis - Resurrexi



Salve Festa Dies



Alleluia: Christus Resurgens



Victimae Paschali Laudes



In Festo Pentecostes


Factus Est Repente



In Honorem B. Mariae V.


Salve Sancta Parens



Ave, Maria



Gaude Maria - Inviolata


ADORATE DEUM (Nova Schola Gregoriana, Turco)




Adorate Deum



Da Pacem



Dominum Ulluminatio Mea



Laetetur Cor








Domine, Dominus Noster



Iacta Cogitatum Tuum



Laetetus Sum



Versus Alleluiatici





De Profundis



Deus, Iudex Iustus



Laudate Deum





De Profundis



Domine, Convertere



Iubilate Deo Universa Terra



Iustitiae Domini








Dicit Dominus: Implete Hydrias



Dominus Firmamentum Meum



Qui Manducat



Gustate Et Videte (Psalmus 33)



V.  Mass for St. Benedict (Monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of Ganagobie). Jade CD 1221.43. No longer available.

Hidden high in the Alpes de Haute Provence in the South of France, the Monastery of Ganagobie is home to 12 Benedictine monks. 

In 1992 the community came to this site, the remains of a monastery built in the 10th century. They have overseen its restoration and lead private lives of prayer and work.

VI. Music and Chant at the Abbey of Einsiedeln & at the Cathedral of St. Gall. Jade CD 12.18.80. No longer available.

1 Carillon 1:29
2 Alma Redemptoris Mater 2:21 
3 Kyrie 1:47 
4 Ego Sum Servus 2:20 
5 Basse Et Trompette    2:25  
6 Regina 2:07
7 Sanctus Et Benedictus 4:19
8 Grand Plein Jeu 2:25  
9 Salve Regina D'Einsiedeln 4:01
10 Dialogue Sur Grands Jeux 2:22 
11 Carillon  3:24 
12 Sancti Spiritus Assit Nobis  2:44 
13 Dies Est 2:32
14 Hodie Cantandus Est Nobis 2:30 
15 Toccata 4:18 
16 Iste Est  3:38  
17 Veni Sponsa  2:33
18 Gloria 4:48  
19 Recordare Virgo  4:26   
20 Agnus Dei  2:39
21 Cantate 3:51 
22 Improvisation Media 7:43


VII. Gregorian Chant for Good Friday/St. John Passion (Gregorian Choir of Paris/François Polgar). Erato CD 88102—no longer available.


1. Hosanna filio David
  2. Pueri Hebraeorum
  3. Gloria, Iaus
  4. Kyrie
  5. Deus, Deus meus
  6. Hoc enim sentite in vobis...
  7. Christus factus est
  8. Agnus Dei
  9. Pater
  10. Dominus dedit mihi...
  11. Cicumdederunt me
  12. Exsurge Domine
  13. Custodi me
  14. Potum meum
  15. Ecce vidimus eum
  16. Quomodo sedet sola...
  17. Amicus meus
  18. Nos autem
  19. Gloria ambrosien
  20. Ante diem festum Paschae...
  21. Dominus lesus
  22. Mandatum
  23. Et cum facta esset hora...
  24. Pange lingua
  25. Ubi caritas

VIII. The Chants of Easter (Gloria Dei Cantores). GDC CD 15015.

GLORIÆ DEI CANTORES, (Singers to the Glory of God) holds a passionate dedication to illuminate truth and beauty through choral artistry, celebrating a rich tradition of sacred choral music from Gregorian Chant through the twenty-first century. Founded in 1988, Gloriæ Dei Cantores has received extensive critical acclaim for its artistic elegance, performance authenticity, and compelling spirituality. Sharing its vision of inspiration and hope, Gloriæ Dei Cantores has touched the hearts of audiences in 24 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. They sing in eighteen languages and have a discography of more than fifty recordings.

The choir has appeared on the concert stage and in recordings with Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Samuel Adler, Mark O’Connor, Stephen Cleobury, Vladimir Minin, and the late George Guest, Mary Berry, and Margaret Hillis, among others. Highlights of the choir’s career include three invitational tours of Russia, the opening of the 900th anniversary of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, live broadcasts with the BBC, the soundtrack of Lorenzo’s Oil, featured on the soundtrack of the television series drama finale Detroit 1-8-7, and performances in some of the finest concert halls throughout Europe. Their discography is distributed in the United States through Harmonia Mundi USA and Paraclete Recordings.      

Ad Missam in Die: Introit, Resurrexi
Ad Missam in Die: Gradual, Haec Dies
Ad Missam in Die: Alleluia, Pascha Nostrum
Ad Missam in Die: Sequence, Victimae Paschali
Ad Missam in Die: Offertory,Terra Tremuit
Ad Missam in Die: Communion: Pascha Nostrum
Feria Secunda: Introit, Introduxit vos
Feria Secunda: Alleluia, Angelus Domini
Feria Secunda: Offertory, Angelus Domini
Feria Secunda: Communion, Surrexit Dominus
Feria Tertia: Introit, Aqua Sapientia
Feria Tertia: Alleluia, Surrexit Dominus
Feria Tertia: Offertory, Intonuit de caelo
Feria Tertia: Communion, Si Consurrexistis
Feria Quarta: Introit, Venite Benedicti
Feria Quarta: Alleluia, Surrexit Dominus
Feria Quarta: Offertory, Portas Caeli
Feria Quarta: Communion, Christus Resurgens
Feria Quinta: Introit, Victricem Manum Tuam
Feria Quinta: Alleluia, Surrexit Christus
Feria Quinta: Offertory, In die eos Domminus
Feria Quinta: Communion, Populus Acquistionis
Feria Sexta: Introit, Eduxit Eos Dominus
Feria Sexta: Alleluia, Dicite In Gentibus
Feria Sexta: Offertory, Erit Vobis Hic
Feria Sexta: Communion, Data Est Mihi
Sabbato: Introit, Eduxit Dominus
Sabbato: Alleluia, Haec Dies
Sabbato: Alleluia, Laudate Pueri Dominum
Sabbato: Offertory, Benedictus Qui Venit
Sabbato: Communion, Omnes Qui in Christo

IX. Canto Gregoriano (Monks of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos/Francisco Lara). Spanish EMI 7 62735 2.

Canto Gregoriano En El Monasterio de Silos (CD, Album, Reissue) album cover
1 Nos Auten - Introito (Modo IV) 2:55
2 Pange Lingua Gloriosi - Himno (Modo IV) 2:46
3 Jacta Cogitatum Tuum - Gradual (Modo VII) 3:36
4 Gloria XV (Modo IV) 2:14
5 Alleluia, Domine In Virtute Tua (Modo VI) 3:39
6 Veni Sancte Spiritus - Secuencia (Modo I) 2:44
7 De Profundis - Ofertorio (Modo II) 1:34
8 Salve Regina (Solemne) - Antífona (Modo I) 2:32
9 Rorate Caeli Desuper - Introito (modo I) 2:07
10 Kyrie XI, A - (Modo I) 1:08
11 Respice, Domine - Gradual (Modo V) 4:38
12 Jacundare - Antífonia Y Salmo (Modo VIII) 2:49
13 Alleluia, Oportebat - (Modo IV) 3:38
14 Super Flumina - Ofertorio (Modo I) 1:37
15 Qui Manducat - Comunion (Modo I) 2:04
15 Salve, festa Dies - Himno (modo IV) 2:55


X. Laudario di Cortona (Montpelier Vocal Ensemble/Jean Gouzes). Jade CD 092. No longer available.

Laudario Di Cortona


XI. Praise the Holy Virgin (Ensemble Dedalus/Roberto Festa) Accent CD 9289.

O Vergin Santa non m'abbandonare
This is an interesting and sometimes extraordinary collection of 16th century poetry set to music known as a "lauda". Vocally all the movements are strong and the performance is delivered in a sensitive and artistic manner. The second piece entitled "Salve, Regina De Misericordia" contains suspensions and quarter tone slides that are exquisitely executed and say much for the knowledge, understanding and skill of the performers. Unaccompanied sections, particularly the first one, are long and rather repetitive but the recording can be enjoyed for the moments where instruments and voices combine. Vocal parts are well focussed in the mix and this helps the balance between voice and instrument but has the unfortunate effect of making the listener feel that they are seated on the front row with the singers uncomfortably close (perhaps this is intended to add realism having experienced it in some churches!) A few reservations apart, this is a really interesting collection and needs acclimatisation and several careful listenings to gain maximum benefit from what is an excellent rendering of a musical clarity.

Giovanni Razzi: O Vergin Santa non m'abbandonare  5:16

anon.: Salve Regina  3:21

Angelo Gardano: Stava a pie de la croce  6:37

anon.: Piangi, dolente anima predata  7:26

anon.: Ave, preciosa gemma  2:46

Dammonis: Salve, regina di misericordia  4:50

anon.: Non tardati, peccatori  5:03

anon.: Ave fuit prima salus  4:12

Lasso: Poi che’l mio largo pianto  2:54

anon.: O Jesu dolce  4:27

anon.: Sancta Maria, regina celorum  3:29

Bedyngham: Gentil madonna, de non m'abbandonare  3:52

anon.: Cum desiderio vo cerchando  2:56

Hedus: O Vergene gentile  3:18

Lurano: Ne le tue brazie, O Virgine Maria  4:13


XII. Passio Iberica (La Colombina). Accent CD 9394.

Passio Iberica Product Image
The Portuguese Estêvão de Brito could at the end of his life look back on a splendid career. At the age of 22 he became director of music at the cathedral of Badajoz. About a decade later, in 1608, the archbishop of Évora ordained him, acting on a suggestion of the cathedral chapter. In 1613 de Brito relocated to the cathedral of Málaga, where he was chosen above five other candidates as music director. Later he was also offered a prestigious position at the royal court in Madrid, which he however declined. De Brito stayed in Málaga until his death, filling his days with conducting, composing and the teaching of the choir boys. La Colombina and Ensemble Daedalus offer you in this concert programme a Mass for the Dead. Through this marvellous music you can discover the amazing sound world of Portuguese mannerism.

Franciscus Vasquez: Deus meus, eripe me - In te, domine, speravi  5:46

Brito: Incipit lamentatio  7:55

Morales, C: In monte oliveti - Vigilate et orate  3:25

Victoria: Et egressus est  5:39

Victoria: Ecce vidimus eum - Vere languores nostros  5:33

Victoria: Exsurge Domine  0:46

Victoria: Amicus meus  2:47

Victoria: Unus ex discipulis meis  2:55

Victoria: Terra tremuit  0:59

Victoria: Eram quasi agnus  3:03

Victoria: Tenebrae Responsory for Maundy Thursday No. 6 'Seniores populi'   4:15

Victoria: Justificeris domine  0:40

Victoria: Traditor autem - Benedictus Deus Dominus Israel  7:41

Lienas: Coenantibus autem illis  3:20

Cardoso, M: Magnificat primi toni  7:49


XIII & XIV.  The Eton Choirbook—Volumes II & III (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers). Coro CDs 16012 & 16022.

The Crown of Thorns: Eton Choirbook Volume II. Album by The Sixteen
The Crown of Thorns embodies the sacrifice at the heart of the passion story. Reflections such as the stabat mater text, a moving portrayal of the anguish of Christ's mother, unaware of the resurrection to come, at the foot of the cross.Richard Davy (c.1465-1507)

1. Stabat Mater

John Browne (fl.c.1490)
2. Jesu, mercy, how may this be?

William Cornysh the elder (d.1502):
3. Stabat Mater

Sheryngham (fl.c.1500)
4. Ah, gentle Jesu

John Browne (fl.c.1490)
5. Stabat Mater

The Pillars of Eternity: Eton Choirbook Volume III. Album by The Sixteen
This is the third volume from the medieval Eton Choirbook collection which survived Henry VIII’s ransacking of the monasteries. Thanks to its survival, the sacred music of the English fifteenth-century is still with us, conjuring up the atmosphere and spirit of the glorious Cathedrals for which it was written. It also gives a tantalising glimpse of a wealth of choral music which was lost. 
Richard Davy (c.1465-c.1507) 
1. O Domine Caeli Terraeque Creator

William Cornysh (d.1523) 
2. Ave Maria, Mater Dei 

Richard Davy (c.1465-c.1507) 
3. Ah, Mine Heart, Remember Thee Well 

4. Walter Lambe (c.1450/51–d.After Michaelmas 1499) 
Stella Caeli 

Richard Davy (c.1465-c.1507) 
5. Ah, Blessed Jesu, How Fortuned This? 

Robert Wylkynson (c.1450-1515 or later) 
6. Jesus Autem Transiens/Credo In Deum 
7. Salve Regina




Composer Info

Giovanni Razzi, Angelo Gardano, Dammonis, Lasso, Bedyngham, Hedus, Lurano, Franciscus Vasquez, Estêvão de Brito, C. Morales, Victoria, Lienas, M. Cardoso, Richard Davy (c.1465-1507), John Browne (fl.c.1490), William Cornysh the elder (d.1502), Sheryngham (fl.c.1500), William Cornysh (d.1523), Walter Lambe (c.1450/51–d.After Michaelmas 1499), Robert Wylkynson (c.1450-1515 or later)

CD Info

Sony CD 53899, Pavane CD ADW 7239, Naxos CD 8.550712, Naxos CD 8.550711, Jade CD 1221.43, Jade CD 12.18.80, Erato CD 88102, GDC CD 15015, Spanish EMI 7 62735 2, Jade CD 092, Accent CD 9289, Accent CD 9394, Coro CD 16012, Coro CD16022

Note: The contact information in this episode may be out-of-date. You can contact us at this current link.

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