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Chant

Album Summary

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Chamber Concerto for Lute and 2 Violins in D major, RV 93
>Warlock, Peter [Composer] : Capriol Suite for piano, 4 hands or string orchestra
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Mandolin in C major, RV 425
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Trio Sonata for Violin, Lute and Basso Continuo in C major, RV 82
>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore
Performers Composers
Notes & Reviews:

Selections recorded in 1973, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Selections recorded in 1973, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Floating enigmatically above the rarified pastures of the Billboard Top 10 (only recently visited by the THREE TENORS), CHANT is unquestionably the most remarkable chart success of 1994--selling in unparalleled numbers for a medieval recording. Perhaps the key difference is that where many previous releases of Gregorian chants were recorded in the studio by professional singers who specialize in early music, CHANT documents the work of actual monks in a medieval abbey--bathing their voices in the vast, reverberant soundstage of a church. And yet, given the musical and commercial triumphs of this obscure order of Benedictine monks from Spain, can an army of monk-habit brown-hooded copycats--chanting in divine unison--be far behind?

The serene modal melodies which comprise CHANT are part of the surviving Latin liturgical tradition of the medieval Western church. Owing to the purported influence of Pope Gregory The Great, these melodies are commonly referred to as Gregorian chants, although many historians and musicologists dispute his firsthand involvement (and point to an older tradition of Roman and Judaic source materials). As a result, this early style of Western music is also referred to as "plainchant" or "plainsong." These plainchants were originally passed along to the next generation as part of Christian oral traditions, seeing as how there was no form of musical notation before the 9th century, and no precise pitch representation for another century or so beyond that.

One can best convey how this hypnotic music sounds by drawing parallels with contemporary forms. Unlike modern masses and choral works, the music on CHANT never resolves into a cathartic climax, nor are different notes sounded together to create harmony. Fans of new age music will no doubt be captivated by the mystical aura of unadorned human voices in a huge reverberant space, while the vaulting melodic repetition of CHANT might suggest the work of 20th century minimalists to others. But for those who lack these reference points, the simple devotional quietude of these plainchants--arching ever-upwards like hands extended in prayer--will touch the listener in a private part of their being that is even older than these ancient melodies, and fill one with a sense of peace and solitude.

REVIEWS:

Rolling Stone (6/16/94, p.106) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...some of the most purely entrancing sounds ever composed. The no-frills recording of Spanish monks captures with perfect clarity the intensity and intimacy of this form of prayer. Modest, unison singing--no tricks, no virtuosity--the chanting comes from the heart, unself-conscious and nakedly direct...."

Rolling Stone (6/16/94, p.106) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...some of the most purely entrancing sounds ever composed. The no-frills recording of Spanish monks captures with perfect clarity the intensity and intimacy of this form of prayer. Modest, unison singing--no tricks, no virtuosity--the chanting comes from the heart, unself-conscious and nakedly direct...."

Spin (12/94, p.80) - Listed as one of Spin's 'Best Albums Of '94' - "...stunningly beautiful and, literally, soulful. It elevates you viscerally. It's passionate and there's nothing contrived about it. And it's timeless..."

Spin (12/94, p.80) - Listed as one of Spin's 'Best Albums Of '94' - "...stunningly beautiful and, literally, soulful. It elevates you viscerally. It's passionate and there's nothing contrived about it. And it's timeless..."



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Works Details

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Chamber Concerto for Lute and 2 Violins in D major, RV 93
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1716

>Warlock, Peter [Composer] : Capriol Suite for piano, 4 hands or string orchestra
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1926

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Mandolin in C major, RV 425
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: by 1742

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Trio Sonata for Violin, Lute and Basso Continuo in C major, RV 82
  • Performers: Lionel Handy (Cello); Iona Brown (Violin); John Constable (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1742

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612

>Praetorious, Michael : Terpsichore :: Suite in D
  • Performer: Christopher Parkening (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1612