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Chant / The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos

Album Summary

>Chant, Gregorian : Puer natus est nobis, introit in mode 7
>Chant, Gregorian : Os iusti, gradual in mode 1
>Chant, Gregorian : Christus factus est, gradual in mode 5 (Liber Usualis, No 655)
>Chant, Gregorian : Mandatum novum do vobis, antiphon & Psalm 132 in Mode 3
>Chant, Gregorian : Media vita in morte sumus, responsory in mode 4
>Chant, Gregorian : Alleluia, beatus vir qui suffert, in mode 1
>Chant, Gregorian : Spiritus Domini, introit in mode 8 (Liber Usualis, No 878b)
>Chant, Gregorian : Improperium exspectavit cor meum, offertory in mode 8 for Palm Sunday
>Chant, Gregorian : Laetatus sum, gradual in mode 7 (Liber Usualis 560, GR 139)
>Chant, Gregorian : Kyrie XI, in mode 1
>Chant, Gregorian : Puer natus in Bethlehem, in mode 1
>Chant, Gregorian : Jacta cogitatum tuum, gradual in mode 7
>Chant, Gregorian : Verbum caro factum est, responsory in mode 8 (Liber Usualis 390)
>Chant, Gregorian : Genuit puerpera regen, antiphon & Psalm 99 (Mode II)
>Chant, Gregorian : Occuli omnium, gradual in mode 7
>Chant, Gregorian : Ave mundi spes Maria, sequence in modes 7 & 8
>Chant, Gregorian : Kyrie fons bonitatis, trope in mode 3
>Chant, Gregorian : Veni sancte Spiritus, sequence in mode 1
>Chant, Gregorian : Hosanna filio David, antiphon in mode 7 (GR 137)
Performer Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Notes & Reviews:

Selections recorded in 1973, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Selections recorded in 1973, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Recording information: Benedictine Monastary, Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain; The Benedictine Monastary Of Santo Domingo De Silos.

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

>Chant, Gregorian : Puer natus est nobis, introit in mode 7
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Os iusti, gradual in mode 1
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Christus factus est, gradual in mode 5 (Liber Usualis, No 655)
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Mandatum novum do vobis, antiphon & Psalm 132 in Mode 3
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Media vita in morte sumus, responsory in mode 4
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 6 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Alleluia, beatus vir qui suffert, in mode 1
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Spiritus Domini, introit in mode 8 (Liber Usualis, No 878b)
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Improperium exspectavit cor meum, offertory in mode 8 for Palm Sunday
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 2 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Laetatus sum, gradual in mode 7 (Liber Usualis 560, GR 139)
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 2 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Kyrie XI, in mode 1
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 1 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Puer natus in Bethlehem, in mode 1
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 1 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Jacta cogitatum tuum, gradual in mode 7
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Verbum caro factum est, responsory in mode 8 (Liber Usualis 390)
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Genuit puerpera regen, antiphon & Psalm 99 (Mode II)
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Occuli omnium, gradual in mode 7
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 3 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Ave mundi spes Maria, sequence in modes 7 & 8
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 4 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Kyrie fons bonitatis, trope in mode 3
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Veni sancte Spiritus, sequence in mode 1
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Notes: Composition written: Vatican City.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio

>Chant, Gregorian : Hosanna filio David, antiphon in mode 7 (GR 137)
  • Performer: Santo Domingo De Silos Benedictine Choir (Chant)
  • Conductor: Ismael Cu
  • Ensemble: Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Language: Latin
  • Studio/Live: Studio