Friday, April 10, 2020

Gregorian Chant repertoire recorded at monstery; chants to be posted online

From The Guardian, April 9, 2020:
Benedictine nuns release Gregorian chants to help ease coronavirus isolation

A monastery of Benedictine nuns living in seclusion in southern France has opened its doors to allow recordings of its Gregorian chants to be made available to the outside world.

In what is believed to be the largest recording project ever conducted, the US musician John Anderson followed the 45-strong order for three years. He installed microphones in the abbey church of Notre-Dame de Fidélité de Jouques near Aix-en-Provence in southern France and captured the nuns singing their eight daily “offices”. The result is thousands of chants, the entire Gregorian repertoire, about 7,000 hours long.

The Gregorian chant originated in the 8th century and spread throughout Europe. It accords to St Benedict’s “rule”, in which the day is divided into balanced divisions of manual and intellectual work, prayer and rest, starting at 5am with the chanting of matins, and concluding with compline at 8pm, followed by the “great silence” of night.

You can access the Holy Week chants at the link in this paragraph: 
They have ... allowed the release of a week’s worth of their chants for the six days Christians refer to as holy week, preceding Easter Sunday, the highlight of the religious calendar, when the chants have a particular importance. The rest is to go live next month.

Quite a great thing.  More at the link above.

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