Author Topic: Chant  (Read 14213 times)

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Offline San Antone

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Re: Chant
« Reply #160 on: June 09, 2019, 02:15:43 AM »
Cross post from the Listening Thread....


Gregorian Chant:





Recorded in a warm and slightly reverberant acoustic which greatly enhances the rich tones of the singers. The performance sounds devotional without being academic.


I cannot add anything to the debate but the above old offering was always very pleasing to my ears. There may or may not be a modern digital iteration. It is worth hearing.

I was able to find it on Spotify.  Very nice.  Hebert Dopf appears to be Jesuit priest, and it is nice to hear a German group.  Thanks for posting.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Chant
« Reply #161 on: June 09, 2019, 02:22:25 AM »
I was able to find it on Spotify.  Very nice.  Hebert Dopf appears to be Jesuit priest, and it is nice to hear a German group.  Thanks for posting.

It is only a modest contribution to this interesting thread but you are most welcome. That album got very good press back in the day. I am pleased that you enjoyed it.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #162 on: June 10, 2019, 06:24:05 AM »


I believe that one of the areas that Poisblaud has researched is intonation, and that here they sing in just intonation. The music is astonishing, and anyone who thinks that Gregorian chant is boring will be confounded if they listen to this. It is amazing music making. Poisblaud is clearly resting on the shoulders of  the pioneering work of Peres and Deschamps, but it’s hard to say who’s the giant - him or them. Let’s say, they’re all major.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #163 on: June 10, 2019, 08:45:55 AM »
Alleluia has traditionally been a word which has been subjected to vocalise by chanters. Here are some examples I like

Tremendous powerful singing here, by Luc Terrieux

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/NgIa0BZmxSo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/NgIa0BZmxSo</a>

Very touching vocalise here by the Chanterelle Lanza del Vasto, a community in Arche which took its inspiration from Gandhi -- a simple life, natural life.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/kG1y5sffjRo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/kG1y5sffjRo</a>

And a polyphonic improvised chant here, by a group of students

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/4UhFA86vShA&amp;list=PLEGoRwL9yA_NC7M1xOAdtHVDQWGCWVhlQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/4UhFA86vShA&amp;list=PLEGoRwL9yA_NC7M1xOAdtHVDQWGCWVhlQ</a>
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 08:49:15 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Chant
« Reply #164 on: June 10, 2019, 10:41:11 AM »
Alleluia has traditionally been a word which has been subjected to vocalise by chanters.

I am not sure what you mean, but Alleluia chants are typically melismatic - but this music is notated and not improvised.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #165 on: June 10, 2019, 10:57:00 PM »
I'm impressed by the simplicity and austerity of the music in this declaimed Sanctus here.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/0K3M7XcMc8c" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/0K3M7XcMc8c</a>


Contrast with the virtuoso singing of the Absolve here -- what a dramatic interlude in the ceremony, just listening to it made me think how theatrical a mass could be, with readings and dramatic music.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Wd1qaaQ5Hnw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Wd1qaaQ5Hnw</a>

or the bel canto Gregorian Viderunt Omnes -- this sounds fabulous to me when it's sung by a woman singing solo, but I couldn't find anything on youtube, this is a bloke singing solo. Starts after about 1 and a half minutes.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ODh7FEjPS8g&amp;t=1m33s" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ODh7FEjPS8g&amp;t=1m33s</a>
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 12:27:13 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #166 on: June 11, 2019, 02:59:26 AM »
I just want to put here some preliminary reactions to interpretations 9th century music which I've started to explore a bit more, manuscripts in Switzerland, St Gallen, some of which is attributable to a named poet, Notker (the stammerer -- Balbulus.) I can find three recordings with substantial amounts of the music viz: Joppich, Morent and Vellard

        

The thing I want to point out is that prima facie both Morent and Vellard are fast and inexpressive, while Joppich takes his time to let the musical gestures be felt. It sometimes feels to me as though Morent's and Vellard's singers are going on about a shopping list while Joppich’s are declaiming poetry.

I'm a bit cautious here, I don't think I am but I could be doing Morent and Vellard an injustice. And maybe, just maybe, Joppich is gilding an already beautiful lily and hence spoiling it. I'd be surprised to find either of these things were true, but I'm certainly open to the possibility.

So this makes me wonder how their tempos were determined. And how the details of their expression, of note formation etc -- the vocality and sonority of their singing--  were determined. The booklets to Morent and Vellard are full of paleographic stuff, but they are disappointingly silent about their performance decisions, I don't have the booklet to Joppich (can someone upload it for me?)

« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 07:45:26 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #167 on: June 12, 2019, 08:56:02 AM »
Anyone read this?



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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #168 on: June 13, 2019, 04:42:15 AM »
I was pleased to find this review of Joppich’s St Gallen recordings on Amazon because I know that reviews like this are the sign of interesting music making


 
Quote
Chant lovers, including me, who enjoy listening to the monastic choirs of St. Peter's of Solesmes and Santo Domingo de Silos will hate this CD set. I bought it because it had chants that are not in my collection. I do not much like my other chant CD in which Godehard Joppich directs the choir. Therefore, I did not expect this to be my favorite chant CD set. Nevertheless, that CD was at least listenable. This one sounds like a bull in a china shop.

In chant one syllable will often be sung to two pitches which call for a slight diminuendo. In this set the two-pitch diminuendo disappears to almost a whisper. Getting so soft in just two pitches results in what sounds more like gasping than singing. Sometimes the group delivers such a diminuendo on a one-pitch syllable. This jerkiness does not express the meaning of the text, either. On the contrary, it only detracts and distracts from it. It clutters the line. Other words in a phrase are frequently detached to no purpose. Such devices might be effective if used judiciously and strategically. Unfortunately, they occur so often in this that one seldom hears a long, legato, graceful phrase. Such overuse is affectation, not expression


For my part, discovering Joppich has been a bit of revelation of how interesting Roman Catholic chant can sound, in addition the the St Gallen I’ve been enjoying this



This may just end up being my favourite setting of the requiem mass.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 04:45:51 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Chant
« Reply #169 on: June 13, 2019, 04:58:02 AM »
I too appreciate that Amazon review, its first sentence lets me know the recording is not for me.  But I will have to check out recordings by choir of Santo Domingo de Silos.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #170 on: June 13, 2019, 05:50:15 AM »
I too appreciate that Amazon review, its first sentence lets me know the recording is not for me.  But I will have to check out recordings by choir of Santo Domingo de Silos.

Yes well they’re much more forceful, alpha male chanting.

 I wonder if Rebecca Stewart was influenced by Joppich in the chant she recorded for the Machaut mass.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 05:52:13 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Chant
« Reply #171 on: June 13, 2019, 11:24:25 AM »
Yes well they’re much more forceful, alpha male chanting.

Sounds like a completely inappropriate way to sing Gregorian chant, IMO, of course.   8)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #172 on: June 13, 2019, 12:24:07 PM »
Sounds like a completely inappropriate way to sing Gregorian chant, IMO, of course.   8)

Yes I agree, but the loud and proud singing style seems quite common in this type of music,  one of the reasons I appreciate Joppich so much is that he is very intimate and quiet and peaceful, as that Amazon review which tickled me so much makes clear.

The big bold male singing style came up for me again recently listening to this recording



In quasi-declaimed music like this, I just don’t like their assertive and explosive way of making sounds with their voices. But there’s no other way of experiencing the music, as far as I can see the mass hasn’t been recorded by anyone else.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 12:27:35 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #173 on: June 14, 2019, 08:59:02 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BgLZrFHUHLY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BgLZrFHUHLY</a>


This is a bit of music for Palm Sunday called Ingrediente Domino, I don't know if the edition comes out of Solesmes,  what I've been most impressed by is how well made it is tonally -- the way tensions are built up and resolved -- Schubert couldn't have done better than this! I think it's very good.

Was this music written like a song is written for lyrics? The phrases of the words and the phrases of the music seem to fit like hand and glove.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 09:09:53 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #174 on: June 14, 2019, 09:00:10 AM »
Yes I agree, but the loud and proud singing style seems quite common in this type of music,  one of the reasons I appreciate Joppich so much is that he is very intimate and quiet and peaceful, as that Amazon review which tickled me so much makes clear.

The big bold male singing style came up for me again recently listening to this recording



In quasi-declaimed music like this, I just don’t like their assertive and explosive way of making sounds with their voices. But there’s no other way of experiencing the music, as far as I can see the mass hasn’t been recorded by anyone else.

And yet in her Abelard, in Planctus David, which I listened to just now, she gets them to sing less spiritedly. But it would be misleading, I think, to say that she gets them to sing the song expressively. If I'm right about that, the interesting question is,  why not?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 09:12:18 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #175 on: June 14, 2019, 12:05:54 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BgLZrFHUHLY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BgLZrFHUHLY</a>




Was this music written like a song is written for lyrics?

Answer: Not exactly. The tune is standard adapted to different words, here's Judas Mercator Pessimus,

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/YO6BTRV0XOM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/YO6BTRV0XOM</a>

The two chants mean different things -- so whatever the relation is between words and music in chant, it's not an expressive one. The role of the music is not to express the ideas in the words.

(I wonder if there examples like this in later music, where (eg) Bach uses the same music in different contexts to set words with totally different emotional content.)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 12:08:44 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Chant
« Reply #176 on: June 14, 2019, 01:06:26 PM »
The role of the music is not to express the ideas in the words.

My understanding is that chant melodies were designed to elucidate the text, i.e., not utilizing word painting but being especially concerned with making the text understood, getting the accents of the words correctly and phrasing for understanding.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #177 on: June 14, 2019, 08:05:28 PM »
My understanding is that chant melodies were designed to elucidate the text, i.e., not utilizing word painting but being especially concerned with making the text understood, getting the accents of the words correctly and phrasing for understanding.

I’d be interested in where you got this idea from - I mean I can imagine it’s a common thing that people say, but I wonder if you’ve looked into it more critically.

Of course the one does not exclude the other - that’s to say the musical content may fit the phrase structure of the words well and the music may contain expressive effects which evoke appropriate sentiments.

Furthermore even if the music isn’t designed in a evocative way, the most effective role of the chanter may still be to sing it in an expressively, so as to let the listener grasp the sense of the words and to move the listener in a way which supports the sense of the words.

A very interesting piece to think about in this respect is the (fabulous) piece Collegerunt Pontifices. Also Jubilato Deo Universa Terra (the chant, not the renaissance motet! ) I’ll try to post something about them later, at least if I can find decent performances of them on YouTube.

Another thing to think about is the evangelist in Bach’s Matthew Passion - there the words matter very much, but chant doesn’t seem to be acting like Bach’s music there. Chant seems more expressive.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 01:03:33 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #178 on: June 15, 2019, 03:17:00 AM »
Here's a magnificent thing from the point of view of expressiveness, Collegerunt pontifices

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/mfs5WmYl694" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/mfs5WmYl694</a>

I just think it would be perverse to say that in this performance the sonority of the chant does not reflect the horrific seriousness (I can think of a better phrase) of the meaning second verse

Quote
But one of them, called Caiaphas, since he was high priest that year, prophesied, saying:
"It is best for you that one man shall die for the sake of the people, lest the whole nation perish."
So from that day they plotted to kill him, saying:
"Lest perhaps the Romans come and take away our home
and our nation."

What I can't say is whether that's due to performance decisions made by these singers, or whether it's due to some intrinsic property of the melody.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 08:44:53 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #179 on: June 15, 2019, 03:33:59 AM »
And here's another expressive thing, Jubilate Deo

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/nugzozGEmiQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/nugzozGEmiQ</a>

Quote
O be joyful in God, all ye lands:
 sing praises unto the honour of his Name:
O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear God: and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul.
Alleluia.

So the striking thing is this leaping melisma on the second occurrence of "jubilate", the repetition at the start. Why is there this unusual musical gesture at that point? I think that's a valid question.

Is it soppy to see this as an image in music of the prayer leaping up to heaven. Something needs to be said to account for it.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 03:35:57 AM by Mandryka »
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