Author Topic: Chant  (Read 22169 times)

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Online Mandryka

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Chant
« on: October 11, 2013, 07:14:51 AM »
I know practically nothing about chant, but I know I'm very curious about it. That's  because I really like the Byzentine chant that I hear from Ensemble Organum, on their records called Le Chant des Templiers, and also on the CD called Chant de L'église de Rome.

So if you know any good things to read about the different styles, or some major landmark chant recordings, I'd be very interested to hear.
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Marc

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Re: Chant
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 10:29:58 AM »
My dad knows a lot of Gregorian melodies, but during my personal ecclesiastical youth I was mostly raised with the Dutch language, due to the Second Vatican Council.
My own knowledge is therefore close to zero, even though I do enjoy some fine discs by the same Ensemble Organum.

Anyway, here are some (more or less) obvious suggestions to read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_chant

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Gregorian-Professor-Richard-Crocker/dp/0300083106/

http://www.amazon.com/Gregorian-Chant-Cambridge-Introductions-Music/dp/0521690358/

Parsifal

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Re: Chant
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 10:55:22 AM »
You can try this:



For real.  As I heard it, EMI was doing a typical re-release of a recording by some monks in Spain and they had the inspiration to put that cover on it, probably inspired by:



It sold zillions!

There is another story I heard, of the head of EMI classics visiting the same monestary trying to convince the monks to do another recording for Chant II, a followup to the record breaking Chant.  The conversation:

"We'll give you a million bucks to do another recording."

"You don't understand, the purpose of our music is spiritual communion with god."

"Ok, if that's the way you want it, two million bucks!"
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 10:56:58 AM by Scarpia »

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Chant
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 11:00:06 AM »
You can try this:





My sister gave me this CD to me years ago!!  :D
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Offline HIPster

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Re: Chant
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 11:16:58 AM »
I know practically nothing about chant, but I know I'm very curious about it. That's  because I really like the Byzentine chant that I hear from Ensemble Organum, on their records called Le Chant des Templiers, and also on the CD called Chant de L'église de Rome.

So if you know any good things to read about the different styles, or some major landmark chant recordings, I'd be very interested to hear.

As you are already familiar with Ensemble Organum, this is an outstanding release:



I rate this disc as my favorite of all of the Ensemble Organum releases I have; a must-own imo.

The group Capella Romana is also outstanding and they have many releases of Byzantine chant.  A good place to start is this sampler:

Wise words from Que:

Never waste a good reason for a purchase....  ;)

Drasko

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Re: Chant
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 11:55:33 AM »
So if you know any good things to read about the different styles, or some major landmark chant recordings, I'd be very interested to hear.

I'd like to read something accessible as well, I hope Tassos will chime in with some recommendations.

From little that I know musical theory behind chant and its different versions is actually quite complex. All chant is based on modes, but Byzantine modes are different than Gregorian. Byzantine chant is based on Octoechos, which is system of eight modes. There are some very detailed articles on octoechos on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papadic_Octoechos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagiopolitan_Octoechos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neobyzantine_Octoechos
http://www.newbyz.org/byzantine_octoechos_chart.pdf

As to the recordings. For 'standard' Byzantine chant best secular group is Greek Byzantine Choir under Lycourgos Angelopoulos, also there are monastic choirs best of which are of Vatopedi and Simonopetra Monasteries, the latter is I believe most often and best recorded.

Ensemble Organum under Marcel Peres is mostly concentrated on pre-Gregorian western chants, like Old Roman, Milanese, Mozarabic ... for which Peres's theories that they should sound much closer to Byzantine (sung in Latin of course) than to Gregorian created quite a stir back in its days.

Then you have Middle Eastern chants which are more or less basically Byzantine but sung in Arabic, like Melkite and Maronite. You can find them on Sister Marie Keyrouz recordings.

Then all Slavic chant styles that developed from Byzantine but are sung in Church Slavonic - Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian... 

« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 11:57:46 AM by Drasko »

Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 12:16:49 AM »
I'd like to read something accessible as well, I hope Tassos will chime in with some recommendations.

From little that I know musical theory behind chant and its different versions is actually quite complex. All chant is based on modes, but Byzantine modes are different than Gregorian. Byzantine chant is based on Octoechos, which is system of eight modes. There are some very detailed articles on octoechos on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papadic_Octoechos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagiopolitan_Octoechos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neobyzantine_Octoechos
http://www.newbyz.org/byzantine_octoechos_chart.pdf

As to the recordings. For 'standard' Byzantine chant best secular group is Greek Byzantine Choir under Lycourgos Angelopoulos, also there are monastic choirs best of which are of Vatopedi and Simonopetra Monasteries, the latter is I believe most often and best recorded.

Ensemble Organum under Marcel Peres is mostly concentrated on pre-Gregorian western chants, like Old Roman, Milanese, Mozarabic ... for which Peres's theories that they should sound much closer to Byzantine (sung in Latin of course) than to Gregorian created quite a stir back in its days.

Then you have Middle Eastern chants which are more or less basically Byzantine but sung in Arabic, like Melkite and Maronite. You can find them on Sister Marie Keyrouz recordings.

Then all Slavic chant styles that developed from Byzantine but are sung in Church Slavonic - Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian...

Can you recommend a Marie Keyrouz CD? Same for Lycourgos Angelopoulos, who's on spotify in some quantity?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 12:23:59 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 12:19:39 AM »
As you are already familiar with Ensemble Organum, this is an outstanding release:



I rate this disc as my favorite of all of the Ensemble Organum releases I have; a must-own imo.

The group Capella Romana is also outstanding and they have many releases of Byzantine chant.  A good place to start is this sampler:



Thanks for these ideas. I've just started listening to the Cistercian CD, very noble and strong, and there's loads of Cappella Romana on spotify so that's going to be easy to get.
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2013, 12:24:50 AM »
One key thing in the world of chant seems to be Solesmes Abbey. What are the key Solesmes recordings? What are their ideas?
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Marc

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Re: Chant
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 01:35:42 AM »
One key thing in the world of chant seems to be Solesmes Abbey. What are the key Solesmes recordings? What are their ideas?

Maybe you'd like to check these out:

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-About-Gregorian-Monastic-Solesmes/dp/1557252920/

http://www.amazon.com/Gregorian-Chants-lAbbaye-Pierre-Solesmes/dp/B008B08L1G/

I listened to some examples .... and went back to childhood years. (My dad had some Gregorian chant LP's.)

Drasko

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Re: Chant
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2013, 04:16:27 AM »
Can you recommend a Marie Keyrouz CD? Same for Lycourgos Angelopoulos, who's on spotify in some quantity?



http://www.amazon.com/Koukouzelis-Mathimata-Psalms-Sticheron-Kratima/dp/B0000015NC



One key thing in the world of chant seems to be Solesmes Abbey. What are the key Solesmes recordings? What are their ideas?

Solesmes is I believe considered as some of the finest Gregorian chant. There was a member who was very knowledgeable about Solesmes, Il Furioso/canninator, but unfortunately he's no longer around. I can only pass what CDs he recommended to me Mass of the Dead and Office of the Dead (Solesmes reference SN09) and 3 CD Tenebrae (SN03), both should be available through Abbey's own site.
The beginner CD Marc recommended also looks great.   

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Chant
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 02:46:36 AM »
You can try this:



For real.  As I heard it, EMI was doing a typical re-release of a recording by some monks in Spain and they had the inspiration to put that cover on it, probably inspired by:



It sold zillions!

There is another story I heard, of the head of EMI classics visiting the same monestary trying to convince the monks to do another recording for Chant II, a followup to the record breaking Chant.  The conversation:

"We'll give you a million bucks to do another recording."

"You don't understand, the purpose of our music is spiritual communion with god."

"Ok, if that's the way you want it, two million bucks!"

The Magritte painting was also used as the cover for an LP by a little known American jazz-rock group called 'Dreams' c 1970, which I really liked as a teenager. I doubt whether it sold zillions though.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline KeithW

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Re: Chant
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 08:56:13 PM »
Over the years I have built up a large-ish collection of chant.  I found the following resource a great discography (it's not up-to-date but lists many key recordings):
www.beaufort.demon.co.uk/disco.htm

And I recall once picking up a few good recommendations from a discussion at forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/82/x&page=1

Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 05:06:09 AM »
Over the years I have built up a large-ish collection of chant.  I found the following resource a great discography (it's not up-to-date but lists many key recordings):
www.beaufort.demon.co.uk/disco.htm

And I recall once picking up a few good recommendations from a discussion at forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/82/x&page=1

The link here to the Musica Sacra site has proved to be really valuable becauause it lead me to Einsieden, and, as the guy in that forum says, my jaw has hit the floor. Thanks.

I should also thank Karl, for prompting me to not give up on Gregorian chant.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 05:08:19 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chant
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 05:18:14 AM »
Cheers!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 01:58:02 AM »


When I was about 10 years old, I found myself in Jerusalem one dusk, walking from the new city to Jaffa Gate. As the light declined, a muezzin started to sing through a PA system. It was a formative waking dream experience for me. Anyway, that memory came back in an involuntary way through listening to this extraordinary recording  of Armenian chant by Esther Lamandier, whose voice seems to be full of purity and intensity, oneiric  like that Palestinian muezzin.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 03:46:27 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 03:30:21 AM »


Chants de L'Eglise Milanaise, Ensemble Organum. I'm not sure what the music in this CD is, I don't know very much about Catholicism. It is not a mass as far as I can see. I believe it is inspired by a church tradition according to which Christians in Milan sang in an eastern way.

It is beautiful and complicated music. An old review in gramophone talks of "calm", but in fact the music is dramatic, strong, "soulful",  full of harmonic twists and turns which are, for me, surprising. I don't have the concepts to say more.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 03:56:54 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Chant
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 09:17:56 PM »




You can hear the influence of this style of singing on Ensemble Organum's Eglise Milanaise CD. The drones are very effective I think. Another one which seems to be close in style to the EO CD is Lycourgos  Angelopoulos, on this CD



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Spineur

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Re: Chant
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 01:56:41 PM »
I am listening to this new release right now in streaming.  The chants from the adriatic are performed by the Kandaros (monks) and the Dialogos ensemble (4 women).  They use latin, slavonic and glacolictic liturgy.  Quite interesting.  I am probably going to buy this release.
I have also added a previous release by the Dialogos ensemble which received glowing reviews
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 02:19:51 PM by Spineur »

Spineur

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Re: Chant
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 02:59:35 PM »
Other traditional chants coming from the byzantine 10th century liturgies can be found in Albenia and Corsica.  There were a number of greek communities that settled there at the fall of Constantinople.  They developped their own variants of polyphonic chant mixed with popular traditions.  I am quite familiar with what you find today in Corsica.  Perhaps the most genuine ensemble if Barbara Furtuna.  This ensemble os anyway a favorite of mine.  You can find them on soundclound and Youtube.