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Musica Sacra: Buddhist Shomyo & Gregorian Chants

Gregorian Chant / Schola Gregoriana Pragensis
Release Date: 01/29/2013 
Label:  K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog #: 48   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  AnonymousTraditional
Conductor:  David EbenSaikawa Buntai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gregoriana PragensisGjosan-rjú Tendai Sómjó Buddhist Monks
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSICA SACRA: BUDDHIST SHÕMYÕ AND GREGORIAN CHANTS Saikawa Buntai, cond; David Eben, cond; Schola Gregoriana Pragensis; Gjosan-rjú Tendai Sómjó Buddhist Monks from Japan K&K VERLAGSANSTALT 48 (73:22) Live: Maulbronn, Germany 6/20/2008


Since chanting-monk CDs are all the rage nowadays, K&K Verlagsanstalt decided to issue this disc of a special concert given at the Maulbronn Monastery in 2008. This concert, sponsored by UNESCO, combined the music of Tendai Buddhist monks from Japan with the Schola Read more Gregoriana Pragensis choir, founded in 1987 in what is now the Czech Republic. The aim was to have the religious chants and hymns of both religions complement each other and create a multi-religious ambience redoubled in effect by the atmosphere of the surroundings.


The experiment works very well indeed. Initially, the two choirs alternate their chants, the Westerners more formal in structure, the Easterners more fluid in theirs. It was interesting for me to hear Japanese monks as compared to Tibetans who are much more familiar here in the U.S. The Japanese monks all chant in a higher pitch, more in the tenor range, although some of their members are capable, as are Tibetans, of “chording” with the voice from time to time. As for Schola Gregoriana Pragensis, they are quite simply a beautiful-sounding group with great feeling in their singing.


As the concert progresses, both choirs begin combining their religious chants to fascinating effect. Despite the musical and cultural differences, everything blends surprisingly well. After the final gong is struck, there is a moment of silence and then there is applause. One almost feels a bit embarrassed about this…how, or why, do you applaud religious singing? Even more surprisingly, after the applause there is an encore. Perhaps the audience in attendance was more secular and less religious, there for the experience rather than for religious enlightenment.


Nevertheless, this is an excellent recording in every respect and in its own way more universal than many such “chant” CDs out there. In the spirit of the music presented, I feel a little odd recommending the disc, but as you can probably tell I was very moved by these performances.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Litanie by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Eben
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Gregoriana Pragensis,  Gjosan-rjú Tendai Sómjó Buddhist Monks
Period: Medieval 
Written: Europe 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
2.
Goshin-bo, Tendai chant by Traditional
Conductor:  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 0 Minutes 50 Secs. 
3.
Oi sange, Tendai chant by Traditional
Conductor:  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 6 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4.
Veni sancte spiritus by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Eben
Period: Medieval 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
5.
Shoten Kango no san, Tendai chant by Traditional
Conductor:  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 7 Minutes 29 Secs. 
6.
Alleluia. Magnus Dominus by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Eben
Period: Medieval 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
7.
Work(s): Sorai kada, Tendai chant (followed by the Gregorian chant Miserere mei Deus (Psalm 51) by Traditional
Conductor:  David Eben,  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 10 Minutes 2 Secs. 
8.
Oratio Ieremiae by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Eben
Period: Medieval 
Written: Europe 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
9.
Work(s): Shoten Kango no san, Tendai chant (preceded by the Gregorian antiphon "Alieni insurrexerunt by Traditional
Conductor:  David Eben
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
10.
O virgo splendens by Anonymous
Conductor:  David Eben
Period: Medieval 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
11.
Kudshó Shakudshó, Tendai chant by Traditional
Conductor:  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 
12.
Iustus ut palma, alleluia for the Feast of St. Benedict by Anonymous
Period: Medieval 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
13.
Work(s): Amida-kyo (Amida-Sutra), Tendai chant (followed by the Gregorian chant "Kyrie IV") by Traditional
Conductor:  David Eben,  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 9 Minutes 15 Secs. 
14.
Work(s): Jinriki-hon, Tendai chant (followed by the Gregorian chant "Cantio Ave virgo gloriosa") by Traditional
Conductor:  David Eben,  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
15.
Kikyo bongo no san, Tendai chant by Traditional
Conductor:  Saikawa Buntai
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
16.
Choral by Traditional
Conductor:  David Eben
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 

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