LENT AT EPHESUS • Benedictine nuns of Mary Queen of Apostles • DECCA 0019859-02 (78:43 Text and Translation)
ANGELS AND SAINTS AT EPHESUS • Benedictine nuns of Mary Queen of Apostles •
DECCA 0018437-02 (43:46 Text and Translation)
Two CDs made at Our Lady of Ephesus in Missouri by De Montfort Music were good enough to win a Decca release for the third one, Advent at Ephesus, which came to me as a sample disc but not a proper review copy, and now two more recent discs have arrived. Each disc has a collection of five to seven Gregorian chants, a couple of English hymns, and a variety of part-music in Latin and English. Two aspects of these discs make them outstanding. TheRead more selections are far from hackneyed and the performances are lovely, both in tonal quality and in interpretive style. While the nuns do not belong to the Benedictine order, they observe the Benedictine rule as a recently founded community that follows the traditional Latin liturgy rather than the post-Vatican II Offices.
The chants include such uncommon selections as the chant sequence Emicat meridies and such once-familiar hymns as O God of loveliness, which used to be heard a lot more often than it is now. The part-music does not include much classical polyphony, but the settings for equal voices are effective. “Adoramus te Christe,” the familiar conclusion of Dubois’s Les Sept Paroles du Christ, is particularly affecting. The chants for Lent include two of the sixth-century Venantius Fortunatus’s most masterly hymns, Vexilla Regis and Crux fidelis, sung in the smoothly flowing manner that would bring a Good Friday congregation to tears. It is rather remarkable that the nuns have such a broad repertoire and sing it so well, for it is hard to imagine that all this music is part of their liturgical prayer, which consists of Latin chant. The chants are effectively organized around the theme of each disc. Both discs are worth hearing, though one is less generous than the other.
Thank you, Sisters for your inspiration!March 21, 2014By Sister Monica S. (Atlantic Highlands, NJ)See All My Reviews"The Cloistered Benedictine Nuns in song are no secret to another Sister who is an Active Sister "outside the walls" so to speak! I am so proud of these cloistered women who through their gift of music bear witness to the beauty of the Art of Music. And in turn evoke attention to the Giver of all gifts, our Creator, who is Beauty, itself. The Chant is so peaceful and life-giving that I used this CD as an introduction to a day of prayer at my convent for a group of people in my parish here. Thank you, Nuns, for your inspiration!"Report Abuse
Angels siging?March 14, 2014By Richard K. (Goshen, IN)See All My Reviews"Don't make the mistake of confusing the singing of the Benedictines of Mary with the singing of angels. But you can be forgiven for confusing the two."Report Abuse
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