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Gregorian Chant / Hollaardt, Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus

Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus / Hollaardt
Release Date: 03/23/2010 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 93957  
Composer:  Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An unpretentious, well sung and recorded selection of early chant conveying nicely the essence, as well as illustrating the provenance, of music at the very start of the Western tradition.

This simple and well-sung collection of Gregorian chant from the first to the sixth centuries CE recorded in 2005 in The Netherlands by the dozen-strong Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus has the merit of simplicity and directness.
 
The music is divided into two unequal parts … five short chants (only Verbum Caro Factum Est is longer than five minutes) from the early centuries after Christ's death, when his status amongst believers changed from that of a historical figure resurrected at Easter to one of being
Read more accepted as the universal living embodiment of the Jewish God even in a Graeco-Roman world.
 
By the later period (3rd to 6th centuries CE) theologians, coenobites and worshippers felt confident enough of the divinity of Christ to examine once again his historical origins. Nine chants from this period are presented on this disc. Again, only a couple last more than five minutes. Indeed, the whole CD offers barely 50 minutes of music.
 
Yet, it's music with great impact, with a plainness and immediate appeal, both because of its beauty and its unadorned lines of unharmonised melody. Not that it's simplistic. Listen to the architecture, the turns, the withheld anticipation and then the gratifying but unhistrionic conclusion of Tecum Principium [tr.13], for example.
 
Several of the items here will already be well known: the Te Deum [tr.12], for example, is sung as it must have been composed or first 'recorded', in the 4th or 5th centuries. It's good to have these early basic models (on which so much later music has been based) presented in their (presumably) original forms.
 
Yet this CD is not a series of historical snippets. Thanks to the conviction and experience of the members of the Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus and their director Stan Hollaardt (there are no details of either on this Brilliant CD), our experience is more that of being present during a routine act of devotion, than a perhaps overworked 'performance' to which spurious attempts have been made to add 'atmosphere' and the trappings of what, in the popular mind, plainchant entailed.
 
The qualities of the male voices are clear and penetrating. The articulation clean and purposive. The pronunciation of some of the vowels is distinctly north European; and the delivery styles of one or two individuals can be discerned. But that is surely how worshippers and anyone listening to such glorious chant fifteen hundred years ago would have heard it. There is enough warmth and individuality to make these recordings memorable, rather than perfunctory.
 
The acoustic is good, though not overwhelming: utterly appropriate, in fact. The CD's booklet contains very useful background and all the texts - in Latin and an at times rather gauche English. Advantages far outweigh drawbacks: this is certainly a CD to investigate.
 
-- Mark Sealey, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Video Caelos Apertos by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
2.
Verbum caro factum est by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; Italy 
3.
Kyrie eleison by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
4.
Nonne Sic Oportuit...Christus Jesus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
5.
Mysterium Fidei by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
6.
Lumen Hilare by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
7.
Mirabile mysterium declaratur hodie by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
8.
Veni redemptor gencium by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century 
9.
A solis ortus cardine by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
10.
Gloria "More Ambrosiano" by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
11.
O admirabile commercium by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
12.
Te Deum laudamus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
13.
Tecum principium by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 
14.
Te laudamus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Stan Hollaardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Period: Medieval 

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