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.
SublimeJune 5, 2013By M. Dimling (Irvington, NY)See All My Reviews"I had heard excerpts of this CD on WQXR-FM in New York, and I agree that there is something special, truly holy about this compilation. Genuine, real human voices singing in a heavenly way. The sound of this selection of songs is truly moving and meaningful. I bought several copies to share with friends and family members. Everyone who received it was astonished and grateful to the Benedictines of Mary for sharing their gifts with us."Report Abuse
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