Notes and Editorial Reviews
The monks of the Cistercian order were much concerned about the abuses and lax behavior that were appearing in many monastic orders. The Cistercians were dedicated to restoring piety and dignity to monastic life and one area that attracted their attention was liturgical chant. The 12th-century Cistercians were determined to recover the purity of Roman chant and initiated reforms that would leave an indelible impression on the face of liturgical music.
This recording features the men's vocal group, Ensemble Organum under the direction of renowned chant scholar Marcel Pérès. Ensemble Organum are superb in this solemn yet wonderfully accessible music. They sing with remarkable tonal beauty and great emotion. Pérès is an excellent leader and his ensemble responds to his direction brilliantly, maintaining a mood of spiritual and musical ecstasy. This is particularly evident in a set of haunting responsaries for Matins service at the Feast of St. Bernard