Christ in Gethsemane: Gregorian Chant (CD-Audio)

Christ in Gethsemane: Gregorian Chant By The Monastic Choir of St. Peter's Abbey of Solesmes (By (artist)) Cover Image

Christ in Gethsemane: Gregorian Chant (CD-Audio)


Special Order—Subject to Availability
Two offices of Maundy Thursday--the Office of Tenebrae; and the Ceremony of Foot-washing, chanted in the dramatic style appropriate to the night before the Savior's Passion.

Tenebrae: First Nocturne
     Track 1-Zelus and Psalm 68
     Track 2-Avertantur and Psalm 69
     Track 3-Deus meus and Psalm 70
     Track 4-In monte
     Track 5-Tristis est
     Track 6-Ecce vidimus

Tenebrae: Second Nocturne
     Track 7-Liberavit and Psalm 71
     Track 8-Cogitaverunt and Psalm 72
     Track 9-Exsurge and Psalm 73
     Track 10-Amicus
     Track 11-Judas
     Track 12-Unus
Tenebrae: Third Nocturne
     Track 13-Dixi and Psalm 74
     Track 14-Terra and Psalm 75
     Track 15-In die and Psalm 76
     Track 16-Eram
     Track 17-Una hora
     Track 18-Seniores

     Track 19-Justificeris and Psalm 50
     Track 20-Dominus and Psalm 89
     Track 21-Contritum est and Psalm 35
     Track 22-Exhortatus es and canticle
     Track 23-Oblatus est and Psalm 146
     Track 24-Traditor and Benedictus
     Track 25-Christus factus est
Ceremony of Foot Washing
     Track 26-Mandatum novum
     Track 27-Postquam surrexit
     Track 28-Domine tu mihi
     Track 29-Dominus Jesus
     Track 30-Vos vocatis me
     Track 31-Manete autem
     Track 32-Caritas patiens
     Track 33-Diligamus nos
     Track 34-Deus caritas
     Track 35-Ubi est caritas
     Track 36-Caritas est
     Track 37-Maneant in vobis
Since the re-founding of the Abbey of St. Peter of Solesmes in 1833 under Dom Prosper Gueranger, this Benedictine monastery on the River Sarthe in western France has set the world standard both for the performance of Gregorian chant and the authenticity of the music itself. Commissioned by Pope Pius X to research the role of chant in liturgy and to edit books on chant that reflect this research, Solesmes enjoys an enviable reputation. Its work in liturgical reform and in the current revival of Gregorian chant has been likened to that of the great abbey of Cluny in the Middle Ages. These recordings incorporate new understandings of ancient manuscripts and represent a distillation of nearly 200 years of scholarship in the chant: musical paleography, semiology, and modality. The groundbreaking work by the monks of Solesmes has contributed to today’s resurgence of interest in Gregorian chant as the foundation of Western music.
Product Details ISBN: 9781557251244
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: November 1st, 1989
Language: English

This disc is a marvelous evocation of Holy Thursday's Tenebrae and foot-washing ceremonies, important for understanding the evolution of chant interpretation at the home base of chant restoration. Some of the antiphons have never been recorded before. 

It is always a pleasure to review the outstanding new recordings from Solesmes. This recent release issued by the abbey's American distributor, Paraclete Press, continues the consistently high quality of its predecessors.

The recording begins with Tenebrae of Holy Thursday sung in Gregorian chant. Many would recognize it as the old Tenebrae: the unrevised, preconciliar version. All of the antiphons and responsories are included, sung with the dynamic and rhythmic subtleties so characteristic of Dom Jean Claire's skillful direction. Moreover, a number of the melodies have been restored insofar as the antiphons are concerned.

Each antiphon of matins and lauds is followed by the first two verses of its psalm or canticle, rather than the entire psalm or canticle, after which the antiphon is repeated. The lessons are all omitted, as are the versicles and concluding oration, and the first part of the third responsory of each nocturne is not repeated in full after the responsory has been sung in the usual way. The Benedictus with its antiphon, Traditor autem, is sung in its entirety, however, as is the Christus factus est.

The recording concludes with the Gregorian settings of the texts associated with the mandatum or foot-washing ceremony of Holy Thursday's Mass, sung according to the restored or monastic version. Besides the traditional antiphons are several welcome additions that testify to the depth and freshness of the Gregorian repertory. As the compact disc's notes explain: once the 'historical' antiphons have been completed, we are invited to glean their doctrinal content as expressed through more general texts about the new commandment texts borrowed from Saint John or Saint Paul, or even from anonymous ecclesiastical traditions.

The artistic mastery exhibited in this recording, together with the translations and commentary that accompany it, can provide valuable insights even to those who have sung these pieces for many years.