Film - Of Gods and Men - Gregorian chant galvanizes cast
Read the NPR review and watch clips of new, award-winning French film about Algerian monks facing a life and death dilemma.
An excerpt from the review:
"The other key to the film is music. Although the monks have divergent
opinions and biographies, their unity is palpable whenever they come
together in Gregorian chant. In one of the movie's most stirring
moments, the men sing in response to the armed helicopter circling above
"It was during their singing
lessons, Wilson [Lambert Wilson, who plays the abbot] recalls, that "the actors fused into a team and the
community spirit began." That may give the music too much credit, but
the ensemble cast's interplay does feel warm and unforced. Wilson
himself (who's best known in the U.S. for the two Matrix sequels) seems far more serene than his usual cinematic self."
Gregorian Chant (Cambridge Introductions to Music)
A chant book for everyone by one of the world's leading medieval chant scholars David Hiley's Gregorian Chant (Cambridge Introductions to Music) (2010, Cambridge University Press)
Concise (270 pages), economical (under $30), filled with illustrations, examples and crystal-clear explanations, this is an indispensible addition to any chant lover's library.
What is Gregorian chant, and where does it come from? What purpose does
it serve, and how did it take on the form and features which make it
instantly recognizable? Designed to guide students through this key
topic, this book answers these questions and many more. David Hiley
describes the church services in which chant is performed, takes the
reader through the church year, explains what Latin texts were used,
and, taking Worcester Cathedral as an example, describes the buildings
in which it was sung. The history of chant is traced from its beginnings
in the early centuries of Christianity, through the Middle Ages, the
revisions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the
restoration in the nineteenth and twentieth. Using numerous music
examples, the book shows how chants are made and how they were notated.
An indispensable guide for all those interested in the fascinating world
of Gregorian chant.
Designed to guide students through this key topic in music studies, this
book examines what Gregorian chant is, where it comes from, and how it
took on the form and features which make it instantly recognizable.
Containing examples from medieval manuscripts, the book shows how chants
are made and notated.
David Hiley is Professor in the Institute of Musicology at the University of Regensburg, Germany.
Susan Hellauer of ChantVillage.com and her illustrious Anonymous 4 colleagues led a Chant Camp at Memorial Church, Stanford University on Monday Oct. 19, 2009. They were joined by Prof. William Mahrt and Prof. Jesse Rodin of the Stanford Music Dept. who gave presentations on various aspects of medieval and Renaissance chant. The event was sponsored by Stanford Lively Arts, who also presented Anonymous 4 in concert on Wednesday October 21 with their newest program Secret Voices: Music of the Las Huelgas Codex, a collection of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-voice music from an early 14th-century manuscript from a royal Cistercian convent in north central Iberia.
In Chant, Listening and Singing Become One By CHLOE VELTMAN New York Times, November 21, 2009
Read the article by San Francisco singer & writer Chloe Veltman, who attended Chant Camp sponsored by San Francisco Renaissance Voices on Nov. 14. And join Anonymous 4 for their concert The Cherry Tree on Dec. 3 at the Herbst Theater.
Pope Calls for Return to Gregorian Chant
In an article for the Telegraph of London, Malcolm Moore reported on Pope Benedict's dissatisfaction with the state of modern Catholic worship music, as well as the Sistine Choir itself, along with the organ and organist.
This is seen as a call for a return to the purity of Gregorian plainchant, and other Baroque and earlier forms of sacred polyphony.
ACCLAIMED SACRED MUSIC SCHOLARS JOIN NOTRE DAME FACULTY
Acclaimed music scholars to join Notre Dame faculty
Michael O. Garvey
November 24, 2008
Jeffery and Margot Fassler, specialists in sacred music and liturgy,
will join the music and theology faculties of the University of Notre
Dame, according to John T. McGreevy, I.A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the
College of Arts and Letters.
Robert Aubrey Davis (Millennium of Music) reviews Chant: Music for the Soul
Chant: Music for the Soul
Robert Aubry Davis reviews Chant: Music for the Soul for TheBob Edwards Show:
The A & R guy for Universal Classics and Jazz in London was playing
Halo one day…you know, that best-selling video game with the weird
pseudo-Gregorian Chant soundtrack. “What we need here,” Universal’s Tom
Lewis thought, “is a fresh new group singing this stuff”…so, he
advertises in European papers for groups to submit videos—kind of like
the early rounds of American Idol. . . .
AND, bonus: interview with chant scholar and Fanfare reviewer Fr. Jerome Weber, also on the Millennium of Music website
Champion of chant: Prof. William Mahrt of Stanford
Read Cynthia Haven's article on Prof. William Mahrt and his longstanding work with the St. Ann Choir in Palo Alto, California.
William Mahrt directs the St. Ann Choir, which he says has had a "fruitful interaction" with Stanford's doctoral students of musicology, who find it "a very wonderful laboratory for the study of the music of history."
Universal Music signs Cistercian monks to recording contract
It was a new-meets-old story. Earlier this year, Universal Records posted an audition notice on YouTube, looking for an ensemble to record Gregorian chant. They don't have a TV, but they do have a computer, and a choir of monks from the twelfth-century Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna responded with an audition video. And they snagged the gig. Now the recording has been released in Austria and Germany (worldwide release to follow shortly) -- on the same label as Amy Winehouse and Eminem -- and the abbot is reeling at the miraculous turn of events. Read the Reuters article on Yahoo news.
Listen to samples from the recording, and get a free download at the recording's own website.
Photo Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Ruth Cunningham, Anonymous 4 and Aruna Sairam for the use of their images. Also. the image of the earth entitled "Blue Marble" is the property of NASA and we thank them for allowing us to use it.