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Plainsong Main Page About Plainsong Books Plainsong on the Web

Gregorian Chant Newbie Corner

We recommend the following book for the person interested in learning more about Gregorian chant:

Gregorian Chant: Songs of the Spirit
Edited by Huston Smith
KQED Books
San Francisco, CA
ISDN 0912333138

Starter CD Kit

We have chosen a few CDs to recommend for listening.

A Treasury of Gregorian Chants
Bescol BSCD 5/4
Bescol
Box 6999
Beverly Hills CA 90212

This collection is a CD reproduction of a number of LPs that came out in Europe probably in the 1960s. These are not great recordings, but there is music on these CDs that will win your heart. This collection is often to be found in places such as Walmart at very discounted prices. Grab this 4-CD set of chants if you find one, or write to the company for a catalogue.

Chant
The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
Angel CDC 72435-55138-2

This is the CD that started the current popularity of Gregorian chant. The recordings were made in the 1970s and 1980s and the renderings of the compositions are masterly and beautiful. One can not help wondering, however, how bewildered the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos must be at the crass level of marketing employed in selling their music. Our copy of this CD has an offer for an official "Chant Monk-habit brown, hooded pullover for only $19.95." Ugh.

Gregorian Chant
Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice & Saint-Maur, Clervaux.
Philips 432-506-2

This is a two-CD reissue of some music originally recorded on LPs, recorded in the 1960s. Gregorian purists will shun the use of organ accompaniment on this recording; however, this was a modern practice in some European monasteries and Churches. This CD set is worth purchasing if only for the Salve festa dies, Hodie nobis caelorum Rex and the Christus resurgens.


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