This recording presents a medieval funeral mass, as it would have been chanted in the fourteenth century. There are two traditional masses included, as well as antiphons for the vigil prior to the funeral, antiphons chanted in the church beforehand, and chants sung as the casket leaves the church. Included also is the sequence Dies irae, dies illa.
Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola brings a wealth of experience, as they have chanted the offices for thirty years. They are known for sensitivity to the text and phrasing, and have spent years studying the rhythmic aspects of the chants as reflected in the Laon manuscript, among others. This re-release is renowned for its subtle, elegant interpretations of Gregorian chant that are moving and worshipful.
“... a rich, wonderful presentation of Requiem chants. Many listen to chants for the meditative, relaxing atmosphere they set. Some enjoy this music in its classical sense. Still others use recorded chants as part of their personal worship. This album will satisfy all who enjoy chants. Gregorian Requiem was recorded at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass., one of the world's greatest music halls. The quality of recording is superior-- audiophiles will want this album for its nearly perfect sound. An album of Gregorian chant for those who want to experience authentic medieval worship or a deeply spiritual musical experience. Gregorian Requiem is an excellent recording in its own rite and a must for classical music fans.”
- “The phrasing is carefully shaped, the articulation and intonation are precise, and the diction is crystal clear. In sum, this is a fine recording by a fine group: certainly a standout among the relatively large number of chant recordings abroad these days.”
The American Organist
- “Recordings of the Gregorian Requiem have never been easy to find, but here you are. And not only that, besides the full Mass, the Gloriæ Dei Cantores provide all the attendant and optional chants. Music of extreme dignity as well as melodic beauty dominate these chants, some of the supreme examples in the entire liturgy. Performances are expert by the mixed choir-- "mixed" both as to women and men, and clergy plus laity. The 44-voice Gloriæ Dei Cantores, elegant of timber, specialize in Gregorian music, and indeed, perform it almost daily. That's a major advantage for a release such as this, captures in high-tech sonics. Outstanding!”
In Tune Magazine
- “The Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola is a finely honed choral group specializing in Gregorian chant. They are more than that, though, they are a mixed group of sixteen Benedictine religious whose daily lives incorporate chant and have since the mid-seventies. This is singing polished to the point of reflex with the added element of absolute conviction which turns finesse into inspiration. The subtleties of rhythm, nuance, movement are complex but as natural as breathing. Most amazingly, all is sung in absolute unison with not so much as a hint of an errant inflection. I don't imagine chant gets much better than this. The male and female voices weave strong, silken ribbons of ethereal sound. The superb acoustics of Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA are an active participant in the clarity and depth these voices achieve. This recording is a fine choice for anyone who wants to hear chant at its most fluid.”
Harmonia Early Music Newsletter