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“A mystical aura that envelops the listener, a mesmerizing impact…Downright divine!”
ChristmasReviews.com
This Christmas, give the gift of music - the earliest, purest music of the church. Gregorian chant lifts us out of the ordinary stresses of life and invites us to contemplate the timeless and unchanging love of God. The Chants of Christmas presents some of the most beautiful Gregorian chants, including the Christmas Day Mass. This CD features the well known Introits: Dominus dixit and Puer natus, as well as the Christmas Day Mass and the Antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Critical Acclaim

 

  • “In this CD, the Gloriæ Dei Cantore Schola presents the Gregorian chant Masses of Christmas. There are four such Masses to be sung Christmas Day, each with its own style and sound. The Missam in Vigilia, celebrated before the Night Office; the Missam in Nocte, which occurs at the hour when tradition has it that Jesus was born; the joyful Missam in Aurora, celebrated at dawn; and the daytime Missam in Die. These four solemn Masses are a far cry from more familiar Christmas music; they offer a grave and reverent addition to happy-all-the-time seasonal fare, an alternative to turn to when you're longing for something more soulful and demanding than White Christmas. On the same CD put out by Paraclete Press are antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary, appealingly ethereal.”
    National Catholic Reporter
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  • “This disc contains the Propers of the Masses for Christmas Day along with 8 Antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary ... The Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola is ... dedicated to singing Gregorian Chant. They have been singing plainchant regularly since 1976, both the daily Benedictine Monastic Offices and the Ordinary and Proper of the Mass. They sing in an admirably flexible manner with beautiful diction.”
    Music Web International
  • “These works explain and proclaim the Mother of Jesus in the Scriptures, in popular devotion and in hymns of praise. Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant begins with an analysis of the Gospel texts on Mary's life, in order to uncover their meaning in the light of the whole of Scripture and the living tradition of the Church ... From the written word we move to hymns of praise offered us by the Schola of the Gloriæ Dei Cantores, a choir skilled in sacred music of all periods of history, from Gregorian Chant to contemporary choral. On this compact disc, the Schola presents the Gregorian chants that make up the Propers for the four Masses of Christmas, followed by the Marian Antiphons, Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Caelorum, Regina Caeli and Salve Regina. All are rendered with a simple grace and elegance.”
    Spiritual Life
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  • “This is what I would call a glorious retreat ... it is certainly worth it. We are given Gregorian chants corresponding to the Propers of the four masses that comprise the Nativity celebration: roughly, the Vigil Mass (evening before anticipatory in nature), Night Mass (done after the Night Office, reflective), early morning mass (at dawn, probably the most joyous of the four) and the Mass during the day (the most profoundly theological in meaning in terms of the Christmas proclamation). Rounding out the program are eight antiphons in honor of the Virgin Mary, not particularly wedded to the Nativity season, but certainly appropriate, and in practice found to be quite commonly performed during this time. Readers familiar with my reviews of this ensemble know that I am a big fan, and I find the comprehensive approach, thoughtful dynamic shadings, and generally robust and fully piety-riven performances to be models of their kind. The Schola has done a number of chant recordings, all worth seeking out, and their approach to this music is anything but doctrinaire or dogmatic, ever seeking to breathe new life and a modern freshness into this ancient music that refuses to not speak to contemporary audiences. The pared-down Gregorian melodies are just the thing to allow one to reflect on the original Christmas meaning sans ornaments, decorations, and candy canes, and you might find that this release inspires you to captures anew the spiritual and cultural essence of the season. ... the sound is terrific.”
    Audiophile Audition
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  • “This recording ... is a remarkable success. The music consists of the Mass Propers for the four Masses of Christmas (including the vigil Mass) along with the four final antiphons of the Office in both solemn and simple melodies ... Textually, these chants follow the latest edition of the Graduale Romanum, and the final antiphons are taken from the Antiphonale Monasticum, a better edition than the Liber Usualis. As a program it's cohesive, yet it combines familiar chants with the less frequently recorded Vigil and Dawn Masses. About half of the pieces are sung by the men, the rest by the women, with no octave singing; the verses of all the Mass pieces (except for the Offertories) are sung by solo cantors of uniformly high ability. The engineering is expert, favoring clarity. The notes are informative, with texts and translations printed.”
    Fanfare
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  • “The propers for four Gregorian masses for Christmas are sung here, plus two sets of antiphons to the Virgin Mary. The singers are led by monastic cantors, and many are themselves monastics. They certainly know and love this music ... and alternating men's and women's voices makes a more attractive program than most Gregorian ones.”
    American Record Guide
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  • “The voices of the 16 members, who are dedicated to the singing of Gregorian chant, has been widely acclaimed. On this CD, the Schola chants the four major masses that constitute the celebration of Christmas. The listener will find that each has its own character and sound Ð from the Missam in Viglia, built on the anticipation of Christ's birth, to the Missam in Dei, a moving expression of the evangelical message, 'The Lord has made known his salvation. The Antiphons to the Blessed Virgin Mary, each with its own beauty, are included, although they are not liturgically part of the Christmas season. The antiphons, medieval in origin, were originally used before and after the chanting of a psalm or canticle.”
    Episcopal Life

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