Tons de la Musique

Les Tons de la Musique
Gregorian Chant
Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
Harmonic 8827
Cantus 9617


    First Mode

  1. Introït: Statuit ei Dominus
  2. Graduel: Miserere mei Deus
    Verset: Misit de celo
  3. Second Mode

  4. Introït: Dominus illuminatio mea
  5. Offertoire: Benedicite gentes
    Verset: Iubilate Deo omnis terra
    Verset: In multitudine
  6. Third Mode

  7. Introït: Tibi dixit
  8. Offertoire: Filie regum
    Verset: Eructavit cor meum
    Verset: Virga recta est
  9. Fourth Mode

  10. Introït: Reminiscere miserationum
  11. Alleluia
    Verset: Excita Domine
    Prose: Qui regis sceptra
  12. Fifth Mode

  13. Introït: Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis
  14. Graduel: Bonum est confiteri Domino
    Verset: Ad adnunciandum
  15. Sixth Mode

  16. Introït: In medio ecclesie
  17. Offertoire: Domine, in auxilium
    Verset: Avertantur retrorsum
  18. Seventh Mode

  19. Introït: Viri Galilei
  20. Alleluia
    Verset: Pascha nostrum
    Verset: Epulemur
  21. Eighth Mode

  22. Introït: Domine ne longe
  23. Trait: Adtende celum

Performers: Anne-Marie Lablaude, Brigitte Lesne, Catherine Schroeder, Dominique Vellard, Emmanuel Bonnardot, Willem de Waal

Playing time: 51'

Recording date: June 1989

Manuscripts used: Graduel d'Albi (XI century), tropes of Saint-Yrieix (XI century), ms. Laon (X century), ms. Saint-Gall (beginning of X century), ms. d'Einsiedeln (end of X century)

This disc is entirely monophonic chant (often performed by more than one voice in unison), and illustrates each of the eight Medieval modes.

The style here is a determined and successful attempt to reconstruct the style of chant singing prior to the Solesmes reforms, and is portrayed in some of the major items of the Gregorian repertory.

A later program by the present ensemble, showing early elaborations of this strict plainchant into other forms such as the sequence and more generally tropes (inserting words to the very long melismatic lines):

Musique et poésie à Saint-Gall
Séquences et tropes du IXe siècle
Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
Harmonia Mundi "Documenta" 905239

The practice of polyphonic organum apparently grew largely out of the practice of improvising to chant. A recording of this very earliest polyphony, together with some tropes on monophonic chants:

Les premieres polyphonies françaises
Organa et tropes du XIe siècle
Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
Virgin Veritas 45135

Together, these program effectively bridge the gap between the monophony of the present recital and the full-fledged polyphony which will be more familiar in the medieval repertory.

Finally, a more easily available chant recording from Italy, based on a somewhat similar approach:

Adorate Deum
Gregorian Chant from the Proper of the Mass
Nova Schola Gregoriana - Alberto Turco
Naxos 8.550711

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Todd M. McComb