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):
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:
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:
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