Nov 15, 2007

Basic Chant CDs — Learning by Listening

Online Edition: November 2007
Vol. XIII, No. 8

Basic Chant CDs — Learning by Listening

Several readers have requested audio resources for learning to sing chant by listening to the basic chants of the Mass. Here are some suggestions submitted by our musician friends. For other chant resources check the web sites of CanticaNova ( and Catholic Music Association of America ( Also, the Adoremus Hymnal has a set of 4 CDs with a choir singing Mass settings in Latin and English, and many classic Latin hymns. (

Plainsong for Parishes
Format: Audio CD
Produced by: The Music Makers

Performed by members of Schola Cantamus, directed by Jeremy de Satgé, the purpose of this CD is two-fold: to offer an inspiring collection of music for lovers of chant, and to serve as a teaching aid for those wishing to learn the chants for liturgical performance.

The CD contains 6 full settings of the Mass — Mass I (Lux et origo), Mass IV (Cunctipotens genitor Deus), Mass VIII (de angelis), Mass IX (Cum jubilo), Mass XI (Orbis factor), Mass XVII (Sundays of Advent and Lent) — and the Requiem Mass.

Also included are other useful plainsong chants — Credo I and Credo III and other parts of the Mass, hymns to Our Lady, including the beautiful Ave maris stella, and the classic hymn Tantum ergo.

Ordering Information – Order #: 9010
Price: $19.95

Learning about Gregorian Chant
Format: Audio CD
Produced by: The Monastic Choir of the Abbey of Saint Peter, Solesmes

This CD is a magnificent learning tool for anyone interested in Gregorian chant, the music “specially suited to the Roman liturgy (which) should be given pride of place in liturgical services”, according to Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Offering chants sung with superb skill by the Monks’ Choir at Solesmes Abbey, under the direction of Dom Jean Clarie, the recording is an informative overview of not only the history of Gregorian chant, but also its proper place in today’s liturgy. Explanatory texts by Dom Daniel Saulnier (translated from the French by Jeremy Llewellyn) are read by Sarah Moule between complete selections of chant from various Solesmes recordings.

The CD Learning about Gregorian Chant: Its History & Its Musical Forms (time: about 70 minutes) would make an effective meditative seminar for a retreat, day of recollection, or music workshop, as well as a perfect addition to a parish or seminary library. It is also very useful as an individual tool to delve into the wonders of this truly liturgical music. With clear singing, excellent acoustics and helpful explanations, this CD can be an effective introduction to chant as the ultimate traditional music for the contemporary Church!

Ordering Information: Order #9014
Price: $19.00

Gregorian Melodies: Popular Chant, Vol. 1
Format: Audio CD
Produced by: The Monastic Choir of the Abbey of Saint Peter, Solesmes

The selections on this chant CD are drawn from the Liber Cantualis, a very basic collection of simple chants, and would make a good companion to the book form of the Liber Cantualis. It is an effective way to begin the study of chant, the Roman Rite’s own music.

The chants on this CD cover a wide range of themes: music for Mass and Benediction, Marian music, seasonal music (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Pentecost), and music for Compline.

Ordering Information: Order #9019
Price: $17.95
Also available from Paraclete Press (see Vol 2 below).

Gregorian Melodies: Popular Chant, Vol. 2
Format: Audio CD
Produced by: The Monastic Choir of the Abbey of Saint Peter, Solesmes

This volume includes the Te deum, Stabat Mater, and Ave Maria. There are also chants for the Liturgical Year from Advent to Pentecost, chants devoted to Our Lady and the Blessed Sacrament, and the Mass of the Angels. All of the pieces on the recording have a corresponding page number next to the listing that refers to the Liber Cantualis.

This is an ideal CD with which to become acquainted with Gregorian chant. The sensitive performances by Dom Richard Gagne and the monks of Solesmes enhance the value of this series.

Ordering information: (Currently sale priced)



The Editors