The stylistic and indeed musical perfection of the recorded legacy of the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes aside (and what a legacy that is - and how impossible to set it aside!), this remains, in my view, the ultimate recording of liturgical chant. There is so much to recommend the recordings of Solesmes -the exceeding quality of their beautiful art, the exquisite singing -especially of that one anonymous tenor voice that seems not only to color but to create the 'sound' for which their choir is justly famed!- the aristocratic liturgical taste of Dom Gajard, and now of Dom Jean Claire, even the genuine poverty of the monastic life at Solesmes (I've been there and seen it) - yet, in this recording of the choir of monks of the Spanish Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, there is an abiding aura so mingled of sorrow and joy that its effect cannot merely be audaciously touted, but must be absorbed like a holy ether in order to be justly experienced. While Solesmes has explored that vast body of prayer we know as Gregorian chant, the monks of Santo Domingo here offer chant from an earlier age, so-called Visigothic (Mozarabic) chant, rarely heard in our time before the liturgical relaxations subsequent to the Second Vatican Council. To listen to these monodic melodies so redolent of Spain's ancient Arabic past leaves us marked not only with their own intrinsic beauty, but allows us, I think, to hear Roman chant itself again in a fresh light. While the Kyriale included in this recording is perhaps more exactly called neo-Mozarabic chant, the main body of selections indeed come from the period prior to the Roman codification under Gregory, Spanish in heart, and universal in beauty; the remarkable 'Introibo ad altare Dei mei', the various Antiphons and Prayers intrinsic to an older national liturgical ideal usurped by Gregorian legislation, culminating in the astonishing 'Lamentation of Jeremiah' which, once heard, will never leave your heart. Recorded in the great Romanesque church of the Abbey, the acoustic ambience is perfectly suited to the sung prayer of these glad monks. If you enjoy listening to liturgical chant and have never heard this recording, you are unfinished and impoverished in your enjoyment. Get this recording and enter on the rich path of a rare experience indeed.