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Gregorian Christmas

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Product Details

  • Performer: Cantarte Regensburg; Velten
  • Composer: Gregorian Chants
  • Audio CD (Nov. 16 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Cap
  • ASIN: B0042UD52O
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Gregorian Christmas

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa49a0618) out of 5 stars 98 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44d35ac) out of 5 stars Rare and Intimate Gem: Awe to Reverence and Metanoia Nov. 6 2013
By melissa brown - Published on
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A rare, intimate, and realistic gem of Gregorian Chant.
CantArte is a fine ensemble of 14 male vocalists formed in 1991 based upon the idea of former cathedral choir and church music director Hubert Velten. Velten (1938-2010) is the former director of the Academy of Catholic Church Music and Music Education in Regensburg.

His sensitivity to the performance of Sacred Music is captured in "Gregorian Christmas".
The quality provides to this subjective listener a sense of tranquility of an intimate worship space that emanates from the Sacred Factor found in higher levels of worship music. It invokes contemplative meditation in the evolution from Awe to Reverence and Metanoia.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa477a1b0) out of 5 stars The Mass During Advent/Christmas Season Dec 10 2014
By Anthony F. - Published on
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This review is more to explain what's occurring on this album. I saw some reviews saying that this is not Christmas music and well, some of it is and most of it is Advent music.

First a short history lesson. These chants all relate to the old mass (and also the pre-Vatican II Divine Office), what is now known as the Extraordinary Form (EF) Mass (or the Tridentine Mass) after Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum. The Mass grew from the early Church, was codified by Pope St. Pius V at the Council of Trent (16C) and existed (and continues to do so) until the Novus Ordo Mass (the one that the vast majority of Catholics only know) came into being in 1969. If you're a Catholic who is lucky enough to have an EF Mass offered nearby (approved by Ecclesia Dei of course) then these would be the chants or prayers you would hear during the Advent Masses.

A few notes on the parts of the EF Mass (some of which still exist in the Ordinary Form). Intriotus (or Introit in English) is the opening prayer of the Mass. It occurs after the procession and the prayers at the foot of the altar. Graduale (or Gradual) is the prayer between the Epistle and Alleluia. The Hallelujah (or Alleluia) is prayed between the Gradual and the Gospel. Offertorium (offertory) is prayed during (choir) or before (priest) the priest makes the offerings of the gifts. Communio (Communion) is rayed during (choir) or after (priest) Communion.

For each track:

#1 - Conditor alme siderum comes from Vespers (Evening prayer of of the Divine Office). It's a hymn for the Advent season. It would be prayed every evening during Advent (until Christmas Eve) by all priests and religious as well as any laity who take part in the Divine Office

#2 - is the Introit for the first Sunday in Advent

#3-8 are for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Alma Redemptoris Mater is the Marian Antiphon for the Advent and Christmas Season (ending at the Feast of the Purification-Feb 2)

#9-11 are for the 2nd Sunday in Advent.

12-18 are for the 3rd Sunday in Advent. Although note that Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy prayer), Sanctus (Holy Holy Holy Lord prayer) and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God prayer) would be for every Mass. The setting of these Chant can differ by season or feast. This is Mass setting XVII which is for Advent & Lent.

#19 for the 4th Sunday of Advent

#20-26 are called the O Antiphons. Each of these start with "O" and are a name for Christ mentioned in Scripture (Wisdom, Lord, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring, King of the nations, With Us is God) and are chanted before and after the Magnificat as part of Vespers in successive days from December 17 to December 23.

#27 - The Magnficat (or the Canticle of Mary) which comes from Luke 1:46-55 and is prayed every evening as part of Vespers.

#28 - A Solis Ortus Cardine is a hymn sung as part of Lauds (Divine Office-morning prayer) on Christmas day.

#29 - The Introit of Christmas Eve

#30-32 - Christmas Day introits. There are three types of Masses for Christmas: night, dawn (or morning), day. Dominus Dixit As Me is for night, Lux Fulgebit for dawn, and Puer Natus Est Nobis for day.

#33,34,38,39 - Mass VIII (de Angelis) versions of the Kyrie, Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest), Sanctus, and Agnus Dei

35,36,37,40 - all from the Christmas day Mass

To make things shorter, the rest relate to the actual Christmas season from Christmas Day until the Epiphany (January 6th)

Hope this is helpful for everyone.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa452f1ec) out of 5 stars A Real Bargain for Soothing Gregorian Chant Fans May 6 2012
By L. M. L. Wilson - Published on
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Can't go wrong with this. Amazing bargain. Very soothing, nice voices. I play it all day as I'm working at my PC. Highly recommended.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d79fb4) out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful music June 27 2012
By Tman1948 - Published on
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This is a very good Gregorian Christmas chant album worth every penny. Soothing and peaceful it will relax your soul.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4463210) out of 5 stars Ancient Christmas worship music beautifully performed Nov. 13 2014
By mab - Published on
Verified Purchase
Gregorian chant is its own medieval style (think roughly 800 to 1200 A.D.), so don't expect any organ swelling or jingle bells tinkling. Until you become familiar with it, you probably won't know one piece from another. That's doubly true if you don't know Latin. The slightly hypnotic effect of the chant does not sound "Christmassy" to modern ears--nor should it, since pretty much the same style of chant was used year round. But that's okay--you can still fully enjoy the calming effect of music designed purposely to refocus the listener's attention on the eternal and sublime.

The chief seasonal difference is in the lyrics, which are prayers, Masses, and scriptures proper to the Christmas season. I was delighted to hear again several selections we sang in choir when I was a girl. Catholics who have ached with longing for the rich musical heritage so seldom heard nowadays will appreciate this album.

The performance is spot-on, with excellent intonation and pace, and voices nicely blended. I was not previously acquainted with this group, but you may be sure I'll be seeking out more of their work. A terrific bargain at less than a dollar for nearly two hours of musical bliss.

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