This new album comes with a 20-page booklet, including liner notes by Fr. Gabriel Bertoniere about the history of Cistercian chant. Also included are the English translations of the pieces sung in Latin.
To Pray In Beauty: that is the ideal of monastics as they sing the Mass and the Hours in choir. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta expressed a similar ideal in her phrase “something beautiful for God.” The beauty is not for beauty’s sake; it is for God—for his glory. It was St Augustine, that great lover of beauty, who called God “Beauty ever ancient, ever new” and lamented “late have I loved Thee!” All created beauty reflects something, however faint, of the divine Beauty, but Gregorian Chant does so in a special way, for it is itself both prayer and beauty—but a beauty that reveals itself only gradually, disclosing ever new depths and connections.
The Cistercian version of the chants presented in this recording have always played an important role in the lives of the Cistercian nuns of Wrentham since the time of its foundation in 1949. In the early years of its history, chant alone was used to provide the musical setting for the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. Since English was introduced into the liturgy after Vatican II, the nuns gradually built up a rich repertory of chants in the vernacular, but twice a week they continue to use Gregorian Chant in the celebration of the Eucharist as well as at Vespers on Solemnities. Gregorian Chant is itself both prayer and beauty—but a beauty that reveals itself only gradually, disclosing ever-new depths and connections.
1. Hymn Avete solitudinis (Mode 1) verses 1, 2, 5, and 6 2. Communion Simile Est (Mode 8) 3. Alleluia Justus Germinabit (Mode 1) 4. Introit Salve Sancta Parens (Mode 2) 5. Introit Dominus Dixit (Mode 2) 6. Communion Quinque Prudentes Virgines (Mode 5) 7. Communion Videns Dominus (Mode 1) 8. Gradual Christus Factus Est (Mode 5) 9. Introit Resurrexi (Mode 4) 10. Introit Quasi Modo (Mode 6) 11. Introit Viri Galilaei (Mode 7) 12. Introit Spiritus Domini (Mode 8) 13. Introit Exurge (Mode 1) 14. Alleluia Deus Judex (Mode 8) 15. Introit Esto Mihi (Mode 6) 16. Introit Omnia Quae Fecisti (Mode 3) 17. Introit Inclina Domine (Mode 1) 18. Introit Vocem Jucunditatis (Mode 3) 19. Hymn Ave Maris Stella (Mode 1)