Over at Rorate I found links to fascinating recordings on Youtube from 1904.
First is the famous Benedictine pioneer of modern Gregorian chant, Dom André Mocquereau. He conducts students of the French Seminary in Rome in the chant Alleluia Pascha nostrum.
I find the chant deeply … disturbing, but then I am firmly in the camp of Dom Cardine.
In my conversation about this recording with Jeffrey Tucker at Chant Cafe, the comment came up:
“Chant had to be destroyed to be saved.”
Only too true.
Whew! We have come a loooooong way since then.
Don’t sing chant that way. Again, I am in the more fluid Cardine camp. I also don’t go for the choppy proportional approach.
The other recording, of Dom Joseph Pothier with a schola of Benedictines from Sant’Anselmo in Rome is marginally better. Pothier was a promoter of a style that stuck to the sense of the prayer though with a strong adherence to equality of length of notes. But under Pothier they have the same tendency to chop up the figures and … what’s with that dreadful glide?
Mocquereau and Pothier butted heads over the values of, the duration, of notes.
Anyway, chant probably had to be destroyed to be saved.