Gregorian chant CD from the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault

I’ve have visited the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault a couple times, though not for many years.   Clear Creek in these USA is a daughter house of Fontgombault.

The Monastic Choir of the Abbey Notre Dame de Fontgombault have issued a CD disc of Gregorian chant for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I was sent a copy and have listened to it.

It will be released 13 January 2017.

US HERE – UK HERE (keep checking on availability in the UK)

The disc has chants for the Mass of the Assumption and Vespers.

Here are a few samples that I stitched together.

It is very much in the French style, along the lines of Solesmes.  This is chant accompanied by organ.  That isn’t my favorite way to do chant, but it does have the advantage of keeping everything on pitch!  They have a cut of the ringing of their bells for the Angelus which is great.

 

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5 Responses to Gregorian chant CD from the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault

  1. Mary Jane says:

    Listened to some of the clip; the monks sing with much feeling and tenderness. Not every chant Schola can do that well. As far as chant accompanied by organ … eh … not my favorite. But you can tell these monks believe what they’re singing.

  2. TomCom says:

    Fr. Z., Fontgambault has previously released a CD for the Assumption. Do you know if this is a new recording or a re-release of the prior one?

  3. clarinetist04 says:

    LOVE this place. Went down last September, prayed vespers with the monks, visited their beautiful church, and bought a bunch of their pottery from the store. It’s a wonderful place to pilgrimage to and is also not too far from the site of Our Lady of Pellevoisin (sort of on the way back to Paris).

  4. robtbrown says:

    The first album released by Fontgombault, already out in 1972, was the Feast of the Assumption. It’s hard to tell from the snippets above whether it’s the same recording. My guess is that it is. If you would include the beginning of Signum Magnum above, I could probably be certain.

  5. Mike of Arkansas says:

    Thank you very much for the excerpts. You describe the recording perfectly as the French Solemnes style. The Sanctus IX is beautiful! My highest priority now is getting a copy when it is available.

    I have collected Greqorian Chant recordings for more than 50 years. This new recording is very reminiscent of those from the late 1950s and early 1960s made by the Benedictine monks at the abbey of St. Maurice and St. Maur…the finest examples of Chant on record. It was all many of us had to hold on to after the Chant vanished overnight in the mid-1960s.

    I find the light organ accompaniment to be a stunningly beautiful part of these recordings. It is performed exactly in the manner recommended by the Liber Usualis . Although many hard-core purists decry its use, as if they have more authority and aesthetic than those who make these recordings, few of these critics experienced the Church in the pre-Vatican II era. For thousands of parishes the organ was common. For smaller parishes without great choir resources, the aid of the organ was essential. Today I and I’m sure many others from pre-Vatican II hear it as wholly natural and customary…almost not in our tradition if it is missing. I’m afraid that many modern traditionalists have very unclear knowledge about the “purity” of common pre-Vatican II practices. At my parish 55 years ago, I’m not ashamed to say that the organ was used even for Gregorian Chant during a Requiem, something that would be normally proscribed. I only hope that it helped to add some beauty to what we seventh and eighth graders in the choir tried our best to accomplish during that very solemn Mass for a departed member.