The Beatles Gregorian Songbook – The Liverpool Manuscripts – Schola Musica/ Martin Dagenais, conductor & soloist – XXI-21 Productions

by | Aug 11, 2006 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

The Beatles Gregorian Songbook – The Liverpool Manuscripts – Schola Musica/ Martin Dagenais,  conductor & soloist – XXI-21 Productions Inc. (Distr. by Allegro) CD 1 1421 ****:

How little we Americans know of Canada, and even less of that very French province of Quebec. There’s some surprising things going on up there both in music and in the audio field.  Here, for example, is the first evidence we have heard of a shocking discovery  made in an ancient British monastery near Liverpool. Ancient Gregorian chants  from secular monks who went by the names of Father John Father Paul and Brother George were found to show a dramatic resemblance to the melodic and lyrical content of some of the Beatles’ songs. Minstrels from all over Europe would gather and sing their songs at medieval festivals at the Abbey’s Inn  where the manuscripts were found in a cave. One theory suggests that today’s Beatles were reincarnations of these medieval monks.  No love songs were discovered; all of those appear to be original contemporary works. The three monks were advised by the Abbey’s Father Superior to stick to more religious topics, and especially Brother George – to avoid his many references to Eastern philosophies. A fine Quebec a cappella ensemble performs the chants.

There’s been almost as many transcriptions of Beatles tunes for different instruments as of J.S. Bach’s, but this CD beats them all! Who would’ve thought?  Too much; very authentic sounding too. You can read all about the stories behind each chant in the liner notes. There’s even pdf files of the music for every single chant if you put it in your computer. Hey, this would make a great double feature with the Carmina Burana!

Tracks: The Abbey’s Bell, CANTUS I – ECCE HOMO: There is a Place, Nowhere Man, Strawberry Fields Forever, CANTUS II – INTELLIGENTI PAUCA: Tomorrow Never Knows, Within You Without You, The Inner Light, CANTUS III – SIT TIBI TERRA LEVIS: Blackbird, Mother Nature’s Son, Because, CANTUS IV – OMNIA VINCIT AMOR: The Word, All You Need is Love; Let It Be (The End).

– John Henry

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