The Chants of the Holy Spirit – Gloriæ Dei Cantores Women’s Schola – Gloriæ Dei Cantores multichannel SACD GDCD 057, 51:30 (5/14/13) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] *****:
The seven ladies that make up the Gloriæ Dei Cantores Women’s Schola have given us a real gift of music for Pentecost—Gregorian music, that is—along with a fine rendition of Veni Creator Spiritus in Guillaume Dufay’s magnificent three-part setting. The renditions of this music have rarely been as perfectly presented as what this Schola accomplishes here, and while some may scoff at the seeming lack of “historical” performance considerations, that is not what this group sets as its primary vision, but instead a living and loving manifestation of these ancient chants as something that breathes life into a contemporary cultural setting. Technically they are immaculate, and one can hear the evident love and devotion in every breath taken in this astoundingly beautiful music.
Presentation-wise this is a model production, as have been all of GDC’s recent SACDs—a spectacular and well-thought out color booklet, with full texts and translations, and most importantly, some of the most helpful and descriptive verbiage I have ever read about Gregorian Chant. This helps to bring the music alive, especially to someone not accustomed to the sound of this magnificent music. The Super Audio surround sound is exceptionally alive and vibrant—you might need to turn the volume down a bit—and shows how surround sound can benefit essentially monophonic music as well as the most varied and complex orchestral work. This is a highly recommended disc.