Vultum Tuum = Mary in Gregorian Chant – Consortium Vocale Oslo/ Alexander M. Schweitzer, director/ Mario Guillermo Ojeda, soloist/ Kare Nordstoga, organ – EOS

by | Sep 3, 2009 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Vultum Tuum = Mary in Gregorian Chant – Consortium Vocale Oslo/ Alexander M. Schweitzer, director/ Mario Guillermo Ojeda, soloist/ Kare Nordstoga, organ – EOS 4030, 66:55 ****:

This release is also offered as an SACD (9191), featuring this Norwegian chorale in authentic chants reflecting the presence of the Virgin Mary in the Mass and Office. I will admit that you need to be a bit of a chant fanatic to sit through an hour’s worth of Gregorian chant, no matter how beautiful it is. After all, even the offices were interrupted with readings, preaching, and other liturgical constructs, so that when the chant began it was highlighted as something really special. The works on this nicely rendered (though loudly recorded) disc will satisfy anyone’s need for purity, peace, and instruction on Mary’s role in the Christian liturgy of the West.

But what makes this particularly spicy are the organ improvisations that come between many of these tracks, eight in all. Though based on the chants at hand, the music is by no means necessarily “ancient” in sound and origin as you might expect, but have uniquely modern tinges to them as well, sometimes disconcerting, sometimes haunting. It does serve to remind one that these performances, though of very old music, are also intended as living examples of art transposed to the current age, and of its service and viability, truly transcending any time period or locale.

Includes: Mass Chants for Marian Feasts, Chants from the Marian Office, Mass Chants for Saturdays of Advent

— Steven Ritter

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