May 10, 2017

Positivity: Grammy-winning producer guides Gregorian chant album

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

May 4, 2017 / 06:02 am

When Christopher Alder, an 11-time Grammy winning music producer, first was asked to help create an album of Gregorian Chant, he was short on details.

“When I was asked to do this recording, I was only told, would you be free to do a recording in Nebraska?” he said in a promo video.

That’s because, tucked away in the low, rolling hills of eastern Nebraska is Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary, the international school for English-speaking seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a Roman Catholic group of priests dedicated to celebrating the traditional Latin Mass.

For their first album, the priests and seminarians chose to record the chants of the Requiem Mass, Latin for ‘rest’ – the funeral Mass in the Latin rite.

“It has been an honor to work with The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, as they are excellent ambassadors for this repertoire – they are intimately familiar with this music – thus its deeper meaning is inescapable throughout the album-and the care and excellence that they brought to recording this Requiem is an inspiration,” noted producer Alder and engineer Brad Michel, also a Grammy winner.

“They know this material intimately, as it rolls out of them as if it were poetry that one has recited countless times. They know it by heart, in every sense of the term because the text is being simultaneously believed and sung at the highest level,” Alder added.

The album is comprised of 20 tracks, mostly monophonic Gregorian chant, though it includes polyphonic motets by renowned 16th-century Italian composer Palestrina and a less well-remembered 18th-century composer, Giovanni Battista Martini, one of Mozart’s teachers. …

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