Christmas Vespers at Westminster Cathedral Import
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Top Customer Reviews
This is such a beautiful CD; it was just released this month. Here is Roman Catholic liturgy at its finest. You can't listen to this prayerful music, so beautifully sung, and not lament the Church's widespread misunderstanding of the Vatican II liturgy directives, which stated that Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony and the use of the organ should continue to have "pride of place" in the reformed Roman liturgy. Instead, in our zeal to be contemporary, which is a legitimate concern, we have succeeded in cutting ourselves off from centuries of our tradition, and we are the poorer for it.
And so this recording is all the more precious. I think what I enjoy the most here is not the polyphonic motets, which are lovely but which can be found elsewhere. It's the chanted psalmody, especially since chant in the Liturgy of the Hours is relatively under-recorded, compared to the flowering of recordings of chant in the Mass. The beauty of Westminster's chant touches us, as it moves along at a reflective, unhurried pace. It's accompanied by the organ, which is not authentic, but for many of us it's a guilty pleasure, and it's very well done here. The organ also comments on the psalmody in brief improvisations which are a pleasure in themselves.
Five stars aren't really enough to give justice to this fine recording. I can't recommend it highly enough.
This disk is not new, but revisiting it at Christmas each year is a pure joy. Whilst it is something of a liturgical melange between the older Roman rite of Vespers and the monastic rite, and is probably not a recording of Vespers as ever celebrated at Westminster Cathedral, it collects the finest elements of the tradition and and arranges them in a liturgical order - which makes for a beautiful CD exsquisitely rendered. Without doubt it is worth its price for the recording of the Christmas Vesper hymn 'Christe redemptor omnium' alone, but there is much here for those who love the chant and the liturgy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful singing through out. A must have for the Holidays. Pure music that expresses the Christmas season.Published 18 months ago by Rene Krammer
Once again the Westminster Cathedral Choir has done a superb job! I wish there were cathedral choirs like this in the US.Published on December 19, 2012 by Tim S.