Fascination with religious music became widespread in the mid-'90s, among casual listeners who were searching for calming, soothing recordings for quiet reflection, and among others who sought deeper spiritual connections in their music. When Chant was released by Angel in 1994, it transcended the recording industry's categories and became a global crossover sensation, making the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos international stars. Even though Gregorian chant had been a central part of Roman Catholic liturgy for over a millennium, its rediscovery by a laity largely unfamiliar with historical sacred music seemed a part of a growing religious awareness, which appealed to both Christian traditionalists and followers of new age ideas. The album itself was not necessarily the best recording of Gregorian chants, for the monks' singing is sometimes ragged on beginnings of phrases, and the articulation of consonants is a bit sloppy, though this matters little in the highly resonant acoustic of the Teatro Real in Madrid, which covers a multitude of vocal errors. Fortunately, the background ambience is relatively noise-free and superior to in situ chant recordings. However, these were analog recordings dating from 1980-1981, so the reproduction has moments of haziness that digital mastering couldn't improve.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson