Jade's Gregorian Chant -- Dominican Liturgy was made in 1994 as homage to Dominican Friar Thomas Patfoort, who was a singer, teacher, and leader within the Dominican Order that initiated significant reforms in choral singing throughout Europe, but concentrated his efforts in France. The Choir of the Dominican Brothers of the Province of France is not a regular working choir, but a special group made up of 10 friars from throughout France, all of whom are considered among Friar Patfoort's best students. They are in very good voice, and listeners attuned to the sound of the Solesmes Monks will note that the Dominicans employ a snappier pace and a more marked kind of delivery than their Solesmes Brethren. These divergent aspects of performance practice are the direct result of the work of Friar Patfoort, who strongly believed that Gregorian singing needed to be delivered with a kind of invigorating energy, in contrast to the more ethereal, reserved style typically associated with monastic choirs. The result is a more compelling and faster moving chant program than is the norm, and the recording, made at the Collegiale Saint Martin de Champeaux, is clear, only moderately reverberant, and unusually close for a chant choir. Jade's Gregorian Chant -- Dominican Liturgy is just the thing to challenge one's preconceived notions about chant, but in a more mundane sense is also worth experiencing just as something makes the listener feel happy and satisfied, like after a good meal and some wine.
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Review by Uncle Dave Lewis