Gregorian Chant

Victimae paschali laudes, sequence in mode 1 for Easter (GR 198, Liber Usualis 780)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    In the Roman Catholic Church, the Victimae Paschali Laudes (Praise the Pascal Victim) is the sequence used on Easter Sunday. Its text has been attributed to several figures, including Wipo of Burgundy (eleventh century), Robert II of France (tenth century), and Notker Balbulus (tenth century). The latter is more likely the author, since certain textual characteristics can logically be identified as typical of his style. The anonymous melody to this sequence is generally considered one of the more masterful and influential creations to emerge from Gregorian chant. The well-known German chorale Christ lag in Todesbanden, for instance, is based on it. The melody that opens Victimae Paschali Laudes rises gradually in its first three phrases, then falls slowly in the succeeding three, forming an arched contour out of phrases that contain little peaks and valleys. It is a long-breathed creation of great serenity and beauty, as is the music throughout the entire sequence. Its unison singing is mellow and imparts a soothing sense, not least because chant, lacking rhythm and harmony, relies on the single line, which here is exploited imaginatively in the lyrical flow of its attractive thematic material. Chant and early music enthusiasts will find this sequence quite worthwhile.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Paraclete GDCD 9545
    2018 Paraclete GDCD 19514
    2018 MPS 0300949 MSW
    2018 Brilliant Classics BRI 95747
    2018 ATMA Classique ACD 22769
    2016 Naxos 8578332-33
    2016 Harmonia Mundi HMU 907655
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95286BR
    2014 Decca / Universal Music Group
    2014 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 14019
    2014 Teldec 2564641038
    2013 TGG Direct 60326
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Decca 4784671
    2012 Audite AUDITE 92653
    2011 2L 2L70
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Multimedia San Paolo / Zebralution
    2010 Warner Classics & Jazz 68362
    2010 Ars Musici 232339
    2009 EMI Music Distribution / Spring House 5099969724220
    2009 Savoy
    2009 Jav / JAV Recordings JAV179
    2009 Far Beyond / ZYX Music FAR 10852
    2009 Multimedia San Paolo / Zebralution
    2008 MDG 9461514
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4777526
    2007 Jade / Milan
    2007 Philips
    2007 Jade / Milan
    2007 Jade 36277
    2007 Sonhos & Sons 072
    2007 Collectables COLCD 0904
    2006 Musica Di Angeli 99181
    2006 Silva America SILKD 6039
    2006 JAV Recordings JAV152
    2006 United Recordings 88035
    2005 Jade 36142
    2005 Capriccio Records 71051
    2005 Jade / Milan
    2005 Far Beyond / Far Beyond/Zyx 1035
    2004 Enchiriadis 2005
    2004 Jade 36081
    2004 Jade 36047
    2004 EMI / EMI Gold 5769042
    2003 Analekta 28104
    2003 Deutsche Grammophon
    2003 Sony Classical 87279
    2003 Silver Star Records / ZYX Music 1041
    2003 Aura Classics 0198
    2003 Herald Records HAVPCD284
    2003 Tradition/Rykodisc / Tradition / Tradition Records 3008
    2002 Musica Omnia 0209
    2002 Archiv Produktion
    2002 Delta Distribution 36033
    2002 Laserlight / Sounds of Paradise 18244
    2001 Motette 50551
    2001 Deutsche Grammophon 469241
    2000 Laserlight 55572
    1999 Sony Classical 60988
    1999 Herald Records 122
    1999 Arts Music 47541-2
    1999 Vox Box/essex / Masterpiece / SPJ Music 3900
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 69552
    1998 Capriccio Records 10566
    1998 Koch International Classics 7356
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon
    1998 Solesmes 838
    1998 Masterpiece 92006
    1998 Earthtone 5604
    1997 Motette 50341
    1997 Unison 0000008013
    1997 Rhino / Ryko
    1997 Centaur Records 2542
    1997 Naxos 553697
    1996 Madacy 9421
    1996 Angel Records 56261
    1996 Paraclete / Solesmes 822
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 62805
    1996 Christophorus 77180
    1995 EMI Angel / Angel Records / Warner Classics 7243555504
    1995 Teldec / Elektra 4509-99203-4
    1995 Teldec 99203
    1995 Madacy 8705
    1995 Madacy 4912
    1994 Forlane 16690
    1994 EMI Music Distribution CD-CFP4646
    1994 World Famous Masterpieces 1053
    1994 Madacy 5449
    1994 Laserlight 14158
    1994 Naxos 550712
    1993 Astree 8500
    1993 Belart/Karussell 450026
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 749761
    1990 American Gramaphone Records 588
    1990 Philips 420879
    1987 Harmonia Mundi 905113
    Cantus Gregoria 5453
    EXL 5219
    Milan 35745
    Forlane 16684
    Musica Di Angeli 99182
    Bolshoi/BMG 18317
    Milan 35803
    Eufoda 1222
    Deutsche Grammophon 445767
    Haydn Society 9038
    The Gift of Music 1026
    Brilliant Classics 997971
    Eufoda 1220
    College of the Resurrection, Mirfield
    Arcade Music 338