Friday, February 20, 2009
Try this chant-topping CD
The CD above is not a new release. The performers on it are not notably young. It is not new music. The composer does not have an anniversary. It has not recently won an award. But do read on. The disc of Maronite and Syrian chants is sung by the nun with the selling habit, Sister Marie Keyrouz, and accompanying choristers. It was recorded by Harmonia Mundi in L'église évangélique allemande in Paris in 1990. Traditionally these chants, which have their origins in early Christianity, are sung unaccompanied; the exception is on important days in the Christian calendar, when they are augmented by a limited range of metallic percussion. However, this disc follows the more recent practice of adding complementary instruments. The addition of L'Ensemble de la Paix (who are actually Sister Marie's backing band) playing nay, oud, quanoun and percussion, lifts the CD from being a fascinating document of a sacred tradition to a very accessible and enjoyable early music disc with a uniquely Middle Eastern sound. HMV are currently offering it online for £4.99 delivered in the UK. Does it really matter if it is not a new release ......? Or that there are none of the tricks of modern music?
I bought my copy of Maronite Chants in the Harmonia Mundi boutique in Avignon. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk