Philip Glass meets the Pope
Well not quite: but during recent travels I came across the double CD seen above in a splendid shop selling monastic artefacts in the medieval city of Troyes. Dominique Fauchard (b. 1968) trained as a classical organist, but branched out into jazz. Ex Sermonibus is a sequence of variations on Gregorian themes for piano. But, fear not, there is none of the Marian piousness of Charles Tournemire and the other Gregorian extemporisers. Instead it is more Philip Glass meets Ludovico Einaudi and Keith Jarrett during Mass. No, it's not the Hammerklavier Sonata, but it is all done with a beguiling lightness of touch and lack of pretension. This is music you either like or hate, and I feel guilty about being in the former camp. In fact, given the music's provenance, my guilt forced me to confess to liking Dominique Fauchard's transmuted plainsong. As penance I was told to listen to BBC Radio 3's breakfast programme for a week. Such is the price of sin.
Ex Sermonibus is released on the Bayard Musique label, and samples can be heard on their website. Bayard Musique also released Jacques Burtin's 3 CD kora anthology that featured in a 2011 post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.