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Christmas In The Cloister: Gregorian Chant & Christmas Carols
Cistercian Nuns of Mount Saint Mary's Abbey
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1. Christmas Mass: Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion
2. Christmas Lauds Hymn: A Solis Ortus Cardine
3. Third Mass of Christmas: Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion
5. In Dulce Jubilo
6. Il Est Ne
7. Silent Night
8. How Far To Bethlehem
9. Coventry Carol
10. While Shepherds in Meadows
11. Welcome, Son of Mary
12. Lullay, My Liking
13. The Christmas Child
14. Abbey Bells
This newly released Christmas recording from the Cistercian Nuns of Mount Saint Mary's Abbey in Massachusetts, combines traditional Gregorian Chant with more recent popular Christmas Carols. From the Abbey's founding in 1949, the Divine Offices were Gregorian chant in Latin, but almost from the beginning the sisters sang a program of carols before Midnight Mass for the Nativity. The community was blessed with two outstanding mentors: Dom Desroquettes, OSB for chant; and C. Alexander Peloquin, director of music at the cathedral of Providence, Rhode Island, for polyphony. The result was this recording, originally made 50 years ago, and now released in digital CD format.
The album features the Midnight Mass, the Lauds Hymn and the Third Mass of Christmas at the beginning, followed by a collection of favorite Christmas carols - which range from Silent Night to Il Est Ne, to Coventry Carol to In Dulce Jubilo. The singing of both is superb. The Gregorian chant is sung superbly with an angelic quality found only in a choir of female voice. Correspondingly, the Christmas carols are sung with the joy and tenderness they deserve.
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