More Missal Chant Recordings

The National Association of Pastoral Musicians has recorded some Missal chants from the new translation. Find them here. (“Recordings of chants from The Roman Missal © 2010, National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM). All rights reserved.”)

The Church Music Association of America’s versions are here. (“Recordings of chant from The Roman Missal that you can borrow, sell, propagate, or anything else. All rights freely shared with the world.”)

They do make for an interesting comparison.

7 Replies to “More Missal Chant Recordings”

  1. I'm enjoying geeking out on this comparison. I like that different recordings exist- I'd love to see even more.

    I have no scholarly basis to critique or review, so I will say the following is entirely personal taste (about which there can be no argument)…

    I prefer the CMAA recordings. The chant style seems much… cleaner. More straightforward. I feel like I'm in a simple, sunlit chapel on a quiet morning. (A specific chapel, actually- at the Franciscan retreat center where I first heard plainchant and first prayed the Daily Office). The sound exemplifies everything I love about vernacular chant.

    The NPM recordings are good, too- don't get me wrong. But they are probably a little closer to the reality of parish life (which is a benefit in and of itself, I suppose). The singing sounds fuller, thicker- like it has to get out over a vast crowd at the 10:30 Family Mass.

    Taken together (and combined with what I hope are more recordings over time) one realizes that these chants are robust and flexible, and that they will work in any setting- chapel, cathedral, or we're-sill-meeting-in-the-knights-of-columbus-hall-while-we-raise-money-for-a-building.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. I'm also glad NPM did this but the results do seem not so much like chant as something else, and this is for two reasons: 1) someone decided to record this in a studio environment that is deader than any space in nature; there is not even a split second of sustain in the pitches, and 2) the singers were focused on getting the notes right and completely ignored the cadence of the text itself, so every word comes across as equally accented or unaccented as the case may be, which only adds to the sense of artifice. I'm quite certain that amateur singers in a parish environment could and would sing with less affectation and that would be welcome.

  3. "The NPM recordings of music for The Roman Missal have been made possible primarily through a generous grant from a major Catholic foundation and the contributions of NPM members. We have also received support for this project from GIA Publications, Inc., The Liturgical Press, OCP, and WLP/J. S. Paluch Co. We are grateful for the generosity that has allowed NPM to make these resources freely available."

    And I'm guessing that the very fine CMAA recordings were done at home, by a single unpaid volunteer (by Jeffrey O., it sounds like), with simple recording and editing software on a computer.

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