On this Vigil of Our Lady’s great feast, I wanted to draw our readers’ attention to an exciting new album by the Dominican Friars in Washington DC, called Ave Maria: Dominican Chant for the Immaculate Conception.
This is a large set of music, as can be seen from its gorgeous libretto here in PDF. The brothers have an especially unified sound that comes from singing together many times a day.
Dominican Chant has its own heritage that is somewhat distinct from, and historically parallel to, Roman chant. The Solemn Salve Regina, for example, has more–unwritten–lengthenings of notes than the cathedral version, while retaining the te on the “nobis,” which is a ti in other editions, such as the Carthusian.
As a mendicant Order, the Dominicans required a unified liturgy so that a friar transferred from one house to another would easily find his way through the Mass and Hours. All the easier that he might hear in his mind’s ear his founder St. Dominic’s exhortations to the choir: “Stronger! Faster!”
Just in time for Christmas, in honor of the Blessed Mother on her great Feast, order the CD here and support a huge thriving seminary full of the next generation of the Order of Preachers at the service of the Church.