Cistercian Monks Of Stift Heiligenkreuz - Chant: Music For Paradise

Published Monday 16th June 2008
Cistercian Monks Of Stift Heiligenkreuz - Chant: Music For Paradise
Cistercian Monks Of Stift Heiligenkreuz - Chant: Music For Paradise

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 47881-14329

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

To see this album of unadorned Gregorian chant resting alongside Usher and Scooter in Britain's pop chart is a delightful surprise though not, as pop historians will tell you, a unique occurrence. Back in 1994 the albums 'Chant' and 'Canto Gregoriano' by the Benedictine Monks Of Santo Domingo De Silos sold millions when some bright music industry suits came up with the idea of marketing ancient Latin plainchant as a remedy for stress. Now it seems that the West's turbulent times have encouraged Universal Classics to take the same marketing approach with this item, recorded at the Sanctuary Of The Relic Of The Holy Cross in Stift Heiligenkreuz, Austria. If you've yet to encounter this or the Santo Domingo De Silos albums and can't remember the old dance hits "Sadness" and "Mea Culpa" by Enigma (which liberally sampled Gregorian chant) let me explain that Gregorian Chant is a single note melodic modulation rising and falling with rhythm determined by the words of Scripture being recited. Chant was not of course written to be listened to or to be "chilled out" to but was part of the ancient tradition of worship of the Roman Catholic Church. On record, for decades now Gregorian Chant has been considered a subdivision of classical/choral music and there are literally hundreds of albums of plainchant issued by the classical companies. 'Chant: Music For Paradise' isn't the best album of the genre you'll find, but the haunting voices of the monks caught in the sublime cadences of their monastery's natural reverb do indeed have a marvellously other-worldly character with the tracks "Deliver Me" and "Hymn For Pentecost" being particularly powerful in engendering a mood of peaceful tranquillity. And it's good to see Universal have supplied English translations of the Bible texts used for non-Latin speakers. All in all, an album of considerable beauty which indeed will relax tens of thousands of purchasers. My only query is the title. When I get to Paradise I expect to be singing Matt Redman songs.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Reader Comments

Posted by Thomas Chambers in Chicago, Il. @ 14:49 on Jul 23 2008

I would very much like to get CD of this music. Please tell me how I would purchase one. Thank You

Reply by Barbara Davis in Santa Monica, CA @ 22:25 on Jul 29 2008

I would also like to get a CD of "Chant Music for Paradise." Could you tell me how to go about doing that? Thank you.

[report abuse]

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

Add your comment

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.