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How do you like your plainchant – sung by professional voices, or voiced in prayer by authentic choirs in holy orders? The popular plainsong revival shows no sign of decline, and unique repertoire keeps popping up from both sources. Songs of peace and consolation finds the three women of Trigon exploring chant from the Low Countries and rare, sometimes vernacular, 15th-century Modern Devotion material. This meditation, mostly in pure monody, is kept vital and engaging by vibrant voices and committed singing, bringing manuscripts from Leiden and Utrecht into the light with professional power and profundity; but should the genuine monastic schola, singing its prayers with vocational intensity, be the ideal? The seven-CD set, Chants Grégoriens – les plus belles pièces populaires from Canada’s Chœur des Moins de L’abbaye Saint Benoît du lac plumbs true depths of devotion. However, several discs involve organ in non-historically informed ways and this flock includes bleaters – is this an unavoidable irritant from real monks with incomplete vocal training?

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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