"In the six years since this female quartet astonished the music world with its clear- voiced, impeccably sung renditions of medieval chant and polyphonic music, chant rose from the dark and dusty corners of classical music to enjoy a phenomenal run at center stage.New and reissued chant recordings achieved sales figures normally reserved for popular music. This is the recording that started it all (that Spanish monks disc came later), winning awards and earning near- permanent resident status on the national charts. Spiritually moving and vocally revelatory, this program recreates a kind of mass sung in English churches during the 13th and 14th centuries. With their warm tone and perfect intonation, these four singers achieve an expressiveness that is rare among chant interpreters, most effective in the seductive, highly ornamented 'Kyrie.' The sound is exemplary–although a studio recording, it perfectly conveys the atmosphere of an English cathedral."David Vernier, Amazon.com
Conductus, organum, and discantus may not be words in your everyday vocabulary, but these terms identify musical forms that defined everyday musical activity during one of music history's most fruitful periods. The 12th century in France, especially in Paris–the artistic, educational, and religious center of Western Europe–saw enormous progress in the arts, architecture, and education. Not surprisingly, technical and theoretical aspects of music advanced as well. On this disc, the six-voice men's ensemble Lionheart demonstrates in vivid, rich vocal tones the sometimes stark but always powerful sound of Medieval chant and its expanded two- and three-part forms. The liner notes give clear explanations of the compositions and provide the listener with meaningful historical context. But listening to these excellent voices is not just an educational experience. The music has an inherent purity, sensuality, and honesty that's refreshing and reassuring.
Ambrosian chant (also known as Milanese chant) is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Ambrosian rite of the Roman Catholic Church, related to but distinct from Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with the Archdiocese of Milan, and named after St. Ambrose much as Gregorian chant is named after Gregory the Great. It is the only surviving plainchant tradition besides the Gregorian to maintain the official sanction of the Roman Catholic Church.