All the Psalms in Gregorian Chant
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    This has never been done! The Psalterium Project has been underway since May 2012. We are going to make it! This will happen! See the progress made on http://www.psalmchant.com .

    Monastic communities are closing or have switched to chanting the psalms in the canonical hours in their local native languages utilizing new chant melodies. The ability – only acquired by much repetition – to fluidly chant the Latin psalms in authentic Gregorian chant tones is being lost. This is an effort to preserve - in sound - a unique Catholic and Western European musical heritage.

    Welcome all comments!

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  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    There is a Foundation supporting the Psalterium Project. It is under Dutch law and info is accessible via http://www.psalterium.nl .
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,507
    [I fixed the links in the comments above. --admin]
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • Cantus67Cantus67
    Posts: 201
    Awesome!!!
  • What an admirable project!
    This has been done to Anglican chant by the English cathedral choirs, but does not, to my knowledge, exist for the Gregorian tones in Latin.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Lovely sound... love the sample recordings.
  • jefe
    Posts: 200
    I too listened to the mp3's and am impressed by the work that has gone into this project. I wrote to them inquiring about the actual music notation they are using and to see if I can get copies, if available for our Psalm Cycle coming at the end of summer. They don't seem to be singing from the Liber U or Ordinarium of any era. If they are indeed singing from manuscripts from a Millennium ago, I'm just wondering whether they were re written into some newer format. We'll see.
    jefe

    Thanked by 1Simon
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    Just to give you an idea of the material we are using I've attached a pdf of Psalms 101-106b as we used in the recording session last October. Some antiphons are in print and simply copy/pasted from the Psalterium Monasticum as published by Solesmes in 1981 - as long as these were from the vieux fonds (the oldest sources). Much in the Solesmes editions are from a later period - even as late as the 19th/20th century.

    The source - and where corrections are sourced - you can read in the notes around the antiphon. If you look carefully you can see the notes (sometimes even the text) that we altered - based on the oldest manuscripts as they differed from printed sources such as the Psalterium Monasticum. Other antiphons are not available in print and have been transcribed by hand from manuscript sources (manuscript source also noted.)

    An interesting one is that chosen for Psalm 106A - included in the attachment. We couldn't find anything from the usual sources. It was found for us by Dom Alberto Turco in Italy in an Ambrosian manuscript and copied over by him by hand and forwarded to us. It is the only antiphon from the Ambrosian rite that we have used.

    Some thirty manuscripts have been consulted. Some 80% of the antiphons finally used are also in the Codex Hartker SG 390-391 - the oldest source of Office repertoire (ca 1000).

    As noted on the website, we have tried to identify the oldest antiphon with a text also found in the psalm itself. Selection of the antiphon was also based on the mode as some modes (such as 1 or 8) are a lot more popular than others. We tried to make the selection of the mode as well as the finale as diverse as possible - but it had to be noted in the vieux fonds.

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  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    The project is completed and now at the printer (the book Psalterium Currens, 272 pages, hard cover, of all 150 psalms with 184 calligraphed antiphons, many published for the first time) and the CD manufacturer (12 CDs of all 150 psalms in Gregorian chant - 14 hours of chant) including a DVD on The Making of the Psalterium Project - Preserving a Unique European Cultural Heritage).

    This DVD is now on online with English undertitling at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBboDbufE-s&feature=youtu.be

    We have ordered 2,000 copies. Only 2,000? This is the reality of CD sales of Gregorian chant! We expect that it will take us 5-7 years to sell these 2,000 copies. Prove us wrong and order a copy!

    This project is privately funded - to the tune of some 90,000 euros over the past 6 years. The two initiators of project are in this for about 30,000 euros each (that's US$37,000 the man). The sound engineer and graphic artist put in hundreds - maybe thousands - of hours into the project for no or little remuneration. And the researchers - our man in Vienna and conductor - hundreds or hours of labour. The rest are sponsors from outside the Project - but no more than 6-7 persons who believe in the Project. They won't get this back, and they don't want it back! Any excess receipts will be spent on new projects to preserve the Gregorian chant heritage. There's something bigger in this for them - the hope and expectation that a unique European cultural heritage will be recorded and preserved!

    A presentation of this Project is tentatively scheduled at the 13th Annual Colloquium of the Gregorian Institute of Canada, May 31-June 3, 2018, Huron College, Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

    The initial presentation of the 12-CD Box with DVD documentary and complete Psalterium Currens will be made at the XIIIth International Festival for Gregorian Chant 2018 in Watou (Belgium) May 9-13, 2018.

    Preliminary orders are now being taken. See: http://psalmchant.com/progresspage1a.html

    See the website for more information and sound samples (http://psalmchant.com/showcase.html) .
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    Here is an example of a page from the Psalterium Currens. Photo from the printer:





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  • SFGall
    Posts: 3
    Will the Psalter and notation become available in either print or electronic format?
    Thanked by 1Simon
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    Print only.
    Thanked by 1SFGall
  • Do you have anyone preparing a review for either print or online locations? (for example, Newliturgicalmovement.org or Sacred Music journal)?
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    To Janet: Not quite clear what you want here. All the info is on the website psalmchant.com. Any review will come from someone wanting to make one - not really something that should come from us as the makers. The project recordings will NOT be online. It's CDs or nothing - although I can imagine someone (an early subscriber maybe) plumping this on YouTube without our permission. No one wants to take this marginal music on Spotify or ITunes. Not enough demand. Only 2000 copies made. That's it for the coming decade. As noted above - we expect it will take 5-7 years to move this, at least! For info: all the material has now (as of April 23) been delivered: the book Psalterium Currens with all 150 psalms and 184 calligraphed antiphons and the CDbox. All early subscriptions will be sent out in the first week of May.
  • Simon, I think Janet was suggesting that you should try to promote it by asking for a review from one of the sites that does reviews. It would help with marketing what you have to further drive subscriptions / sales.
    Thanked by 1Simon
  • Yes, The CMAA regularly receives unsolicited books and CD's for potential review for the Sacred Music journal. The same sort of thing could be done with the managing editor (Gregory DiPippo) for the New Liturgical Movement. This type of review could give greater visibility and potentially greater sales of the book and CD set.
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    My simple ignorance. I have no idea what plays in North America. Sacred Music Journal? Never heard of it. New Liturgical Movement? What's that? I will look into eventually sending stuff for review. I think our main market will be here in Europe - members of the AISCGre, for example. Only a fraction of sales will go elsewhere is my judgement. But not be ignored. We've decided to include a bonus for all foreign (non Dutch) orders. A CD of the Easter Matins that the Schola Cantorum Amsterdam released in 2009. There are more than 1300 still in stock (we made 2000). A positive review at the time in Fanfare made no ripples at all. See (scroll down a bit): http://gregoriaanskoor.nl/programmaschola.html
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,507
    "Sacred Music" journal and the "New Liturgical Movement" website are, like this forum site, activities sponsored by the Church Music Association of America. Check out the journal on the main musicasacra.com website. Nederlanders zijn ook van harte welkom.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 596
    Hey, I'm foreign and I already ordered a set. Happy to participate in the wee fraction. It looks very interesting.
    Thanked by 1Simon
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    Just checked the sites of the Sacred Music journal and the New Liturgical Movement. The first states: Sacred Music accepts unsolicited submissions. We are interested in editorials on current topics in church music, analysis of current or historical documents, reports on parish life as it impacts pastoral liturgy, scholarly research concerning gregorian chant and classical polyphony, practical guides to sacred music, reports of concerts, reviews of new and older works, news reports, and letters to the editor.

    No mention of CD samples or the like. Just a practical guide to managing parish life and enlightening the lay folk on developments in sacred music conducting, living with recalcitrant priests, etc. Don't think I'll send anything.

    The second has no indication at all of its purpose in life or on the web. I could find no additional page at all about its goals or whatever. It just has one homepage with links to all kinds of articles on various liturgical themes, discussions, conference proceedings, vocations, ceremonial guides - you name it. But no reason for me to send them a sample of what we just made. UPDATE: just - as I write this! - got an email from the editor with the link - it's a bit far down on the left side of the homepage of the website - not very logical for a first visitor. And... it's a message from a German Cardinal and Archbishop from 1997! Hmmm. What am I to think of that as the prime purpose of this site?

    But, hey, that's ok! That's life in the Catholic Church - we're still looking around to find our way home!

    An additional note not related to the subject: We just hosted - here in Amsterdam - the Lay Clerks from St. Mary's Cathedral from Sydney, Australia. They sang (full choir with the boys) the Whitsun/Pentecost mass last Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican together with the Sistine Chapel Choir. The general very reserved conclusion: The Church deserves much better choral music in its home.

    The choral music in the Vatican is - in other (and my) words - rather awful. And I've heard similar views from other visiting choirs as well. And I have heard it live on Christmas eves in years past. And... did you know that the Cappella Giulia singers are paid almost 3x more than the lay clerks in Westminster Abbey (the best paid in the UK)?

    To the Editor: Should I start a new thread? Hmmm, maybe I will.

    [Accordingly, discussion of the music at St. Peter's should please continue at the separate thread on that topic.--admin]
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 934
    @Simon - I just got my copy of the Psalterium Currens and have listened to the 1st 3 psalms and it is beautiful! Thank you for doing this!
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    It was a lot of work but now all 150 psalms in Gregorian chant are available for digital distrubution.

    Here's the first link: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/hartkeriana

    Over 14 hours of psalm chanting for less than 30 dollars.

    iTunes, Spotify etc. will follow in the coming weeks.



    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    All 150 psalms in Gregorian chant can now be downloaded from Spotify: All 150 Latin Psalms in Gregorian Chant - each psalm with an authentic antiphon from the earliest manuscripts from the psalm itself! Fanfare Magazine reviewed this monumental recording.

    Also available as CD Box with a hard cover book of all psalms and antiphons! All 150 psalms with 183 antiphons – many recorded for the first time - completed in May 2018. See www.psalmchant.com for a complete overview of this ambitious undertaking.

    Here is a link from the Psalterium site with the review by Fr. J.F. Weber in Fanfare Magazine with some sound samples: http://www.psalterium.nl/


  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    Since this post came up again, and while this part is likely no longer relevant, as the book itself is now just about three years old, I think it is worth a comment.

    Just a practical guide to managing parish life and enlightening the lay folk on developments in sacred music conducting, living with recalcitrant priests, etc. Don't think I'll send anything.


    This is an unfair characteristic of Sacred Music and ought to have been corrected at the time. Musicology, the history of chant (which sometimes is the first), and its performance are all relevant topics for the journal and the work of the CMAA at large. This obviously fits all three categories, and I think that the audience was hastily misjudged as well, something that also should have been corrected. There are many people, both active scholars and performers outside of the academy (that is, active church musicians), whether Catholic or not, who would appreciate such a work and who live in North America.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 338
    Thanks, just noticed now! www.psalmchant.com seems to be off-line...
    Thanked by 1Simon
  • Our Community uses Latin on Sundays, Solemnities, and Feasts and English on Ferial Days. Despite what many have said, we found that it is possible to chant in English with the Monastic Tones if the tones are studied well... and accent and context are taken into consideration.

    I think its a beautiful thing to keep Latin Tradition alive but at the same time making use of the Vernacular as a "Monastic Apostolate" for the laity who hear it. It would be nice if this project considered using Monastic Tones in Vernacular for other Religious Communities who might want to give it a try and forgo the invented tones.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 596
    I bought the book (it came with CDs, I think, but my CD player needs replacing). I am enjoying singing through it just for private devotion, but it seems to have been made more as a performative project rather than a 'handy parish reference guide'. Which is fine, just to say, if you are expecting something to use in the parish, I think this is not necessarily the right kind of book for that. But it might be of much joy and interest to someone who loves Gregorian chant in and of itself.
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    Thanks for the info Elmar! Looking into this! Meanwhile the Psalterium Foundation's site has some basic info on the Project as well as all info on ordering. http://www.psalterium.nl/
    Thanked by 2ServiamScores Elmar
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 691
    I bought the book (it came with CDs, I think, but my CD player needs replacing). I am enjoying singing through it just for private devotion, but it seems to have been made more as a performative project rather than a 'handy parish reference guide'. Which is fine, just to say, if you are expecting something to use in the parish, I think this is not necessarily the right kind of book for that. But it might be of much joy and interest to someone who loves Gregorian chant in and of itself.


    I am seriously considering ordering this. The audio examples are quite stunning. That said, in the little documentary linked on the psalterium website, they interview the director and members of the schola and they freely admit that it is a high artistic pursuit (sadly, the director says they are doing it for themselves, not for God... which is a great pity) and that it really is something that will benefit connoisseurs of chant, but likely will not speak to or convert the general populace. I don't know of anyone who listens to chant for fun who isn't actively involved in a schola somewhere. But if you want to wash yourself in the sound of highly skilled formulaic chanting, I'm not aware of anything better than this.

    I'd like to order it just to absorb the sound for hours to help me craft the sound of my schola when we chant.
    Thanked by 2CatherineS Simon
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 934
    Serviam, I got the CDs when they first came out. Well worth the money.
    Thanked by 2ServiamScores Simon
  • Simon
    Posts: 131
    http://www.psalmchant.com back online with a lot more background info on the Project. Needs some updating though. Will work on this in the coming week with the man (one of the singers) who made the site and was responsible for all the graphic art work of the whole package. He's been quite ill for some time - this accounts for the lack of updates in the last couple of years.
    Thanked by 1Elmar