Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CBC on Gregorian Chant and the Gregorian Colloquium in Montreal

Back in May we told you about the Gregorian chant colloquium which was taking place in Montreal as part of the activities of the Gregorian Institute of Canada.

That colloquium will be taking place in the next few days from August 16-19, and the CBC (essentially the Canadian equivalent to the BBC) has picked up on this story, interviewing Jean-Pierre Noiseux, the organizer of the colloquium.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Q: Today we think of Gregorian chant as something relegated to the distant past. But is it?

A: Yes and no. Yes, if you consider only that it was created some 1,250 years ago, or that it was sung in the Roman Catholic church until the 1960s, and that its liturgical use has declined considerably since then. But no, if you consider that it is still a valid liturgical chant, and that it is still possible to hear chant today, whether in liturgy, in concert, on CD, on your iPod or the internet.

Q: What kind of people are attracted to Gregorian chant?

A: It would be much easier to identify what kind of people would not be attracted to Gregorian chant. Those who link chant exclusively to a recent historical period of the Catholic church they wish to deny in its entirety are surely among them. But it's clear to me that almost any open-minded person can be attracted, because it is great music that laid the foundation for the Western musical tradition.


Q: To fully appreciate Gregorian chant, do you need to sing it?

A: Gregorian chant was created for liturgical purposes, and this includes performing as well as listening. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the best place to sing and listen to chant is within the liturgy. Because of that, I tend to find it more difficult to perform chant in concert. That doesn't mean Gregorian chant should not be performed in concert, but it does not naturally fit to this context...

Read the entire interview.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: