Thursday, September 17, 2020

An Update from OPChant

We first wrote last December, about OPChant, a YouTube channel founded last October by two young seminarians of the Dominican order living and studying in Fribourg, Switzerland, Brother Alexandre Frezzato, who is Swiss, and Brother Stefan Ansinger, who comes from the Netherlands. The mission of OPChant, as the brothers explain, is to use YouTube as a teaching tool to preserve and promote the rich Catholic heritage of Gregorian chant. Each video includes in the description a link to a PDF of the full musical score with the lyrics in Latin, as well as an English translation. In only 11 months, they have produced over 100 videos with appropriate works of music, recorded in high quality in beautiful Swiss monastic settings. Originally intended to reach other Dominicans or church music specialists, they now have 19,000 subscribers, and their videos have been viewed almost 450,000 times.

The brothers also run an ancillary website,, which gathers together all of their scores as an aid to learners, and which includes a Media section that presents links to press coverage of their project. The wide coverage is a phenomenon in itself, and a very encouraging one for those of us who love the chant tradition and wish to see it restored to more regular use in the sacred liturgy. To date, 54 media outlets in 17 countries and regions around the world have produced articles, short videos, or radio programs with and about the brothers. As the channel prepares to celebrate one year online, its success is also newsworthy. This project is the most widely-received public initiative of the Dominican order in Switzerland in over 50 years. The fact that it is a channel for teaching medieval sacred music in Latin makes that all the more remarkable.

Here is a message which Brothers Alexandre and Stefan recently recorded for their followers, and below, a few of their more recent recording. (This post is taken in part from a press-release.)

Per signum Crucis, the Communio of the Exaltation of the Cross.
O Sancta Mundi Domina, a hymn for the Nativity of the Virgin.
Gaude Mater Ecclesia, the Vesper hymn for the feast of St Dominic.

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