Plain chants are beautiful prayers.
[Article in Folha de São Paulo, Illustrated F-3 Sunday, August 20, 1989 ]
by José Ramos Sachetta
Assistant editor of the Illustrated
First Year of Gregorian Chant and Gregorian Semiology - two books of Dom Eugène Cardine OSB in one volume. Translation Eleanor Florence Dewey (Mother Mary of the Redeemer CSA), 349 pages, out of print today.
Two key works for understanding of Gregorian chant were translated into Portuguese and released in a single volume:"First Year of Gregorian Chant" and "Gregorian Semiology" result of the most advanced research in the area, conducted by Bishop Eugène Cardine OSB (1905 - 1988), a Benedictine monk of Solesmes Gregorian study center near Paris.
The book fills a gap in the market absolute editorial in Portuguese. The few publications in the area have been made for decades and are exhausted. Its importance is even greater. The research findings of Dom Cardine revolutionized the understanding and as a result, the teaching and practice of plainsong - the word is synonymous with Gregorian chant, but gregorianistas do not.
Dom Cardine tips rhythmic notions hitherto accepted, denying, for example, the existence of binary and ternary rhythms in Gregorian. For him the rhythmic movement obeys the set melody and meaning of the text.
"First Year of Gregorian Chant" is a basic book for beginners. Until its publication, in 1970, in Italy, all of the teaching material was based on the Gregorian method that restored in the last century. From the eleventh century the plainchant experienced decay and the heyday of this, in the eighteenth century, the authentic repertoire was almost nonexistent.
There are about 150 years the Benedictines began recovering the Gregorian, but in the twentieth century that research paleographic Dom Cardine allow closer parts and original way of singing.
In "Semiology of Gregorian Chant" analyzes the language of the original manuscripts of the tenth and eleventh centuries from the study and the significance of the signs neumáticos melodic. The "neumes" are symbols "of musical notation in the Middle Ages. Dom Cardine seeking the authentic interpretation of Gregorian comparing the various neumes employed by medieval copyists.
Dom Cardine says the old spellings determined the interpretive expression that a piece of music and disassembles required a complicated set of meanings hitherto ignored.
The works of Dom Cardine not discuss the history of the formation of the Gregorian. There is no reference to the influence of music in the liturgy franca of the empire of Charlemagne (742-814), which effectively ordered 'the music he believed to be the time of Gregory I (540-604). But this was not the direction of research Dom Cardine, confined to strictly musical development. Almost all its conclusions are now officially accepted by the Church. And interest to every student of ancient music.