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Execution of Plan of Action - Review of May 2012 to May 2017

The professional recordings were made during weeklong sessions in an 11th century Cluniac Romanesque church in Malay – a quiet village in southern Burgundy, France. Recording equipment and technical assistance was provided by Studio Stone, Oldenzaal, the Netherlands. Jan Steenbeeke is the master sound technician. The location chosen was made to concentrate the minds on the Project. Singers were given travel, good accommodation, excellent food and wine, and a beautiful and inspiring location to be in – even if the weather might not be cooperative.

Due to the liturgical reforms of Vaticanum II, new chant antiphons were composed and published in the Antifonale Monasticum by the Abbey of St. Pierre de Solesmes. These were not what we wanted for our project. Our intention was to find an authentic antiphon for every psalm from the vieux fonds (the oldest repertoire), preferably one noted in the late 10th century Codex Hartker SG 390-391, the oldest notated manuscript of the Office repertoire. This has been achieved for about 80% of the antiphons needed.

Several longer psalms were split up into smaller units: for example, Psalm 118/119 with 176 verses is subdivided into 22 parts, each corresponding to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. As a result, 184 antiphons have had to be found for the recording project. In addition to Codex Hartker, about 30 of the oldest manuscripts notating the office repertoire have been consulted to fill this need, including Karlsruhe Aug.LX (essentially viewed as Codex Hartker written on a four-line staff), St.Maur-les-Fossés (BN Paris 12044), Utrecht Antifonale UB 406, SG 388 (= copy of Codex Hartker), Klosterneuburg, Aachen, Firenze, Lucca 601, Worcester F 160, Toledo 44.1 and others.Continue...

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