Hartkeriana was established in 1994 by Prof. Eugeen Liven d’Abelardo with the purpose of singing Gregorian chant – with an emphasis on the office repertoire – to a professional standard. There is a huge diversity of musical genres, forms and style periods within the extensive chant repertoire of which only a small part finds use in the liturgy today. One reason for this is the often virtuosic and melismatic nature of much chant which demands high technical and vocal abilities in the singers. Furthermore, the rapidly evolving insights into performance practice have led to a need for more specialized music practitioners and in depth musicological study. Since the 1950s, primarily due to the extensive comparative manuscript study conducted by the Benedictine monks Dom Eugène Cardine and Dom Jean Claire of the Abbaye St. Pierre de Solesmes, there has been a new rhythmic and melodic insight discovered in the Gregorian chant semiology and the modal analysis.
The group is varyingly composed of six to ten male singers – each approaching the chant from a different background and perspective. Some of them have been trained as professional singers. Most have been schooled in Gregorian chant during several years – even decades – of singing the Office repertoire with extensive psalm chanting with the Schola Cantorum Amsterdam. Each singer is instilled with a deep commitment to the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of the Gregorian chant repertoire.
Several recordings have been made including a double CD of the masses and office of St. John the Baptist together with a female chant choir from Norway Schola Sanctae Sunnivae. The recording was very positively reviewed by the Journal of Plainsong and Medieval Music: “The singing of both groups, both separately and occasionally together, is excellent…….this is a remarkably complete feast day celebration". Continue...