Christian main page music Interesting recordings

Voice of the Blood: Hildegard von Bingen
Deutsche harmonia mundi

Hildegard, the 12th century mystic, is undergoing quite a renaissance at the moment. I certainly have no idea how accurately the various records are as historical documents about her music. There is no doubt however, that this album is quite glorious. 76 minutes of chants, using a female lead voice. The Amen's are especially wonderful.

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Chorus of Bulgarian Radio, Mikhil Milkov
EMI Classics, 2 CD's

Eastern Orthodox churches use a worship service called the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Both Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, among other well known composers have put their hands to composing music for this liturgy. The form of the liturgy used among Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian churches is quite similar.

The Penguin Guide to Compact Disks, gives this particular recording their rosette (highest rating), saying: "glorious ... there are moments of overwhelming simple beauty. ... it would be difficult to imagine this superbly recorded performance being bettered." For what it's worth, I agree.

Sacred Treasures: Choral Masterworks from Russia
various composers (including Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky)
Hearts of Space

The music here overlaps with the CD above. This has a variety of composers but focuses on choral music for the orthodox liturgy. Very beautiful.


Taize: Wait for the Lord

Taize worship is a style that uses a series of simple chants. Each chant (typically a phrase from the Bible) is repeated over and over. (See the web site for Taize and GIA in the spirituality page). There are several albums of this music, this one is a good introduction to the experience.

Lord of Light
St. Louis Jesuits

The St. Louis Jesuits are a group of Catholic musicians producing a religious music with flavors of folk and meditation. Again, they have several albums out, this is a personal favorite.

Songs for Worship: Vol. 1 & 2
John Michael Talbot
The Sparrow Corporation

John Michael Talbot, a well-known composer has collected here many liturgical pieces (Kyries, Psalms, Lamb of God, etc.) all in a peaceful, flowing style.

Gregorian Chant and Polyphony
EMI Classics, 1995

Part of a series of introductions to types of music, this is both a CD of Gregorian chant and a booklet with a nice introduction to the music and the historic context that produced it.
Last updated 2/28/06; first posted 3/2/99; © 2006 John P. Nordin