Notre-Dame: Cathédrale d'Émotions

Notre-Dame: Cathédrale d'Émotions

by La Maitrise de Notre DameLa Maitrise de Notre Dame


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Cathédrale d'émotions is being marketed as a choral release that will keep the music alive while the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral is under repair. It's a little disingenuous inasmuch as most of the music here was recorded at Notre-Dame, before the fire. The "Magnificat" of Jean-Charles Gandrille (b. 1982) was the last work heard at Notre-Dame before the disaster, and this is indeed haunting, but these observations are nitpicking. The album is worth hearing on its own merits, regardless of how it has been presented. La Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris is the cathedral's choir school, dating back almost to its opening day nearly seven centuries ago. Under its auspices are several choirs, ranging from children to adults, which appear on this release in various configurations; there is also a professional Ensemble Vocal de Notre-Dame de Paris, heard here as well. The great attraction of the album, beyond its proclaimed timeliness, is that these groups have very rarely been recorded. In principle, they're cousins of choral groups at the great English cathedral, but they're very different animals. The music has all been sung at Notre-Dame at one time or another, but what strikes the listener is its heterogeneity. The music runs from Notre-Dame polyphony of the medieval era to the present day. There are several English pieces, nicely sung without French mannerisms, pieces from various periods rooted in chant, and works in the French Romantic cathedral style with organ. Notre-Dame organist Olivier Latry is heard in some of these, but the organ in the Gandrille "Magnificat," the program's centerpiece, is played by the composer. It's a vigorous work, beautifully sung here, and it could easily be transplanted to other venues. The bottom line is this is an enjoyable choral album that's quite a bit livelier than the august nature of the venue might lead one to expect.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/28/2020
Label: Warner Classics
UPC: 0190295287993
catalogNumber: 528799
Rank: 41272


  1. Veni Sancte Spiritus, for chorus & organ
  2. Vêpres de la Vierge Marie, for baritone, chorus, 2 cornets, 3 sackbuts & 2 organs: Psaume 121
  3. Occidentem illustrat oriens, responsory (Office of the Crown of Thorns)
  4. Christmas Day, for chorus & orchestra, H. 109
  5. A Babe Is Born, for chorus & organ, Op. 55
  6. Benedicamus Domino, organum for 3 voices
  7. Hui matin a l'ajournee
  8. Magnificat, for chorus, childen's chorus & organ, Op. 50
  9. I Saw Three Ships, for chorus, optional children's chorus & piano (or orchestra)
  10. Circa canit
  11. O Magnum Mysterium, for chorus

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