[85] Benedictine Monks of St Maurice and St Maur – Salve Regina

21 Nov

Dull voices droning on in dull unison for almost an hour.  No passion, no excitement, no thank you.

Gregorian Chant

Gregorian Chants

I have heard Gregorian Chant before – it was hard to avoid it for a while there in the late 80s and early 90s.  Someone made it “cool” in the New Age revival and this sound was all over the radio, TV advertisements, even the pop charts.

It was never a sound that inspired me, but I was more than prepared to give Tom Moon the benefit of the doubt.  After all much of this entire process has been about experiencing the very best of genres I do not know or perhaps even especially like.

And as with all of the albums I find myself unable to recommend, I listened again and again, in every setting and situation I could think of, trying to find an angle, a hook, anything to grasp on to.

I never did find one.

My problem is not that this is clearly religious music.  Even such an Openly Secular individual as I can be moved by religious music (see Missa Solemnis . . .)  For good or ill, religion can provoke strong emotion, and strong emotion is meat and drink to most of the best music.  But in reaching for serenity, the monks here are as far from any emotion as they can be.

I hate pretty much every moment.

Sometimes Electronica or Minimalism removes passion for effect, but in each case the passion is replaced with something, perhaps cerebral or intellectual.  But these chants appear to be reaching for nothingness, for white noise.

I’d rather listen to actual silence.

In the past, when dealing with a Tom Moon selection that I am not enjoying, I research.  I learn the historical importance, the social and musical context.  It is a measure of my frustration with the mediocrity I feel I am hearing here that I cannot summon the desire to care.

It’s just not engaging enough, accomplished enough, interesting enough, flat-out not good enough for me to care why someone might think it important.

There is music I like to drift away to, sounds of contemplation and reflection.  This recording will never join those albums.

It may well be the first recording in the 1,000 I will never listen to again . . .

Next week:  Tony Bennett and Bill Evans – The Tony Bennett-Bill Evans Album

Owned before blogging? No. (9 of 85 = 11%)
Heard before blogging? No. (12 of 85 = 14%)
Recommend? No. (68 of 85 = 80%)

One Response to “[85] Benedictine Monks of St Maurice and St Maur – Salve Regina”


  1. [145] The Bulgarian Women’s National Radio and Television Chorus – Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares | . . . To Hear Before I Blog - January 22, 2016

    […] the Gregorian Chants which were supposed to sooth but ultimately infuriated several months ago, these sounds are meant […]

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