A year after the release of its first album, In Medio Ecclesiae, Dominicana Records presents Ave Maria: Dominican Chant for the Immaculate Conception. In this new album, the schola of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., sing many of the chants from the Order’s history in honor of Mary and, especially, her Immaculate Conception. To order the CD online and have it shipped directly to you, please visit our Records page and click on the button “Buy CD” below the album cover. The album is also available for download through the button “Buy MP3,” also below the album cover, or through the iTunes buttons under the separate listings of the albums further down on the page. The CD will also be available at select bookstores, which we will list on our records page.
When the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph built a House of Studies in Washington, D.C., at the start of the twentieth century, the friars wanted to dedicate the new foundation to the Blessed Virgin. Just over fifty years after the solemn proclamation of the dogma concerning Mary’s perpetual preservation from the stain of original sin, the Dominicans of the United States opened the Priory of the Immaculate Conception. Therefore, when we decided to record and produce a new album, we naturally decided to dedicate it to she who is the honor of our race, she who was conceived without sin.
Recorded in the beautiful acoustic of Washington’s Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, Ave Maria features chants for the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for Compline on Marian feasts. This recording creatively juxtaposes two sets of chants that are proper to the feast of the Immaculate Conception: the common chants for the Blessed Virgin Mary dating back to the medieval period and chants that were adapted or composed in the late nineteenth century for the new proper texts given to this feast after the proclamation of the dogma. Along with the medieval Mass, the schola sings the chants of Dominican Mass V, which has typically been reserved for celebrations honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Featuring all chant, this current album complements In Medio Ecclesiae, released in 2013, which draws more prominently from the schola’s repertoire in polyphony and hymnody. In continuing this project, begun nearly three years ago, we wish to share a fundamental part of our common life with the rest of the world. Music is an integral part of our common prayer life and presents just one way in which we seek to unite our present work with the rich history of our Order. In drawing from the wealth of the order’s past, we look to contribute to the present in ways that are both innovative and informed.
As we move toward the seasons of Advent and Christmas, we ask you to consider Ave Maria when thinking about the right gift to give to your loved ones. And if you know of places that may be interested in carrying Ave Maria or that may want to feature a piece on the album—such as a Catholic or classical radio station, a favorite blog, or a diocesan newspaper or parish bulletin—please contact the brothers promoting Dominicana Records at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, please check back on the Records page as we continue to add retailers, and please pray that many will be led to God through the beauty of the Church’s musical heritage.
Image: Cover Art, Ave Maria: Dominican Chant for the Immaculate Conception