Chant (Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos album)

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Chant (album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 15, 1994
GenreGregorian chant
ProducerMaria Francisca Bonmati
The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos chronology
Chant II

Chant is a compilation album of Gregorian chant, performed by The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos in Spain.

The performances were recorded perhaps as early as the 1970s, either in the province of Burgos or in Madrid, the Spanish capital.[1] The music did not sell significantly until it was re-released by Angel in 1994 when it was strongly marketed as an antidote to the stress of modern life.[2] Chant is the best-selling album of Gregorian chant ever released. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 music chart, and was certified as double platinum, meaning two million copies were sold in the United States. Worldwide, the album sold around six million copies.


The monks of Santo Domingo de Silos have been singing Gregorian chant since the 11th century (before that, they used Mozarabic chant). There was a break in the tradition in the 1830s when the abbey was closed by the government as part of the so-called Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal. The abbey was reestablished with the help of monks from Solesmes Abbey in France.[3] Solesmes is known for its commitment to plainsong and the Solesmes style of singing has influenced the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos,[4] although the monks' pronunciation of Latin reflects their Spanish background.

Sources agree that the music on Chant had been recorded some years before it achieved worldwide fame. However, the exact dates appear to be elusive. According to the records posted on the Gregorian Association site, Chant consists of recordings made 1972-1982.[5] Blair Sanderson suggests that a seminary in the Spanish city of Logroño invited the monks to record a vinyl album of chant in order to popularize it among churchgoers, and that most of the music was recorded around 1980, while there is a greater proportion of music recorded in the 1970s in the follow-up album Chant II.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [1]

Reviewers expressed surprise at the commercial success of the album,[2] although there had previously been popular interest in Gregorian chants as a consequence of the success of the project Enigma in 1990/91, specifically the single "Sadeness (Part I)". Not only had Gregorian chant been a specialist market for record companies before the 1980s, but also other monastic choirs, such as that of Solesmes Abbey, had enjoyed a higher profile as recording artists than the Silos monks.[4]

The monks normally follow a routine based on their monastic duties. However, following the commercial success of Chant they made publicity appearances and were interviewed on The Tonight Show and Good Morning America.

Sequel albums[edit]

Chant Noël: Chants For The Holiday Season was released 1 November 1994,[6] with Chant II released 17 October 1995[7] and Chant III on 17 September 1996.[8]

In 1998, Chant was reissued as a gold-audiophile CD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. In 2004, it was re-issued along with its follow-up, Chant II as Chant: The Anniversary Edition by Angel/EMI Classics.

The album was spoofed by members of the comedy rock band Big Daddy, performing as the Benzedrine Monks of Santa Domonica, in their album Chantmania,[9] which included Gregorian-inspired versions of notable pop songs. Sandra Boynton also produced a book and CD entitled Grunt: Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko de Silo.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Puer Natus Est Nobis": Introit (Mode VII) – 3:36
  2. "Os Iusti": Gradual (Mode I) – 2:49
  3. "Christus Factus Est Pro Nobis": Gradual (Mode V) – 2:39
  4. "Mandatum Novum Do Vobis": Antiphonal And Psalm 132 (Mode III) – 1:41
  5. "Media Vita In Morte Sumus": Responsorio (Mode IV) – 6:11
  6. "Alleluia, Beatus Vir Qui Suffert": Alleluia (Mode I) – 3:10
  7. "Spiritus Domini": Introit (Mode VIII) – 3:46
  8. "Improperium": Offertorio (Mode VIII) – 2:36
  9. "Laetatus Sum": Gradual (Mode VII) – 2:17
  10. "Kyrie XI A": Kyrie (Mode I) – 1:06
  11. "Puer Natus In Bethlehem": Ritmo (Mode I) – 1:58
  12. "Jacta Cogitatum Tuum": Gradual (Mode VII) – 3:34
  13. "Verbum Caro Factum Est": Responsorio (Mode VII) – 4:04
  14. "Genuit Puerpera Regem": Antiphonal And Psalm 99 (Mode II) – 2:56
  15. "Occuli Omnium": Gradual (Mode VII) – 3:21
  16. "Ave Mundi Spes Maria": Sequenza (Mode I) – 4:18
  17. "Kyrie Fons Bonitatis": Trope (Mode III) – 4:00
  18. "Veni Sancte Spiritus": Sequenza (Mode I) – 2:42
  19. "Hosanna Filio David": Antiphonal (Mode VII) – 0:42


  • Jay Barbieri, Art Direction
  • Angel Barco, Original Engineer
  • Maria Francisca Bonmati, Original Producer
  • Ismael Fernández de la Cuesta, Music Direction
  • Robert LaPorta, Compilation Producer
  • David Foil, Liner Notes
  • Richard Price / Ted Jensen, Mastering
  • Francisco Lara, Music Direction
  • Marvin Mattelson, Cover Design, Cover Art
  • Aimee Gautreau, Marketing


  1. ^ a b c Chant at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  2. ^ a b Lister, David (29 March 1994). "Plainsong soars up the charts". The Independent. London. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  3. ^ Alston, George Cyprian. "Abbey of St. Solesmes". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 23 March 2015
  4. ^ a b Selective Chant Discography, The Gregorian Association (London, England)
  5. ^ Monks of S. Domingo de Silos, The Gregorian Association
  6. ^ [1] Chant Noël at
  7. ^ [2] Chant II at
  8. ^ [3] Chant III at
  9. ^ [4] Chantmania at
  10. ^ [5] Grunt at