I've been listening to about 10 audio cd's by Ensemble Organum for a few months now. Ensemble Organum was founded in 1982 by Marcel Peres to perform medieval western chant from years 600 to 1600 AD. and is based in France. Lycourgos Angelopoulos (His All Holiness Bartholomew I entrusted Lycourgos with the role of the Archon Protopsaltis of the Archdiocesy of Constantinople.) appears as guest on at about a third of their 25 to 30 different recordings. Sr. Marie Keyrouz, a Melkite, was ^featured on at least 2 recordings too.
I believe they claim to perform authentic versions of ambrosian, old roman, mozarabic, beneventan and 11th century aquatainian and parisian chant.
Having heard other 1 or 2 recordings of each the ambrosian, old roman and Mozarabic chant by other Scholas and Ensembles that sound nothing like Ensemble Organum versions I now wonder who is wrong and who is right. Not to mention their Guillame de Machaut 13th century Liturgy which is night and day radically difference from all other recorded versions.
Is Ensemble Organum imagining an Eastern influenced chant in the west that never existed?
Is Lycourgos trying to "hellenize" the west? (we know he likes ecumenism with respectful RC's)
Or are the other western chant scholas imagining a western chant that either has destroyed all eastern influence in living tradition or never had it at all and existed in it's own unique stasis bubble.
I myself would like to believe that such beautiful recordings have some basis in truth and would even be accepted by Roman Catholics of today. At present I know many Roman and Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox that very much enjoy Ensemble Organum and are astounded by their interpretations. But does that really mean anything? What's the point if it's never accepted as legitimate by any Church. I fear that their methods may be doomed to history never to be tried again by anyone else..because they are considered biased and unauthentic corrupted versions of dead traditions.
I await your answers with great anxiety and impatience. http://www.harmoniamundi.com/usa/artistes_fiche.php?artist_id=120
^This is the label they record for and a bit of their biography^ http://www.wnyc.org/shows/newsounds/episodes/2003/04/16
^A Spectular live version of Mozarabic Chant to my ears!^ http://www.romancatholicism.org/chant/chant.htm
^to hear their most well known recordings, try scrolling down this page, it is a good example of their most eastern influenced work.^