The “ScholaGregorianaAurea Luce” is a Gregorian choir composed of 12 women and 10 men with choir experience background. The schola, originally called “MulierumScholaGregorianaAurea Luce”,started in 2002 as a women choir with the choirmaster Renzo Toffoli. The men’s section has been part of the choir since June 2008. According to traditional Gregorian chant, men and women sing separately, each section performing different songs or different verses or hymn strophes of the same song.
The mission of the Schola is to study and promote Gregorian chant as a musical art. The Schola wants to perform Gregorian chants according to the authentic medieval style, as interpreted from the rigorous study of the Xth XIIth century manuscripts. This authentic and original style is possible thanks to the diligent research conducted by the monks of the French Benedictine abbey of Solesmes, which is considered one of the most prestigious centers for Gregorian studies in the world. In order to achieve a better understanding of the original interpretation of a particular chant, the Schola compares both of the Sangallese and Metense semiologies. In addition, the Schola uses melodic restitutions for the melodic notation, derived from comparisons between the “Benevento 34”, “Albi”, “Sait-Yrieix”, “Graz 807” and “Montpellier 159” diastematic codes. The length of the notes and the tension of the musical phrase are determined after an accurate study of a song.
After studying the classical foundations of Gregorian songs, in particular those related to the great festivities of the liturgical year (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Lent, Day if the Dead etc.), the Schola is now focusing on the study and execution of a late repertory. These chants have been discovered in ancient manuscript codes by Gregorian monks, musicologists and also by the director of the Schola and have never been performed in the modern era.
The Schola has performed over a hundred masses and concerts in Italy and abroad, performing mostly Passion, Resurrection, Pentecost, Advent and Christmas themes.
Venues of recent performances are:
- S. Marco, Basilica dei Frari, S. Giorgio Maggiore, S. Giovanni e Paolo e la Basilica della Salute in Venice;
- S. Sofia in Padua;
- S. Agostino, S. Nicolò, S. Caterina and Cathedral in Treviso;
- San Michele della Chiusa and Chatedral in Turin;
- Leechkirche in Graz (Austria);
- Dominican’s church in Bolzano;
- Cathedral of Toronto (Canada);
- Church of St Mary Magdalene of Torornto (Canada);
- St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church of Hamilton (Canada);
- St. Peter Roman Church of New York (USA);
- St. John the Evangelist Church of Philadelphia (USA);
- Holy Rosary Church of Washington (USA);
- Sacra of San Michele (TO).
In 2005 the Schola recorded an anthological CD, “Cantus Ecclesiae”, for the Rainbow-classic label , with chants from the whole liturgical year.
The Schola has received positive reviews for its sensitivity to musical and textural phrase, performance authenticity and compelling spirituality.