This interview with Bruno de Labriolle, Gregorian choir leader in Lyon, discusses why historically informed performance of medieval ecclesiastical chant has proved controversial. In this wide-ranging interview, Bruno discusses:
• how very recent changes in chant are wrongly considered to be the way things have always been;
• how and why the work of the Abbey of Solesmes in the 19th century standardised previously diverse, varied and rich traditions of singing;
• the plainness of modern chant compared to the emotional vitality of medieval singing;
• ways to make sense rhythmically of chant written non-mensurally (without signs for rhythm);
• historical evidence for ornamentation in medieval chant.
The article begins with a recording of Bruno and his singers of Saint-Bruno-des-Chartreux, and includes further videos of Lycourgos Angelopoulos leading the Greek Byzantine Choir, Marcel Pérès leading Ensemble Organum, and soundfiles of Bruno demonstrating singing technique.