"Everything about this CD is a stroke of genius, beginning with the title (…). The Sequentia/Dialogos tandem has proved to be one of the most fruitful for medieval music. Their understanding of the structural and grace notes gives rise to a subtle interpretation which in some passages produces an intriguing heterophonic effect."
"In their live concerts and on recordings, Sequentia and Dialogos have consistently made chant a thrilling experience.’‘The men’s voices are outstanding in this program, which moves from the highly dramatic…to the gently melodic.This is hands-down one of the most intellectually engaging and musically rewarding chant recordings ever made, and it will appeal as much to early music fans as it will to devotees of such modern Medievalists as Arvo Pärt and John Taverner."
"(The) singers, with no sacrifice to clarity, are completely immersed in the text and the contours of its melodic release, which is clearly the outcome of a great deal of performance together."
"The magnificence, for example, of the rich opening unison tutti – unified but variegated – in ‘Gregorius presul’ breaks into an organum, so full of the delights of its resulting intervals, each with its own distinct colour… that one’s contemporary ears are mesmerised in the hearing."
"The program of these 'Chant Wars' might have remained merely an erudite delight. But Sequentia and Dialogos transformed it into vibrant musical material. (...) The power of these interpretations has been to connect diverging musical traditions with an affirmation of vocal styles which are extremely varied."
"Highly enjoyable 'Chant Wars', at the Metropolitan Museum. (The) concert emphasized less the bellicosity of the struggle than its vocal diversity. (…) Each of these pieces was lovingly performed.A strange drifting from the sacred to the profane and back again gave us an opportunity to luxuriate in asceticism. (…) The partisans in this arcane war may be long gone, but their struggle for ultimate beauty is as timely as today's headlines and as timeless as art itself."
"As the Sequentia and Dialogos singers moved through new regions of chant – with a smoothly blended sound, flawless intonation and a surprising depth of expression – (…) audience members (…) ride the undulating waves of this old-new proto-music, reborn and refracted through the modern imagination."
"A remarkable feat of research and reconstruction, sustained by a pedagogical approach which leads the listener into the very heart of these 'chant wars'. (...) The entire purpose of the joint work of Katarina Livljanic and Benjamin Bagby has been to make evident [the different styles of chant] while at the same time encompassing the richness and inborn beauty of these different repertoires. (...) The path taken by the vocal ensemble is fascinating, not only in voice placement and breath control, but also in the meditative energy which infuses each piece. (...) It [this CD] is quite simply remarkable."
"The two scholae of Dialogos and Sequentia present performances which are founded in unassailable musicological research, always mindful of the differences they introduce into their manner of singing, vocal technique, intonation, ornamentation, and even the manner of pronouncing Latin according to the geographical origins of the original medieval singers. Yet another factor of 'difference' is introduced by the judicious use of opposition between soloist and ensemble, or by the use of diverse vocal registers. Their process of questioning the sources gives birth to an impression of newness, of reconstruction resting upon an art of cantillation for which we have no equivalent on disc…"
"This is gorgeous, melodious, contemplative medieval singing at its most dulcet. Excellent program notes help sort out the various styles, but you don't have to know anything about Gregorian chant to be captivated by this beautiful singing."
"The singing is full: voiced and very agreeable in tone and timbre - while also more energetic than we usually hear in liturgical chant. The interpretations also are expertly, imaginatively realized, the lines well-shaped and naturally inflected. The sound on this hybrid SACD takes full advantage of the famed acoustics of the medieval abbey at Fontevraud, France, and the liner notes give this uniquely conceived program a clear (...) context."
"The eight male singers of the two medieval ensembles sing the liturgical Latin texts and flowing melodies with the lustiness of ecclesiastical warriors. Recorded in the reverberant acoustics of a medieval French abbey, the marvellous music sounds at once archaic and new."
"The chief attraction of Gregorian chant to many contemporary listeners is the sense it gives of lying outside of time in a kind of perpetual peacefulness. What these singers did was exactly the opposite: The chants unfolded in a perpetual here and now.
All the singers sang in full voice with attention to the sound and import of the words; rhythms were flexible, and tempos fluctuated according to the emotional temperature."
"And the eight male voices of both Sequentia and Dialogos were of top quality; when heard together in full harmony, they produced a startling, cleansing blend."
"It is so rare that a concert of medieval plainchant is able to provide the audience with the same dramatic intensity as a theatrical performance. Nevertheless, the ensembles 'Dialogos' and 'Sequentia' succeeded in meeting this challenge with their new concert program 'Chant Wars'."