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Saturday, January 2nd 2010, 5:37pm

Since Markus is doing reversed psychology on me mentioning the google translator, I had to translate the article.




Saturday, January 2nd 2010, 5:43pm

Commerciality of the spirituality

British band Gregorian gave a concert on Wednesday night in the sold-out venue Vatroslav Lisinski for all those fans of a middlegenre crossover of rock songs into a different flavor. Like the performance of the Finland group Apocalyptica which performed classics of hardrock on the chelos in the same venue, Gregorian has a quite simple, undoubtedly kitschy but obviously commercially paid-off strategy of the German menager Frank Peterson. In Lisinski, they performed typical program constituted of adopted songs of Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, U2, Pink Floyd, Guns'N Roses, Led Zeppelin and other general songs of rock history.

In monk clothes

The main bait for the audience were ethereal vocal arrangements in which the Gregorian singers – dressed in monk clothes – but no monks whatsoever – who, with guest Amelia Brightman and electrical three musicians, perform rock evergreens in the way they would have sound like in the churches several centuries ago. That offer of the repertoire in disguise of the spirituality tells us that it's about entertainment and commercially successful project and not about aesthetically designed project. After this year's performance of Richie Blackmore, Gregorian brought us back to the middle age with their pseudo-mystical stage with torches, fog and monk clothes. Inspired with Gregorian chant, Gregorian adopts rock evergreens with professional vocal effect, but every reproductive art, especially as direct as this one, has a big creative limitations. Childishly naive scene had its synonym in musical adaptations which in a very banal way reinterpreted well known hits, but without passion and emotions. It would have all sounded better in reinvented arrangements if by any chance three-member-band would have given up on head banging with their long hairs, simulating passion of the hard rock adaptations whose founders are closer to the estrade.

Rock classics and Christmas themes

Rock classics and several Christmas themes in the end of the concert were performed with a simple and melodic singing by seriously frozen Gregorian singers. Main strings of the project were invented by Frank Peterson and an even bigger information is that Frank is responsible for the foundation of Enigma which says enough that with Gregorian he's trying to accomplish vocally what Enigma did electronically.

Frank's signature could be seen in the performance of Amelia Brightman, sister of a successful Sarah Brightman, who vocally joined Gregorian in several songs. But the coldness with which Stairway to heaven and Kashmir by Led Zeppelin were performed is only a proof that mathematically designed concept can be "marketly" but not creatively succssesful. Peterson as one of the most succssesful German producers managed to sign a three year old contract for Gregorian performance in Las Vegas, where they will perform in the Luxor hotel in a venue with a church-like interior. If we add that Gregorian is equally popular in Germany as well in Russia and Japan, it's very clear that we deal with a production that offers a family entertainment for "second hand" markets away from the centre of the pop power.




Saturday, January 2nd 2010, 11:42pm

Thanks for all the great postings here! I heard about the concert in Croatia and that it was so great! I heard that it was also on TV and they did a documentary about them! I also know, that that was the only concert in Croatia! That's pitty, so I hope for all Fans in Croatia that they will come back soon for more concerts!

I just clips from the concert and it seems really really big and great, I hope they will do a DVD about that! That is what I wish for all fans!


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Sunday, January 3rd 2010, 6:07am

Tatjana, thank you for translating the article.

Must say though, the article obviously wasn't written by someone with a passion for the genre. They've missed the emotion inherent in the performances altogether - and as for referring to the band as "head bangers", well, that's the whole point....

And naturally I have no connection at all with what the author wrote about Amelia, who by every other report we've seen, was sensual and electrifying ...




Sunday, January 3rd 2010, 8:14pm

You are both most welcome. :)

I have warned you about the article, didn't I?

I think he didn't watch the Gregorian special, otherwise he would have heard Richard himself speaking about Gregorian providing the entertainment and why being serious when performing (which the author of the article "delicately" pointed out) and that there's a rock band behind the singers. Or maybe all he should have seen is the large-letter written sign on the GregoBus. Hm... also wonder what he would say if he knew of Sweet sister pain... Anyway, not trying to be sarcastic, just sounds like reinventing hot water to me.

If you read all the other articles about this show, you can notice that he did as well; he didn't do his own research and he's referring to information already said and just adds his opinion without giving any more information of his own. He's very canny using strong words to give his article more "heaviness". Reading between the lines, I can feel that he did like the show, but somehow he remains focused only on the things that disappointed him. He wrote some kind of report. The article doesn't have a depth; the author doesn't give any explanation to his statements, just tries to sell them as facts but without giving any proof.

I agree with the author up to some point, though, but I am not here to spoil fun but to make one.


This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Tatjana" (Jan 4th 2010, 10:57am)




Monday, January 4th 2010, 6:42pm


I read the article and I have to say, first I exspected more nasty words! It's of course not a nice article but I read much worser articles in German also about other bands! So this was not so bad for me! I also don't know how serious this magazine or newspaper is! It's important to know, ok, this article came from this newspaper or that magazine and you know that one is Yellow press or this is a "newspaper" which often write horrible stories! Often one journalist writes something bad and than it goes from newspaper to newspaper and other Journalists write exactly like the first article was!

It was new for me, that Gregorian have so much fans in Croatia, not shortly before they did this great concert there I said to myself, that maybe Croatien people would like them very much! And I was right! I don't know if people know much about them before or not! But I hope for all Fans there that there will be more concerts soon! :)

It's pitty that I found not much about the concert online, maybe it's not allowed to upload video-clips! I don't know! But I would love to see more! :rolleyes:




Friday, January 8th 2010, 4:58pm

A month later I still can't figure out why in the world didn't I take pictures with the boys?! :pinch: None of us there did. I could have but not for one second did I think of it. I also had some questions in my mind for quite a while and I sort of fantasized in a way "oh, if only I could meet them, I would ask them!". That day finally came and I forgot! I think I was so excited, relaxed, carefree and full of endorphine hormone that I simply couldn't think straight. What else is there?! I hate myself for it. It was probably once in a lifetime opportunity and I blew it! ;(

Learn on my mistakes, people! (Oh, what am I saying?! I learned from others and still, when it was my turn, I acted the same way anyone else I learned from did. LOL)




Friday, January 8th 2010, 7:29pm

You are not the first person who forgot all, what she planned when the big day was coming and you are standing in the front of the people! There are many reasons, for example many people are just to nervous or to impressed! And to speak with somebody can never be planned to 100%!

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "JessSari" (Jan 8th 2010, 7:47pm)




Friday, January 8th 2010, 7:48pm

Upps, the Quote is gone! :whistling: :?:




Friday, January 8th 2010, 11:32pm

I know what you mean and what persons you are talking about but nah, I'm not one of those. Actually, I wasn't nervous nor did I plan to talk to them. I don't plan, I do. I simply didn't think about taking those pictures and asking them the questions I desired to be answered. I didn't remember. I think that as time quickly went by we used it the best we could to watch them in person and not through the camera, you know? ;)




Saturday, January 9th 2010, 4:23pm

Oh ok, than maybe next time! :D




Monday, January 18th 2010, 11:34am

If you tune in RIGHT NOW, you'll hear Gregorian's Miracle of love on Otvoreni radio! :thumbsup:

Someone asked that they play it. (it wasn't me, promise) I like this because they NEVER played Gregorian on this radio before the concert, and it's a well known radio in Croatia.

Kudos to boys.




Wednesday, January 20th 2010, 1:41pm

I mentioned before that did an interview with Sultan himself (Frank Peterson). Even though this happened back in 2006., I’m sure you would like to read it. Please, neglect the fact that, at the beginning of the article, they wrote his last name wrong. Here’s the translation of that interview:




Wednesday, January 20th 2010, 1:42pm

Frank Peterson (Gregorian): “Gregorian chant is timeless”

We are one of the few fortunate ones who got to talk to German band Gregorian regarding their newest Christmas album “Christmas chants”; we had this honor during the project of associated media (Radio Sljeme, and Vecernji list). We’re using this opportunity to give you the interview we had Frank Peterson, mastermind of the band, who gladly gave us some of his spare time to enlighten us with the magic of modern Gregorian chant.

How would you describe modern Gregorian chant colliding with the middle age version of that chant?

Mostly we are holding to the same way of singing and scaling the notes. What we have changed is that most of the time we sing in English and cover different songs of course, and this way we are trying to bring closer nowadays something that’s been made hundreds of years ago.

Do you think that, in the process of modernization and bringing closer to wider audience, Gregorian chant lost some of its charm?

It’s a hard question, but come to think about it, it’s really simple. I wouldn’t say that Gregorian chant as such does have a charm; it’s more some kind of “a vibe” or an atmosphere which we borrow from the original chant. It’s obvious that the music written so much time ago is in a way unsuitable for today’s audience, and so we came to modernization, yet respecting this original, let’s call it spiritual-sacred, mood that rules during the performance of those pieces. In bottom line, Gregorian chant is timeless.

How do you choose which songs you are going to cover? How do you get inspiration for it?

Most logical is to follow my own musical taste; very often I take songs which I like and which I enjoy in, especially those which I liked in my younger days, and I do research for a potential convertibility to Gregorian chant. As you know, Gregorian chant has only 12 notes and not every song is suitable for adaptation. But when I feel that a particular song could function well as a Gregorian chant, it inspires me to finally cover it.

How did you choose the singers for Gregorian?

We’ve been together for eight years when we picked those who will become the part of Gregorian. We promised to pay attention not only to the range of their voices but to their knowledge of not only classical music but of music in general, which includes pop and rock. Of course, it’s important that they have classical music education but it’s not a priority. We looked for “complete persons” with understanding of the pop culture, and since we work as a team, it mattered that they are good as persons and that I can boss them around. (laughter)

Recently you released an album which includes mostly Christmas songs. Many pop artists have made that move. Which was your motive; spiritual or commercial?

Since a lot of Christmas songs are really old, they were a must-have material which would be a part of the album.We had many fan requests who wanted us to release a Christmas album, so we did, but we added some covers of pop songs like John Lennon’s „Happy Xmas“ or Chris de Burgh’s „A space man came traveling“. You could say that this album is made out of some of our all-time favorites when it comes to Christmas songs. Personally I don’t like Christmas CDs, but I think that we managed to create a modern, spiritual album which manages to capture the essence of the Christmas spirit.

For this album you could choose between somewhat 200 Christmas songs of which 3 were in Croatian. Can we expect that one of them appears in the next Gregorian’s Christmas album?

I’m afraid that we won’t do other Christmas album, one is more than enough. But how did we come to these songs? We sent out a request to all of our publisher houses around the world asking them which are their favorite Christmas songs. Two out of three which we got from Croatia were the versions of international songs like “Silent night”, which was sang in Croatian. But since the text and the music are the same in “Silent night” and in “Tiha noc”, there was no point to cover them. We wanted to cover some songs which were popular throughout the world and which bring up the same feelings in all people.

Every album is digitally recorded in Nemo studio in Hamburg, but it’s not well-known that you insist on “the special environment” in which the album is being made. Can you elaborate a bit what is meant by this “special environment” and how it contributes to performances of the singers?

The songs are being prepared in my studio in Hamburg, and actually, all is being recorded in London, in one old church. I don’t know if you are familiar with this, but last 50 or 60 years, a lot of old churches were sold to the private companies or to people who changed them into something else, even to studios for recording. We recorded in Angel studio in London, which is also an old adapted church and we asked that the entire interior is to be decorated with Christmas decoration, even though we recorded in summer. The fact that there was no natural light in the studio, it contributed to the atmosphere and so we had the feeling like we were recording in the middle of the winter.

You have many fans in Asia. How come they can so lovingly accept your music even though Gregorian chant is a spiritual outcome of Christianity?

It always fascinated me, especially the fact that our music is well-accepted in Philippines where the people are, best to my knowledge, mostly Islam religion. It is interesting that our music goes by well in different parts of the world, even in those very different like are Israel and Lebanon, which any way have enough problems with finding the answer which religion is right for them (laughter).
I really don’t know why it is so. Maybe theologysts could deal with it, but I think that it only shows how the religions really look alike and how some set of moral values is very much the same throughout the world. And then I ask myself why do we sell so many CD’s in Japan and remain confused, so there is no general answer to this question.

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "Tatjana" (Jan 20th 2010, 2:17pm)




Wednesday, January 20th 2010, 1:47pm

Was it difficult to bring Gregorian to the stage, when it comes to live performance?

Actually, it wasn’t because the recording sessions were recorded live in the studio. We use recorded matrices when we perform the songs from our early recordings because there are some effects which are important for the performance of the song, but it’s the only time we do that. The rest of it is live; the drummer and the basist because it’s a different sound when it’s being played by a real person, it doesn’t sound sterile then.

What is the difference between performing in sacred objects and in regular music venues?

Performing in sacred objects has its flaws and advantages. The main advantage is that is not necessary to use scenery; usually we light up the candles throughout the church and they create a special atmosphere. The flaw is that it’s not possible, regarding the nature of the object in which the concert is being held, to use some special effects. It’s impossible f.e. to light up many torches which we love to use for our performance and it’s often because of the extremely expensive and old wooden inventory.
When we play in music venues, which were not necessarily intended to be used for that kind of performance, we lean on the modern technology, scenery and special lightening to make an atmosphere. Even though they sometimes look cold, venues produce more creative freedom, but they don’t have that charm and mystic that churches already have integrated in them.

And finally, when do you plan to have a concert in Croatia?

We are just finishing pre-Christmas tour through German churches, and the next year we have a big tour in USA. In 2008. we are going back to Europe tour, so our arrival can be expected then.




Wednesday, January 20th 2010, 3:52pm

And here's a translation of the review (also from 2006) of Gregorian's Christmas Chants album.…duh-bozica.aspx

The true spirit of Christmas

In time when Grinch stole Christmas and when every pop artist is trying to take an extra dollar from a fan recording an Christmas album hopping that right in the Christmas shopping fever this same fan will take out his credit card in some kind of a CD shop buying their album, Gregorian released a true cure for ears.

In audio pollution of digitalized Christmas and prostitution of this religious holiday all around, it’s hard not to hear something that truly has an essence of Christmas. Gregorian is an established band well-known for modern interpretation of the middle age Gregorian chant and it was only a matter of time when they will finally release a Christmas album and blow away enormous amount of kitsch which shows up at this very time of year in domestic as well as in world stage. Well, if anyone has the right to sing about Christmas, it’s Gregorian.

In front of us is one more of their fabulous products; this time they decided to cover most popular Christmas songs from all over the world, putting the centre in traditional as well as in modern segment including some of the most popular songs of pop culture and that way creating balanced synthesis which is perfect for listening at this time of year.

Choice of the covered songs is satisfying and on the album can be found a most-hear “Silent night”, “Amazing grace” and Scottish traditional “Auld Lang Syne” which is sang on New Year’s Eve. It was to be expected, because Christmas is unimaginable without those tunes, but what’s really surprising is the choice of the rest of the songs.

They covered "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by legendary John Lennon and my personal favorite "Spaceman Came Traveling" by Chris de Burgh; the song that breaths with sorrow and which tops its original version. Also, there can be found “The Little Drummer Boy", then "Pie Jesu" by famous Andrew Lloyd Webber from his “Requiem”, then Shubert’s version of “Ave Maria” but also “Footsteps in the snow”, the song which mastermind of the band, Frank Peterson wrote a long time ago, and specially for this occasion pulled it out from the dusty shelf and discovered it all over again.

What to say about the musical aspect of the album? Expectedly polished sound, beautiful quires, equable compositions and ethereality so specific for this band that they haven’t been neglected on this album either, even though this album is, after all, something special because of the season which it’s referring to.

If you decide to buy the original, it comes in a luxury box, together with Gregorian calendar, which is part of the limited Christmas edition and can be a very nice Christmas gift for enjoying not only this one but also many Christmases to come.




Tuesday, February 9th 2010, 8:30pm

Is anyone on this forum a friend with Amelia on Twitter? I would really like to know what she said about the concert in Zagreb. All I have is this:

(Amelia): "
but yes, amazing, amazing, AMAZING audience, cheers Zagreb, hope to see you again soon!"

Oh, she also said that she did burnt her hand:

(Amelia): "Just burnt my hands to blistering on live TV. Thats gotta go down as a crowning achievement!"

Please? *puppy-eyes*

P.S. (sorry for editing) I just realized that she posted this on the same night that the Zagreb concert happened( 5:20 PM Dec 9th, 2009). Hmmm.... I think while were running around the building looking for her, she was already in bed with her laptop writing reviews, hehehe. :D

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "Tatjana" (Feb 9th 2010, 8:48pm)




Friday, April 2nd 2010, 7:34pm

12.8.2010.-new concert in Croatia!

I see nobody has told you anything yet. Please, allow me.

You thought it was over, didn't you? Well, think again. The word is the boys are coming back to Croatia. You didn't come to Zagreb and you missed the opportunity to experience the spectacle? Here's your chance to repair the damage.

The announcement says that the concert will take place in Pula, Croatia, on the 12th of August. To be more exact, the venue is Pula's Arena. (pictures of the venue:…ved=0CA8QsAQwAA)

(Back off, Markus(s), there are no recorded commercials!)

Long live the King (Frank)!




Sunday, April 4th 2010, 4:11pm

Great news, at this place it must be wonderful, I hope they will perform also in other countries, after christmas the tour was over and other concerts were not sure.

I think it's possible for Gregorian to perform also during the year not just at christmas time (of course this the perfect time). I think if they can perform in old castles or other old buildings with a special charisma they can do great special concerts! But I think for a group like Gregorian it's sometimes hard to get all together, the singers with all their different jobs, the place to perform, of course sometimes the money and so on!

I'm glad to hear that they will come back to Croatia after this great concert in December, that will be only their second concert there! That is really less and I hope they will visit Croatia more in the future, a little church tour would be great! :love: :D




Monday, April 5th 2010, 6:06pm

Yes, people will get the chance to see/hear them in the open air, too, and compare that with what they felt inside before.

I’m pretty sure they will perform at least a bit different repertoire. Though I personally don’t mind listening to the Christmas songs in the summer time (on contrary, I listen to Footsteps In The Snow, Peace On Earth - Little Drummer Boy and First Noel all the time), I know that artist don’t sing them in this season.

I salute you.

In expectation,

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Tatjana" (Apr 5th 2010, 6:31pm)

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