The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, topped the charts with their release last year of Advent at Ephesus. Their next CD, “Angels and Saints at Ephesus,” is available today.
The recording is a collection featuring 17 English and Latin pieces sung a cappella for the year-round feasts of the saints and angels. It is produced by De Montfort Music/Decca.
The Benedictines of Mary are members of a contemplative order founded in 1995. Their priory is called the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus, hence the titles of the CDs.
Their prioress, Mother Cecilia Snell, has a bachelor’s degree in music and is a former member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (she plays the french horn).
De Montfort Music co-founder Monica Fitzgibbons said the CD is a “must-have” and an “opportunity to experience the heavenly sounds emanating from these holy hearts of the Benedictines of Mary whose singing sparks a heightened sense of the True and the Beautiful.”
De Montfort enlisted Grammy award winners, producer Christopher Alder, from Germany, and engineer Mark Donahue to capture the sisters in their contemplative environment.
“I was surprised by how well [the sisters] sang,” Alder said. “I was already convinced that the quality of their singing was high, so I would enjoy myself musically. … The main feeling to listening to them is the belief in the thoughts that are being expressed and a familiarity and love of the style of music.”
The sisters’ debut album, Advent at Ephesus, spent six weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical Music Chart, and the Sisters ended up as the No. 1 Classical Traditional Artist of 2012, according to Nielson’s Soundscan.
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On the Net:
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Last November, ZENIT spoke with Mother Cecilia and Kevin Fitzgibbons of De Montfort:
Kevin Fitzgibbons: www.zenit.org/en/articles/music-to-live-advent-with-our-lady-part-2