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Patrick Novecosky | Review
May 02, 2013
Filed under Music
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Angels and Saints at Ephesus

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles produce 17 slices of heaven on new disc . . .

angelsandsaintsAngels and Saints at Ephesus
Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles
Decca/De Montfort Music, 2013

As a follow-up to their chart-topping first release with Decca last year, the Benedictines of Mary unite their voices once more on a new disc, “Angels and Saints at Ephesus.” Recorded at their priory in the heartland of America, this CD is a dynamic, yet pure fusion of their contemplative sound.

This second album is truly inspired. With English and Latin pieces sung a cappella for the feasts of the holy saints and angels, this is truly 17 slices of heaven. They sing familiar hymns like “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and “O God of Loveliness” along with lesser-known works like “Te Joseph Celebrent” and “Lorica of St. Patrick.”

Founded in 1995, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, are a young monastic order of sisters who sing together eight times a day as they chant the Divine Office in Latin.

Last November and December, their debut album, “Advent at Ephesus” spent six weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical music chart. They ended the year as the No. 1 Classical Traditional Artist of 2012, according to Nielson’s Soundscan. The mainstream media took notice. The sisters received positive attention from NPR, USA Today, People magazine, the Washington Times, and numerous other media outlets.

The new CD is a natural outgrowth of the sisters’ love of traditional Catholic music, they said. “Gathering the hymns we have learned and loved, it seemed only natural to suggest the theme of the angels and saints, the heralds of God’s glory and grace for this album,” said Sr. Scholastica, the order’s subprioress and the designer of the album’s artwork. “Music is a vital part of our spirituality, and it has been a blessing to have it blossom and broaden in recent years.”

Not only are the sisters’ angelic harmonies inspired, but the entire project is uncompromisingly top-shelf. Nine-time international Grammy-winning producer Christopher Alder and two-time Grammy-winning engineer Mark Donahue recorded the sisters at their convent in Missouri.

“Angels and Saints at Ephesus” is available May 7, and a 30-minute special on the album’s recording will air on EWTN on May 7 at 6 PM Eastern and May 8 at 3:30 AM Eastern.

Order: Amazon

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