Advent Music from anonymous composers and Adjuvabit Eam by Mother Cecilia
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Mother Cecilia (Prioress and Music Director)
Recorded at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus (October 3-5, 2012) – 48’50
DECCA & De Montfort Music # 22399 – Libretto includes all lyrics
Founded in 1995 and hailing from Missouri, The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, have dedicated their lives to contemplative prayer under the spiritual (and musical) guidance of the order's prioress Mother Cecilia. They do not set foot beyond their Northwest rolling farmland, focusing solely on living an austere, yet joyful life set apart from the world. They work on their farm and support themselves primarily by making priestly vestments. And they sing, eight times a day, as part of their monastic schedule, lifting their hearts to God through music.
Mother Cecilia is a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Houston, TX, and vacated her seat in the horn section with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio where she performed for three years before entering religious life. In addition to providing a bit of classical training to an otherwise extremely musical group, Mother Cecilia has conducted and arranged the songs on the ADVENT AT EPHESUS CD, as well as composed the music of “Adjuvabit Eam” (track 13).
ADVENT AT EPHESUS features sixteen tracks including traditional English and Latin hymns, polyphony, Gregorian chants, Medieval harmonies and one original work by the sisters themselves, all sung a cappella.
This CD has rapidly garnered enormous interest in the public since its release last November. The wonderful and spiritual voices of the Benedictines of Mary soon took over the # 1 spot on Billboard’s Classical Traditional Chart with their album, toppling the racy Fifty Shades of Grey. At the date this review is published they are still number 1.
This truly is a unique and splendid contribution to Christmas Music. Not only by the uplifting quality of the singing or the rarity and variety of the music offered, but also with respect to the quiet, introspective anticipation of the Nativity, the foundation of the Advent season.
If you are looking for an alternative to the secular, often obnoxious Christmas music played in department stores or on the radio, look no further. This is the CD to purchase.
Listen to Mother Cecilia and the Benedictines of Mary
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