STYLE: Choral RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 74379-15051 LABEL: Sony 88697339692 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-11-28 RRP: £10.99
Reviewed by Simon Carpenter
You would have had to have been living in a cave for the last few months to have not heard of the trio of the Catholic priests from Northern Ireland, such has been the hype around them. However, when I came to prepare this review I consciously tried to forget all that and all the preconceptions and prejudices that may have formed in my mind and take the singing at face value. It worked. As I listened to the first track I thought, These boys can sing! And their priestly vocations add an extra passion and engagement to their sacred music repertoire. A few of the selection of 14 tracks were predicable - Schubert's "Ave Maria", Franck's "Panis Angelicus", Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu" and the well known hymn "Abide With Me". They are here, but all performed with sensitivity, passion and great musicianship. The "Ave Maria" in particular sent shivers down my back, and I've heard that sung so many times by so many different performers. There was a freshness about The Priests' performance that is often lacking. Among the other tracks there are some more real gems, both well known and not so well known. My two favourites are the extracts from two larger works "Mit Wurd Und Hoheit Angetan" from Haydn's 'Creation' and "Ecce Sacerdos Magnus" from Vivaldi's better known of his 'Glorias'. Here as elsewhere the singers are joined by the The Irish Film Orchestra and a couple of Italian choirs. Overall an excellent disc. Ignore the hype; listen to the genuine quality.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
The Priests are Father Eugene O’Hagan, Father Martin O’Hagan and Father David Delargy; three Roman Catholic Priests from Northern Ireland who grew up singing together while studying for the priesthood and have spent their lives using music to spread the word of God, finding time between their religious duties to sing together.
Featuring a collection of spiritually inspired tracks such as 'Pie Jesu', 'Ave Maria', 'Panis Angelicus' as well as great classical arias and traditional Irish tracks and blessings, the album showcases the passion and exquisite
harmonies of The Priests. The album has been produced by Mike Hedges, whose previous work includes best selling albums by U2 and Manic Street Preachers. The album, featuring the Choir of Philharmonic Academy of Rome, was recorded in Ireland and in the Choir Chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.
The three have stipulated that a percentage of the proceeds from record sales will go to a charity or charities of their choice.
ITV has just finished shooting a major TV documentary on The Priests following their every move since the day they signed with their record company. They also featured in Time Magazine along with a photo shoot with coveted photographer David Bailey.
The Priests is not only an album of awe inspiring music but a celebration of faith, spirituality, tolerance, love and the power of the human spirit.