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Birra Nursia: Monks of Norcia's New Album, 'BENEDICTA: Marian Chant,' Debuts at Number One...and Stays There!

By K. Young k.young@classicalite.com on Jun 18, 2015 02:31 AM EDT

Classicalite's favorite Benedictine community of monks from Norcia's new album, BENEDICTA: Marian Chant from Norcia, not only debuted atop Billboard's classical chart, it's No. 1 for the second straight week. The record also garnered the top spot overall at Barnes and Noble, no doubt thanks to a wonderful campaign from Universal Music Classics.

We first reported only a few weeks ago about the group, and we simply cannot put down this disc. BENEDICTA was recorded by a group of 18 men; half American citizens and half representing a group of multinationals who, collectively, are perhaps the most authentically active singing communities of Gregorian chant today. 

Led by erstwhile Hoosier Fr. Cassian Folsom, the prior was visiting New York earlier this week, and Classicalite's own Ian Holubiak had the wonderful pleasure to speak with him about his intriguing story first-hand. Look for that "Classicalite Q&A" coming soon!

Chicago's premiere classical radio station WFMT just aired an insightful interview with Fr. Cassian, as well.

Released jointly via De Montford Music and Decca/Universal, BENEDICTA's reflective stylings proved anything but quiet in its first official "street week."

The Monks of Norcia nabbed Billboard accolades, while simultaneous beating mega-star recording artists such as Taylor Swift and Willie Nelson over at Barnes & Noble. Seriously, these are Benedictine monks not only competing, but besting today's top of the pops.

And I think I might know why...

In addition to their daily monastic life, they also strive to communicate their vision of life by way of, quote, "earthly experiences."  To wit, the Monks of Norcia operate a craft brewery on the grounds of the monastery called Birra Nursia. Here they produce brews that have brought new visitors to Norcia, adding to their most compelling backstory.   

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TagsMonks of Norcia, De Montfort Music, Decca, Universal, Benedicta, Birra Nursia, Fr. Cassian Folsom

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