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Monks of Norcia

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

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.

Monks of Norcia

Benedictine Monks of Norcia Releasing Debut Album, 'Benedicta: Marian Chant,' on De Montfort/Decca/Universal >>

You, too, can discover the power, beauty and authenticity of The Monks of Norcia when De Montfort Music and Decca/Universal Classics release their major label debut recording, Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia, on June 2--featuring classic and never-heard-before chants alongside new compositions.

Classicalite's Five Best: Carlo Bergonzi Recordings

Classicalite's Five Best: Carlo Bergonzi Recordings >>

Classicalite contributing editor James Inverne states his case, with videos, for the five best Carlo Bergonzi recordings.

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa Releases New Album 'Chasing Pianos'

Classicalite Recording News: Valentina Lisitsa's Album 'Chasing Pianos' Features Film Music of Michael Nyman from 'The Piano,' 'Wonderland' >>

Valentina Lisitsa's latest album for Decca/Universal Music Classics, 'Chasing Pianos', features the music of celebrated British film composer Michael Nyman. He is perhaps best known for his score to Jane Campion's film 'The Piano' (1993).

Job Opening: Roger Wright, BBC Proms and Radio Three Controller, Leaving for Aldeburgh Festival >>

The U.K.'s classical landscape was hit by the cultural equivalent of a bombshell earlier this week as news spread that Roger Wright, the controller of BBC Radio Three and of the BBC Proms, will step down to run the Aldeburgh Festival.

Our Lady of Columbus: No. 1 Lending Habit for Mother Cecilia (née Hornist Martina Snell) and Missouri's Benedictines of Mary >>

The Benedictines of Mary may be one of the most unlikely success stories in the recording industry. Their third album on the De Montfort Music/Decca label, 'Lent at Ephesus,' debuted at #1 on the Billboard classical chart. These 22 Sisters live a monastic life on a secluded farm in rural Missouri, and most are not aware of how successful their albums have been in the secular world.

PBS to Air Program on the Benedictines of Mary Album ‘Lent at Ephesus' (De Montfort Music/Decca), No. 1 on Billboard Classical Chart

PBS to Air Program on the Benedictines of Mary Album ‘Lent at Ephesus' (De Montfort Music/Decca), No. 1 on Billboard Classical Chart >>

PBS has announced a television special, "Lent At Ephesus," about the Benedictines of Mary, whose recent recording of the same name debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard classical chart.

Vote Now for the 2014 BBC Music Magazine Awards!

Vote Now for the 2014 BBC Music Magazine Awards! >>

BBC Music Magazine has opened the voting process for its 2014 awards. These awards are largely decided by public vote and, as ever, some of the artists and record labels concerned are engaged in concerted lobbying campaigns.

Classicalite’s Five Best: Marilyn Horne Recordings

Classicalite’s Five Best: Marilyn Horne Recordings >>

Many happy returns to Marilyn Horne, who turns 80 years young this month! One of the truly iconic singers of the 20th century, the American mezzo may not grace our stages these days, but we have her dozens of recordings to remind us of that great, glorious voice and charismatic personality.

RIP: Senator Claudio Abbado, Decca/DG's Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (1933-2014) >>

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado--music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Vienna State Opera, and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic--is dead at age 80.

Classicalite Recording News: The Decca Sound Dead in the U.S. as Universal Music Classics is Born

Classicalite Recording News: The Decca Sound Dead in the U.S. as Universal Music Classics is Born >>

How to interpret the news that Universal is to drop the Decca company name in the United States? The first thing to say is that it's not as bad as it looks at first glance. The second thing is that, in fact, it might even indicate that Universal is on the ball and serious about classical.

Daniel Barenboim to Desert La Scala Post Come 2015 >>

Well, this might be the least surprising news story of the week. As Italian newspapers report, variously, that Riccardo Chailly or Fabio Luisi will be taking over at La Scala, Daniel Barenboim has announced that he will be leaving Italy's preeminent opera house early. He will now be stepping down at the start of 2015.

Honor Thy Father: Sisters Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar Play Tribute on ‘Traces of You’ >>

In a world that seems more likely to rip us apart, rather than bring us together, there is the occasional exception that offers some glimpse of hope--no matter how misplaced it may be. More apropos, at a time when musicians would collaborate to boost record sales, rather than to further their creative consciousness, it’s refreshing to see like minds come together, indeed.

UPDATE: La Scala's Post-Barenboim Conductor is…Fabio Luisi? >>

UPDATE: Now, Italy's La Reppublica is reporting that Genoese maestro Fabio Luisi--principal conductor of the Met since September 2011 (i.e. from whence James Levine withdrew)--may very well be the preferred candidate. Call it "commedia dell'errori."

And La Scala's New, Post-Barenboim Conductor is…Riccardo Chailly! >>

If the mounties are known for always getting their man, the same is often decidedly untrue in the murky world of opera house politics. But at La Scala, Italy's premiere house, they have pulled one heck of a triumph out of the hat and, reports Italy's influential Corriere della Sera (no official announcement from Milan yet), persuaded Riccardo Chailly to take up the mantle when Daniel Barenboim leaves.

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