The Monks of Norcia are more than just a secular religion devoted to making great beer. Instead, they are sensitive musicians dedicated to restoring the town of Norcia with Gregorian chant--a form that was omnipresent in the region until 1810. Father Cassian of the Monks, an American, has now made himself and his fellow devotees best selling recording artists.
Having been released this week, Billboard has posted the SoundScan numbers of every album and artist that has sold a record this year. On the classical front, Andrea Bocelli, Lindsey Stirling, the Monks of Norcia, the Piano Guys, Jackie Evancho and more make the list of top contenders.
It seems, for lack of a better word, unconventional for an album of religious chants to take the number one spot on Billboard's Classical Traditional Chart in its first week of release. And it's even more unconventional that it has maintained the spot for two weeks straight.
According to Fr. Cassian Folsom, prior of the Benedictine monks of Norcia, "the monastic life is very plain and ordinary." Maybe that's why Folsom and his community there in northern Italy enjoy not only making hit records that best the likes of Taylor Swift, they also love brewing their own beer. Ensconced in the monastery, life for the Monks of Norcia is routine: "You get up, and you pray. You do your work, go to bed and then, the next day, you do the same," says Folsom.
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.
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.