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The Priests

Album Summary

>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
>Haydn, Franz Joseph : The Creation, H 21 no 2
>Franck, César : Panis angelicus
>Chilcott, Robert : Irish Blessing, for chorus & piano
>Arwyn, Robat : Benedictus
>Alvarez, Fermin Maria : Plegaria (Los tres amores)
>Webber, Andrew Lloyd : Pie Jesu, for soprano, treble & orchestra (from the Requiem)
>Traditional, Christmas : Hacia Belen va un burro (Spanish)
>Monk, William Henry : Abide with me
>Riada, Sean O : Ag Criost an siol
>Vivaldi, Antonio : "Domine Deus" from Gloria RV 589, for Soprano, Trumpet and Continuo
>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noel for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chretiens," "O Holy Night")
>Elgar, Edward : Ecce sacerdos magnus, gradual for chorus & orchestra (or organ)
>Sibelius, Jean : Be Still, My Soul, hymn (based on Finlandia)
Performers Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Fathers Eugene (aged 48) and Martin O'Hagan (aged 45), who are brothers, and David Delargy (aged 44) has each achieved the ambitions nurtured when they were at school together of having their own parishes in the Northern Ireland diocese of Down and Connor where they tend to the spiritual needs of thousands of devout parishioners. Today they formally begin their work as The Priests, their music will be religious and spiritually inspired classics including Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus. The Priests have recorded all the tracks from the album with the Philharmonic Academy of Rome Choir from St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The album will be stickered to higlight the Philharmonic Academy of Rome's involvement as well.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Accademia Filarmonica Romana Choir, Philharmonic Academy of Rome Choir (vocals); Brendan Monaghan (whistle, Uilleann pipe); Danny O'Neill, Danni O'Neill (piano); Youki Yamamoto, Olli Cunningham, Adam Langston (programming); The Irish Film Orchestra.

Recording information: Amberville Studios; Cappella Giulia in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy; WindMill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland.

A trio of Irish Catholic priests, two of them brothers, may seem like odd candidates for a major crossover marketing push by the RCA/Sony colossus, but whoever conceived this odd idea has carried it off reasonably effectively. Start with the makeup bucks that were surely involved; the blond-haired priest in the center, collar and all, is made to look like a cyborg from a hip science fiction movie. The surfaces come from the pop side; arranger Sally Herbert provided some of the more lush string backgrounds on Radiohead's recordings, and producer Mike Hedges has a résumé going back to the 1970s and encompassing such groups as the Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. But when it comes down to the basic musical product, nobody goes overboard. The three priests -- two tenors and a baritone -- have light voices that the production doesn't overwhelm, and they stick to familiar numbers like Franck's Panis Angelicus before turning to contemporary material. The newer songs are better suited to their slightly croonish voices, and they have an enjoyable mix of familiar numbers, like the seemingly ubiquitous Andrew Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu, and more unusual yet simple melodies, not only Irish but also, in a couple of cases, Spanish. The production is oddly echo-filled, but it comes off as spacious rather than grandiose, and it effectively knits the entire program together. It all coalesces into a group of Christmas sentimental favorites of the sacred sort, sung in ensemble by performers who've managed to bring some of their enjoyment of what they do to an outsized project. Recommended, especially as a holiday item for those whose gift-giving plans include light classical music. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 4 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1825

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : The Creation, H 21 no 2 :: Mit Würd und Hoheit Angetan
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Notes: Composition written: 1798.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1798

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Panis angelicus
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1872

>Chilcott, Robert : Irish Blessing, for chorus & piano
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Arwyn, Robat : Benedictus
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Alvarez, Fermin Maria : Plegaria (Los tres amores)
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Webber, Andrew Lloyd : Pie Jesu, for soprano, treble & orchestra (from the Requiem)
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985

>Traditional, Christmas : Hacia Belén va un burro (Spanish)
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.

>Monk, William Henry : Abide with me :: Eventide)
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1861

>Seán O Riada (1931 - 1971) : Ag Críost an síol
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Vivaldi, Antonio : "Domine Deus" from Gloria RV 589, for Soprano, Trumpet and Continuo
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1715

>Adam, Adolphe : Cantique de Noël for voice & orchestra ("Minuit, Chrétiens," "O Holy Night")
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 3 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1851

>Elgar, Edward : Ecce sacerdos magnus, gradual for chorus & orchestra (or organ)
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1888

>Sibelius, Jean : Be Still, My Soul, hymn (based on Finlandia)
  • Performers: Brendan Monaghan (Drums); Youki Yamamoto (Programming); Olli Cunningham (Programming); Adam Langston (Programming); Danny O'Neill (Piano); The Priests
  • Conductor: Sally Herbert
  • Running Time: 2 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic