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Harmony [B&N Exclusive Version]

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A strongly classical repertoire delights on "Harmony"

    On The Priests' sophomore CD, Fathers Martin and Eugene O'Hagan and Father David Delargy tackle another round of soul-stirring hymns and religious music, including How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace, the Lord's Prayer and Silent Night. The Lord's Prayer deserves special mention for the powerful a capella rendition; it's the only track not backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, thereby evoking the power and grace of early plainchant. The English-language version of Silent Night opens and closes with a tin whistle and is more traditionally paced than the uptempo version of "O Holy Night" from their debut. This Barnes and Noble exclusive features the bonus track "Astro del Ciel," or "Silent Night" in Italian. The fathers composed the music for "King of Kings" themselves. Nods to their Irish Catholic heritage come in the form of Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter and the lovely Irish Gaelic hymn Bi Iosa Im Chroise (Christ Be In My Heart).

    The strongest tracks are those from the Baroque / Classical / Romantic repertoire, including Stozel (Bist du Bei Mir, frequently misattributed to Bach), Pergolesi (Stabat Mater), Vivaldi (Laudamus Te), Mozart (Ave Verum Corpus), Haydn's Te Deum and Mendelssohn (Lift Thine Eyes). This version of Pergolesi's divine Stabat Mater is a bit more uptempo than some of the other versions I own by Andreas Scholl, Cecilia Bartoli and Sara Mingardo, but no less haunting. Much as on their debut, the orchestral backing complements the priests' rich voices without overwhelming, allowing the vocals to shine.

    Overall, "Harmony" has much more of a uniform feel than their debut; most noticeably, there are fewer foreign-language songs ("Priests" had two Spanish songs in addition to Latin and Irish Gaelic tracks) and only one Christmas song. The sixteen tracks really shine in the hands of producer Mike Hedges, Fathers Martin and Eugene O'Hagan and Father David Delargy, the Royal Philharmonic, the Brompton Oratory School and Coro. In Father Eugene's words, `I think, because over the last year we have been singing together so much, our voices blend better and our sound has matured. There's an even greater sense of synergy with the voices, and we're more confident too. Even as a professional singer, you never stop fine-tuning the instrument.' "Harmony" is a pure delight and a wonderful gift for those seeking a moment of peace and contemplation in their hectic lives.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect Christmas Gift - Voices from Heaven!

    They have outdone themselves! I loved their debut album, The Priests, so much last year that I gave them to everyone on my Christmas list. The feedback I received including my college age neices and nephews were so overwhelmingly positive that I'll be giving everyone this new album for Christmas this year, all 36 of them.

    One doesn't have to be a Christian to feel the joy and peace coming from these rich voices of angels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Breath of Fresh Air

    Open up to the potential of this music touching you. Allow yourself to relax; no expectations of divine interventions, no hidden messages, just beautiful voices and instruments. Listening to this music lifts me up after my multi-tasking day when I need grounding. Give this CD as a gift of a deep breath: someone who appreciates voice and music, a work-a-holic, or buy it for yourself. Slip it in your CD player: as your driving from work, let it melt away tensions as you arrive home, or while making dinner, as that butter is melting so are your stresses of the day. Take a few deep cleansing breaths and if divine intervention happens, let it. This CD has the potential for enriching your life ever so gently. Some will love the profound spirituality of "The Priests", some will reconnect with Irish roots, others will simply appreciate the feeling of a breath of fresh air. Enjoy!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    TOTALLY AWESOME!!

    First heard of them in March 2010 on a trip to Germany when I saw them on a tv program. Instant fave and as I told others about them they have either bought the cd themselves or I have gifted it to friends and family EVERYONE loves The Priests and the music, classical, broadway show tunes, top songs and christain a great combo. PBS recently had them on it was great.
    I totally disagree with 3 1/2 star rating given thus far for this great CD and give it 5 I would give them a 100 if I could!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Harmony by Three Priests

    Great!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely essential!

    I really love this CD. It's so inspiring & beautiful. The sacred music is performed beautifully and clearly with reverence. It is fabulous!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another triumph for The Priests

    "Harmony" is The Priests' sophomore CD and it does not disappoint. For the uninitiated, the trio really ARE three practicing Roman Catholic priests (Eugene and Martin O"Hagan who are also brothers and their friend David Delargy) from Northern Ireland - each with two parishes to look after. They have been singing as a group for over 30 years when they were together at a boarding school in Northern Ireland. They continued singing through university and seminary school in Rome and even sang for Pope John Paul II. They were relatively unknown until SONY signed them in April of 2008 and their first CD - "The Priests" - garnered not only critical acclaim but also gold and platinum status as well as a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The rest, as they say, is history and they have gone on to do some limited touring and concerts in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the US - but only as their parish schedules allow (it's written into their contracts with SONY!!). This second offering presents more of the same religious and sacred music as the first CD but don't let that put you off if that genre is not your cup of tea. Their magnificent voices transcend a music form that some might consider boring into something ethereal. There are the standard hymns "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace" but the stunners are liturgical Latin songs such as "Laudamus Te", "Stabat Mater". "Ave Verum Corpus", "Te Deum", and the standout "Benedictus", a contemporary piece by Karl Jenkins from his piece "The Armed Man Mass". For Christmas, there is "Silent Night" and a bonus track exclusive to B&N "Astro Del Ciel" ("Silent Night" in Italian). The Priests are multilingual and are equally comfortable singing in German, Italian, Latin, and Irish. Both a German and Irish song are included in this album as well as on their first CD. There is also a lovely self-penned tune called "King of Kings" which I hope is indicative of more original songs by them in the future. Rounding out the CD is the beautiful "Gaelic Blessing" and a Broadway chestnut from "Carousel" "You'll Never Walk Alone". These guys can sing it all!! Definitely 5 stars!!

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    Posted November 27, 2009

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