The Sisters quickly followed up with ANGELS AND SAINTS AT EPHESUS, recorded by nine-time Grammy award winning producer, Christopher Alder who traveled to their priory from Germany (braving a record breaking blizzard in order to make the record). Alder had high praise for the Benedictines stating “I had heard their music and was convinced that I would enjoy recording them, which turned out to be the case. The main feeling from listening to them is basically the belief in the thoughts that are being expressed in the text and a familiarity and a love of the style of the music.”
The Sisters’ two recordings with De Montfort/Decca have both become unexpected and rather unusual success stories. The contemplative nuns were named Billboard magazine’s Classical Traditional Artist of 2012 and 2013 – two consecutive years straight. It’s the first order of nuns to ever win an award in the history of Billboard magazine. The Sisters were recognized for their two bestselling albums, ANGELS AND SAINTS AT EPHESUS, which spent 13 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical Traditional Music chart, and ADVENT AT EPHESUS, which spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the same chart, besting popular artists including Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman among others.
The critically acclaimed Benedictines of Mary, have received accolades from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, ABC’s Good Morning America and beyond. Their third and latest release is another seasonal recording entitled LENT AT EPHESUS. This compilation of poignant chants, intricate harmonies and rousing hymns of glory and redemption includes: “O Sacred Head Surrounded,” made famous by Bach’s Passion of St. Matthew, Pergolesi’s “God of Mercy and Compassion,” the well known “Adoramus Te Christe” and the entrancing “Improperia” from the liturgy of Good Friday. Three original pieces are also featured among the generous 23 tracks. The vibrant purity of their monastic sound peacefully escorts the listener through the penitential season of Lent. LENT AT EPHESUS was produced by Grammy Award winning classical producer Blanton Alspaugh who famously said of his experience recording the Sisters; “Their singing has a very pure and yet sophisticated style. It certainly earns its place in the international arena of classical music. Their talent is as remarkable as their sense of charity. To record them at their priory was one of the highlights of my career.”
Monica Fitzgibbons Co-founder of De Montfort Music added; “To think of Mother Cecilia and her accomplished background in classical music, one imagines she would have had an extensive library of recordings released on Decca. Then unequivocally she left behind all of her musical accomplishments and entered into a monastic community. With so many highlights of the music of the Benedictines, one miracle worth noting is that Mother Cecilia, without any plans to do so, has released chart-topping music on Decca/Universal Classics. All of this done without sacrificing the rule of life or stepping beyond the priory, and yet it is all part of an amazing story which holds it’s own against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful music of our times.”