This is the kind of Christmas music that I can hear throughout the year. It is the music that stirs the soul and awakens the faith as well as the joy of the season.
I first popped "Voice of Joy" into my computer for a listen last night. I am still listening to the album as I type this review and I feel as if I have been enjoying a concert by one of the Three Tenors. However, this rich tenor voice belongs to Friar Alessandro, from Porziuncola in Assisi (yes, THAT Assisi...and yes, the friary founded by THE Saint Francis). According to his label:
"The Franciscan Friar is a sanctuary guide in Assisi, Italy where he was born. His hope as the first Franciscan Friar to be signed to a major record label, is that his voice will have the ability to foster a stronger Catholic presence in contemporary art & music. His enthusiasm for music since childhood influenced him to study organ, musical composition, and operatic singing at institutions and conservatories throughout Italy. However, his success in music felt incomplete in the absence of a driven religious life. So at the age of twenty-one, he entered as a postulant in the Order of the Friars Minor of Umbria and would take his final vows some ten years later. It was in fact the desire to join the Order which pushed him to complete his qualification at the musical conservatory as it was considered a touchstone for the seriousness of his commitment. At present he lives at the Porziuncola Friary in Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, where he welcomes pilgrims to the Basilica."
However, the longer (and much more miraculous) story can be found on Friar Alessandro's website. I encourage you to check it out if you wish to learn more about how God takes care of his children when it comes to vocations and how He sometimes has greater plans for us than we can imagine. He had such a plan for Friar Alessandro and the results of this plan are albums (such as Voice of Joy), which are bound to inspire the souls of the faithful around the world. Voice of Joy contains several familiar tracks, some of which were recorded in Jerusalem at the very sights where some of the events of the Nativity took place).
The tracks found in this album are as follows and I can assure you that each is a powerful rendition:
1. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle
2. O Santa Notte
3. Adeste Fidelis
4. Veni Veni Emanuel
5. Agnus Dei
6. O Tannenbaum
7. Ave Maria
8. Madonna de la Claritate
9. Jot to the World
10. Alto e Glorioso Dio
11. Ave Maria
12. Silent Night
13. Caro Gesu Bambino
14. Madre en la Puerta
15. A Gaelic Blessing
1 Voice of Joy CD
How to Enter for a chance to win the prize:
Comment here, on Facebook, on Twitter (@CatholicSciGeek), or email me at catholicsciencegeek (at gmail.com) with the title of your favorite soul-stirring Christmas song for a chance to win a free copy of Voice of Joy.
The winner will be chosen at random an announced on the December 1st 2013.
I will ship it out the CD asap once I get an address.