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Religious CDs vie for No.1 spot

26 November 2008

by Ed Beavan

THREE Christian groups are set to battle it out for the top spot in the album charts this Christmas, pre-release polls predicted this week.

  Monks from the Cistercian abbey at Stift Heiligenkreuz, in Austria, whose album of Gregorian chants, Chant, has already gone gold in the UK and reached number seven in the charts (News, 6 June), will be up against the Inter­national Staff Band of the Salvation Army, and a trio of priests from Northern Ireland.

The Salvation Army’s album To­gether, released on Monday this week, features versions of “Nessun Dorma”, and “Nimrod”.

The Priests is an album by three Roman Catholic priests from the diocese of Down & Connor — Fr Eugene O’Hagan, his brother, Fr Martin O’Hagan, and Fr David Delargy. The album includes Schubert’s Ave Maria, and Franck’s “Panis Angelicus”.

Dickon Stainer, the managing director of Universal Classics and Jazz, which signed the Salvation Army band and the Cistercian monks, believes it is no coincidence that the success of one of these albums, at least, coincides with the current economic crisis.

“People need something to rely on. The sound of the Salvation Army gives comfort to people when times are tough, as they are now.”

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