Friday, September 8, 2017

Ave Maria (Aim Higher Recordings)

Last Christmas, the world was introduced to a talented group of young men known as The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School. In conjunction with Aim Higher Recordings, they released an album entitled Christmas in Harvard Square. This year they are back with their sophomore album Ave Maria, releasing appropriately on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The CD has 18 tracks on it with names like Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, and Pergolesi and familiar verses like Kyrie, Dignus est Agnus (Worthy is the Lamb), and of course Ave Maria. Like their first album, there is also a mix of English and Latin songs.

The verses with this CD are beautifully sung, and you can tell hearing it that it is not a concert for the boys, but a prayer. Every note and chord rises up to Heaven, making a joyful noise to the Lord. Every song the boys perform transports you to a different place and a different time. With their superb talent and precision, you can close your eyes and forget that they are so young. It almost feels like you are in a monastery listening to the chants and daily rhythms.

Within classical philosophy, there are three transcendentals (categories with universal application) in the human experience that go beyond the every day. They are the good, the true, and the beautiful, and we could say that they find their origin in God. If I may be so bold, I would say that this album (in both presentation and execution) ticks all three of those boxes. I encourage you to pick up this album and allow it to fill not only your home (or car) but fill your soul. Allow it to permeate your being and transform your life into a holy sacrifice to God.