Disc to fete Jubilee

Move over Monks, here comes the Pope.

Sony Classical and Radio Vaticana, the official broadcasting arm of the Vatican, have pacted to unleash “Abba Pater,” the first CD to blend music with prayers and chants by Pope John Paul II.

The disc, which will bow in advance of Holy Week and Easter in April, boasts original compositions and arrangements of contemporary music with Pope John Paul II’s radio broadcasts over the past 20 years. It will also spawn a musicvideo featuring the Pontiff.

“Abba Pater” is produced by Audiovisivi San Paolo, one of the world’s largest publishers of religious books and periodicals, and was created to commemorate the forthcoming Jubilee in the year 2000 and the recent 20th anniversary of John Paul II’s papacy. The disc took two years to complete.

Use of contemporary instrumental, World Music and classical music accompanying the Pope’s words is expected to give the disc widespread global appeal to both fans as well as devoted followers of the Church.

In 1995, a disc of Gregorian Chants from the Benedictine Monks became one of the year’s bestselling albums.

“Abba Pater suggests a universal pilgrimage guided by the Pope himself through a variety of languages and expressions,” said Father Borgomeo, the director general of Radio Vaticana. “It is an interior pilgrimage offered to the people of the world in prayer and meditation on the real meaning of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000.”

Borgomeo oversaw the selection of Papal recordings from the Radio Vaticana archives and approved the recording of compositions and arrangements made by a team of young Italian composers.

“Abba Pater” contains 11 tracks in which the Pope explores texts mostly drawn directly from the Bible and delivered in Latin, Italian, French, English, and Spanish.

One of the tracks, which features the Pope chanting the “Pater Noster” (Our Father), will also be produced as a musicvideo and will be jointly featured on the Vatican and Sony Classical Web sites beginning in mid-February.

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