“It’s always darkest before the dawn” is a popular saying that is meant to remind us that no matter how bad things get, each day holds the promise of a better future. Now, as the days are growing shorter, The Poor Clares of Arundel have released a monumentally successful album, which acts as the light of the rising sun peeking through the shadows.
Light For the World was only released October 14, but it has already become one of the most successful albums to be released by an order of nuns, or any religious order for that matter, as it has taken the #1 spots on both the Official Classical Artist Albums Chart and the Official Specialist Classical Chart. Although the prior chart has already dropped them to #2, The Poor Clares held the spot for nearly three weeks.
In an interview with The Catholic Universe, The Poor Clares explained that the work is intended to ease stress and anxiety that have built up over the many months of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the cloistered nature of their order makes them no strangers to isolation, The Poor Clares are bringing their know-how to the world with the angelic sounds and Latin texts that have comforted their members since the 13th century. Sr. Gabriel Davison commented:
“We are thrilled that our music has touched the hearts of the public and has reached number one in the Classical Chart. We hope Light For The World will bring you peace, joy and a sense of calm as you cope during these difficult times of isolation and stress.”
The music is phenomenal, displaying a true mastery of the choral craft. The group is made up of only 23 nuns, but the level of sound they create makes it seem a lot larger. With modest accompaniment, mostly by droning organ or piano chords and a few other classical acoustic instruments, their voices undulate through the speakers with incredible reverberation and more than once we were in awe of how easily these nuns seem to capture overtones.
It’s hard to pick out songs that stand out in this 16-song masterpiece of sacred music performance. The ending of each track left us searching for adequate words to convey the pure emotion conveyed through the music, only for the next track to start and completely distract us with another series of heavenly tones.
The care and reverence that was put into this production is demonstrated unmistakably in each track and makes it clear to see why the sisters have enjoyed such massive success with their very first album. It’s hard to believe that the community had never recorded anything before, given the immense talent displayed on the work, but for the remarkably high quality of the recordings as well. We hope they continue to bring us such fine sounds of sacred music in the future.
Click here to learn more about The Poor Clares, and then check out the full album below.