On Air Now
The Full Works Concert with Catherine Bott 8pm - 10pm
Everyone's favourite Franciscan Friar, Alessandro Brustenghi, released his debut album this year - and it made quite an impact. Find out why the tenor has caused such a stir with our guide.
Translating as 'Brother Sun, Sister Moon' and taken from the Zefirelli film of the same name - a biopic of St Francis of Assisi - this is a perfect introduction to Friar Alessandro's sound world. It was originally a song recorded by folk star Donovan.
Backed by delicate flute and harp, Alessandro's reading of Steven Baker's version of the Lord's Prayer is blissful.
Paul Mealor comes up trumps as usual here with this composition written especially for this album. And, in keeping with the influence of St Francis of Assisi, it's a setting of a prayer written by the man himself.
Cesar Franck's Panis Angelicus is one of the most famous pieces of sacred choral music ever, and it's up to Friar Alessandro to live up to that history. Fortunately, we're in safe hands here.
There's a delicate romance to this recording - Mascagni's melody (made famous by its inclusion in Raging Bull) is given life by Alessandro's voice, but beefed up by the violins as well.
Bellini is known mostly for his operatic repertoire, but he was also a renowned composer of sacred material - which is where Friar Alessandro comes in. Here you can see him with the album's producer Mike Hedges.
This Francesco Durante song is another religious work, this time dedicated to the Virgin Mary. One passage translates from Italian as: "Virgin, all made of love, mother of goodness, pious mother—hark, sweet Mary, the sinner's voice."
It's the one that made us fall in love with Alessandro's voice back when the album was originally released. It's also one of the most popular pieces of vocal music ever, tackled by countless tenors in the past - so it's even more impressive that Friar Alessandro's is so distinctive.
With those iconic drums at the start and the plaintive, solemn melody, this version of Ariel Ramirez's Kyrie is probably the most dramatic moment on Voice From Assisi. Spellbinding stuff.
This stripped back version of one of Fauré's greatest choral achievements packs an emotional punch in Alessandro's hands. Incredibly, Fauré was just 19 when he wrote it originally. Cracking French accent from Alessandro, too.
The fabulous Franciscan Friar really hams up this last track to glorious effect. His voice positively soars over the simple melody (penned by Sebastian Temple) that recites the English translation of the Prayer of Saint Francis himself.