‘Pope Star’ Francis releases first album, ‘Wake Up!’

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2015/11/06/pope-star-francis-releases-first-album-wake-up/

ROME – Pope Francis is “singing” a new tune with the release of his debut music album, “Wake Up!”

Mixing hymns with rock tunes and Latin chants along with selections from the Pope’s speeches – in Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese – the 11-track recording went on sale in Italy Friday, when it was released by its independent producers at Multimedia San Paolo.

Selections from the album, including “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” and “Por Qué Sufren los Niños?” (“Why do the children suffer?”), were released in September and October, respectively. “Wake Up!” has been listened to 1 billion times, The Telegraph in London reported, citing the song’s distributors. Some of the revenue from the album will go to refugee assistance, according to an accompanying booklet.

The recording debuts just as the Vatican’s recent troubles over Holy See financial secrets have been stirred anew. Two new books, “Merchants in the Temple,” written by journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi and released Thursday, and  “Avarice” by Emiliano Fittipaldi, deal with behind-the-scenes financial issues.

On the recording, “Pope Francis doesn’t sing as such,” said producer and artistic director Don Giulio Neroni, an Italian priest, according to The Telegraph. “But his voice does sing and play, not to the cardinals, but to the people, the faithful.”

Neroni also worked with John Paul II and Benedict XVI, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Composers Dino Doni and Toni Pagliuca hoped their arrangements would help lend support to Francis’ words, according to Sky News in London.

“We took into consideration Pope Francis’ speeches, speeches he made in various countries around the world, with diverse themes,” Doni told the British broadcaster. “We hope we have delivered a different arrangement for this work but also that we have managed to maintain the emotional and psychological aspect of the pope.”

In Italy, the recording costs 15.99 euros for a physical copy and 9.99 euros for a downloaded version, The Telegraph said. U.S. listeners have to wait a few more weeks, though. Internationally, the album will debut Nov. 27, or the day after Thanksgiving – known to retailers as Black Friday. Amazon.com is taking preorders, at $13.99 per download.

A feature film about the Pope, “Call Me Francesco,” will have its world premier Dec. 1, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It will screen in Italian theaters starting Dec. 3.

Contact Kara Bettis at [email protected] or @karabettis