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The Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz


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The Cistercian monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz are an order of Catholic monks that live in the heart of Vienna. While monks in many monasteries chant, Heiligenkreuz is particularly proud of its singing, which has been honed over years by one of the monks, who used to direct choirs in Germany. In 2008, the order gained considerable attention for the major label release of a CD of Gregorian chant, called Chant: Music for the Soul. The monks stress that they are not looking to become pop stars or the next Backstreet Boys, but the money they will receive for the CD effort will fund their upkeep and many charitable pursuits.

In early 2008, the head of the Cistercian monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, Father Karl Wallner, received an email about a search for spiritual musician being conducted by the Universal Classics record label. Father Wallner sent clips of the monks singing, and posted a YouTube video of their chants. Under the direction of Tom Lewis of Universal, the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz were chosen to record an album of Gregorian chant for public release. The completed album was released in 2008 and has met with considerable media attention.

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