Italian tenor Vittorio Grigòlo has turned to sacred music for his next release, Ave Maria, on Sony Classical. The album is currently available for pre-order, and CBC Music is pleased to offer a First Play prior to its Oct. 22 release.

Grigòlo's two previous albums for Sony — The Italian Tenor and Arrivederci — were popular releases and established his credentials as an accomplished interpreter of Neapolitan songs and lyric tenor opera roles. In 2014, he'll star in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Puccini's La Bohème, a performance that will be simulcast in the Met's Live in HD series on April 5.

With Ave Maria, Grigòlo indulges a bit of nostalgia for his time spent as a boy chorister at the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

"I feel Ave Maria is a tribute to all the incredible people who helped me as a boy and to all the hours we studied and practiced in those little rooms in the chapel," says Grigòlo in the press material released by Sony. "This album is a dream come true for me."

The album contains sacred favourites — Franck's Panis angelicus, Schubert's Ave Maria, Adam's O Holy Night, and arrangement of Mozart's Ave verum corpus — along with some music composed specifically for the Sistine Chapel Choir. While not a Christmas album, it's sure to be a popular release as the season approaches.

posted by Robert Rowat on Oct 15, 2013