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Pope Francis’ speeches to music for ‘Wake Up!’ album due Nov. 27

"Wake Up!" album, due Nov. 27, features excerpts of speeches by Pope Francis set to music spanning Gregorian chants to pop and rock.

“Wake Up!” album, due Nov. 27, features excerpts of speeches by Pope Francis set to music spanning Gregorian chants to pop and rock.

(Believe Digital)

No, it’s not what you might think.

Reports that a progressive rock album featuring Pope Francis doesn’t mean the pontiff is fronting a reunion of ‘70s prog-rock stalwarts Gentle Giant or UFO.

What it does mean is that the pope’s words, in his voice, are being merged with sacred and pop music by contemporary composers for “Wake Up!” The album is slated for release on Nov. 27, with some of the proceeds being earmarked for a fund for refugees.

Extracts from speeches that Pope Francis has made from the day he was elected March 13, 2013, through early this year, most of them in Italian and Spanish, but also some in English and Portuguese, are set to music from composers who include Giorgio Kriegsch, Tony Pagliuca, Mite Balduzzi, Giuseppe Dati, Lorenzo Piscopo and Dino Doni.

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“The album’s tracks range from pop to rock, from Latin music to Gregorian chants, and represent a harmonic link between tradition and modernism,” according to an announcement about the album.

Rolling Stone magazine has premiered a track that inspired the album’s title, “Wake Up! Go! Go Forward!”

“Can you imagine the [media] pitch?!” a veteran music publicist wrote on Facebook this week. “‘I’m following up to see if you’ve had a chance to check out the Pope’s new album. If not, your penance is...’”

Definitely NOT an album to be downloaded off any illegal file-sharing sites. And heaven help any music critic who writes a discouraging word about it.

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