“The angelic vocals of the venerable Vienna Boys Choir can unite people of the most disparate countries, cultures and religions.” – Los Angeles Times
Those were the days when a number of future musicians in sailor uniform sang at the imperial court during the glorious era of Habsburg Empire. Even up to now, their charm never fades with the passing of time. This illustrious choir, with members selected by some of the greatest conductors, was established half a millennium ago, and now still captures the hearts of million fans worldwide. This time, the Vienna Boys’ Choir released this interesting collection with fine melody lines, and sold it right after the live concert in Hong Kong last October. Rows of boys’ sopranos and altos, along with light-hearting acoustics, inserted their youthful vigour and consistent vibrancy to this disc.
Each time the boys sailed smoothly in the musical world of a total of 14 traditional folk melodies. The journey embarked on the title hymn Amazing Grace, with beautiful tin whistles in the grand opening. The purity of choir rendition, to our delight, sweeps over our ears directly, in a bright, lively manner. While the Japanese tune Sakura becomes the credit of the disc when its oriental tone surprisingly refreshes us with western percussions in harmony. Typical of the songs on this CD also includes widely-heard Edelweiss, Auld Lang Syne and Greensleeves, featuring the boys’ crystal clear high voices. And at last, let’s not forget Hevenu Shalom Aleichem. Though this Hebrew folk song is traditionally sung on the Sabbath, this upbeat version is equally tailored to a Jewish dance, and energizes us as if being in a joyous festival.
In general, it is an enticement to enjoy this impressive, and sometimes playful collection for more than half an hour. Here, the boys presented their gifted singing calibre, the same earnest zest and solid command of the complex part of singing. Pure, natural and sweet, their singing performance, even after listening for several times, still gladden us with sheer pleasure, as always. To all the fans, this CD is one that will be a superb gift of entertainment, and also a treasure that should be added to your music library. ♦
Amazing Grace – which is one of my favourites:
Hevenu Shalom Aleichem from this album: