Title - 'Merry Christmas from Vienna'
Artist - Vienna Boys Choir
The Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys' Choir or Vienna Choir Boys) is a choir of trebles and altos based in Vienna. It is one of the best known boys' choirs in the world. The boys are selected mainly from Austria, but also from many other countries.
The choir is a private, not-for-profit organization. There are approximately 100 choristers between the ages of ten and fourteen. The boys are divided into four touring choirs, named after Austrian composers Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, which combined perform about 300 concerts each year before almost 500,000 people. Each group tours for about nine to eleven weeks.
Merry Christmas from Vienna features 18 Christmas songs by the children's choir that represents one of Austria's major cultural exports - as they embark on a musical journey through the centuries.
Several pieces from the repertoire traditionally sung on Christmas Eve, such as "Frohliche Weihnacht uberall" or "Leise rieselt der Schnee" by the German pastor Eduard Ebel, form the recording's core. These carols, well-known and cherished throughout the entire German-speaking world, are complemented by musical gems of Austrian origin.
But the Vienna Boys Choir wouldn't be the globally successful choir it is if it didn't always look beyond its own cultural horizon. As a result, "Il est ne le divin enfant" or "Joy To The World" offer a glimpse of French and Anglo-Saxon Christmas traditions. This also applies to the English version of Adolphe Adam's "O Holy Night," for which audience favorite Rolando Villazon makes a guest appearance on the new album.
After all, cooperation with other musicians comes naturally to the Vienna Boys Choir. It continues to uphold this spirit even when it comes to the Christmas Carol of all Christmas Carols, winning the support of Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, one of the Vienna State Opera's rising ensemble members, for Stille Nacht. In four additional songs, the choir boys demonstrate that cooperation often goes hand in hand with the expansion of one's own realm.
The renowned ensemble phil Blech Wien serves as a sparring partner for the young vocal artists in the two US Christmas classics "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Let It Snow." Widely known at least since their performance in the intermission film of the New Year's Concert 2013, the combination of brass instruments with two drum sets contributes its own rhythmic dynamism to the familiar sounds
Indeed, the same holds true for the unusual line-up of the WienerWunderAllerlei quartet, with an instrumental repertoire ranging from saxophones to toys and with which the Boys Choir interprets "Jingle Bells" and the melancholy war protest song, "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Vienna Boys Choir Website