Sunday, April 26, 2009

Angelic Voices

If I had studied music instead of art I would have a better musical vocabulary and I could express myself in ways that are more accurately descriptive than to just say that something is ‘beautiful’. That usually doesn’t fully explain the feeling I get from a piece of music.

But there is a line that I walk between using the same adjectives so often that they become boring and using adjectives that sound too pretentious, or at least pretentious for me. I pulled up the old thesaurus the other day and started looking for new superlatives to spice up my writing.

I like words like rich, classy, quiet, fresh, crisp, hearty, and so fourth, but maybe I should try words like scintillating, arresting, resplendent, dazzling or sparkling.

With that in mind I’ll try and describe a CD by that vivacious group of boys, The Vienna Boy’s Choir. This CD is appropriately, if unimaginatively, titled Angelic Voices, the Best of the Vienna Boy’s Choir. What I like best about this CD is the mixture of classical, folk and pop songs. It starts off with that euphonic Bach number 'Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude'. The violins are dynamic and the voices are alluring.
WSK, as always, gives us a very mellifluous version of Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ and they are renown for Handel’s ‘Hallelujah‘.
The soloist on Mendelssohn’s ‘O, For the Wings of a Dove‘, sings the German version and his young, piping voice is ambrosial. It’s the only German version I have heard.
There are well known songs by Handel, Strauss and Mozart, all performed with an effervescent ease. ‘Zadok’ the Priest is especially sonorous.

They follow the classical with songs like ‘Scarborough Fair‘, ‘Shenandoah‘, ‘La Guantanamera’ and ‘Loch Lomand‘, all of which are (get ready) pulchritudinous.

All joking aside, I really do listen to this one a lot. 'Loch Lomond' is one of my favs.


  1. Tracks 5,6,8,9, and 11 of this album are solos by Max Emanuel Cencic. In my opinion on the short list of "Greatest Boy Sopranos". His mother was the voice coach for WSK at the time.

  2. You are so right. What an amazing voice. I'll bet Kiri Te Kanawa would be jealous.

  3. Hi,

    This is not necessarily pertinent to this post in particular, but I thought you might be interested in an online radio station that I found. It plays treble music exclusively.

  4. Wow, that live365 is a great site. I had no idea it was out there yet it says it's been around since 2001. I don't know how many times I've searched the web looking for stuff about boy choirs and that site never came up. Thanks, I put a link over on the right. I think a lot of people will like this.