Here is a mystery choir that I can’t seem to find out enough about. It’s the Sangerknaben Vom Wienerwald or the Boys Choir of the Vienna Woods, which sometimes is confused with the Vienna Boys Choir.
First, what I don’t know about this choir is this: Are they still around? Why don’t they have a better web site? Have they gone co-ed? Do they still record and how can we get new CD’s? Their web site seems to be down and I haven't found any CD's newer than 1999.
I keep hoping that we will hire someone from Germany at our office so I can get them to translate for me. Their German web site may have lots of information about them, I don't know, but the parts that are in English are not very helpful.
I found a CD from them on Amazon titled Romantic Vienna and it is another one of those digitally remastered recordings from Essential Media Group that is made from an old vinyl LP record. They never give the date of the original recording nor do they give us any liner notes. I went back to the web and searched again and found three other versions of this same recording with different covers and titles but with the same song listings.
The sound quality is not, of course, like modern recordings. It’s flat but at least they took out any static and background hiss. The quality of the singing, on the other hand, is very good and after awhile I stopped noticing the lack of depth. These boys sound very young and very well trained. If you like Strauss Waltzes, and who doesn’t, I think you’ll find yourself smiling at this CD. There are 19 songs starting with the 1001 Night Waltz and ending with the Zappert Polka. I love Vienna, City of My Dreams.
On all of the songs they are backed up by a great orchestra.
Now, what I do know about Sangerknaben Vom Wienerwald is this: They start training at age 6 or 7 at the choir school at the Mission House of Saint Gabriel, founded in 1921.
The boys sing church music at the high holidays in St. Gabriel and also provide 50 concert performances during the school year. The highlight of the year is the 3-5-week concert tour in the summer months.