STYLE: Orchestral RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15082- LABEL: CPO CPO7770672 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
Six students from the Munich Academy of Music formed Die Singphoniker 25 years ago. Since then they have enjoyed a prolific recording career covering material from Gregorian Chant through to comic songs of the 1920s. Musically they occupy similar territory to Chanticleer or the Swingle Singers, demonstrating superb vocal musicianship, often unaccompanied, but sometimes becoming too saccharine for some tastes. If anything was going to be too sweet it would be a Christmas album but your reviewer, who does not like being a critical critic, is happy to report that this CD does not descend into schmaltz. What we get is a musical tour around Europe with examples of both sacred and secular Christmas songs from seven western nations. Strangely, the English contributions are "Kings Of Orient" which was always "We Three Kings" when I was a lad and "Mary's Boychild" that is surely now a traditional Caribbean piece. And then we get a harp solo from Britten's "Ceremony Of Carols". The opening and closing numbers are both well known German carols: "Adeste Fideles" and "Stille Nacht". In between there are some unfamiliar songs. If you have an interest in less obvious Christmas material or if you enjoy excellent vocal music this CD would be a good present.
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