Vienna Choir Boys - A Jewish Celebration In Song

Published Thursday 3rd November 2005
Vienna Choir Boys - A Jewish Celebration In Song
Vienna Choir Boys - A Jewish Celebration In Song

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Naxos American Classics 8559419
RRP: £5.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Two musical worlds are brought together in this CD and the result is surprisingly good. The Vienna Choir Boys have a long and illustrious history but are usually associated with Christian and specifically Roman Catholic music. Here they perform two 20th century pieces by Jewish-American composers: Sholmon Kalib's "The Day Of Rest" and Abraham Kaplan's "Psalms Of Abraham". Both were written for the children's chorus attached to Cantor Kopmar's synagogue in Dayton, Ohio and have been rearranged for this recording to include the adult men's Chorus Viennensis to give a traditional four-part arrangement and allow a solo cantor to lead the worship. The soloist in "The Day Of Rest" is Cantor Naftali Herstik, a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London and now Chief Cantor of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. Your reviewer knows little about being a cantor but he can recognise a great singer when he hears one. The cantor for the "Psalms Of Abraham" is Shimon Craimer, another London graduate, this time from Trinity College of Music. He is a fine singer but not yet in Cantor Herstik's league. The music is deceptively simple and very moving in places with some superb choral and cantorial singing.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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