A Gala Christmas In Vienna

Album cover art
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
Catalog: SK60396
Format: CD

1. Christmas Prologue - Steven Mercurio 2. Deck the Halls 3. The Closing of the Year 4. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle - Riccardo Cocciante 5. Walking in the Air - Plácido Domingo & Riccardo Cocciante 6. Adeste Fideles - Helmut Lotti 7. Away in a Manger 8. An Old-Fashioned Christmas 9. First of May - Sarah Brightman 10. Il Re Gesù - Plácido Domingo & Riccardo Cocciante 11. Fröhliche Weihnacht 12. Cantemos Rapaces 13. Christmas is Here Again 14. Child in a Manger 15. Angels from the Realms of Glory 16. Another Christmas Song 17. Santa Claus is Coming to Town 18. Happy Christmas (War is Over) 19. Silent Night 20. First of May - Sarah Brightman

You don't hear many live Christmas records, but then it's seldom you get as many operatic powerhouses under one Austrian town-hall roof with a full orchestra and large children's choir. Placido Domingo (who dominates the proceedings with his commanding tenor), Britain's own Sarah Brightman, Belgian Helmut Lotti, and Italy's Richard Cocciante raise the roof on this international gala recording from 1997 under the skilled baton of Steven Mercurio and choir master Elizabeth Ziegler. Chief among the performances during this black-tie event are the Domingo-Cocciante duet of "Walking in the Air," Brightman's chilling "First of May," (the Bee Gees song) and a strange medley of European-American songs, traditional and pop, ranging from Roger Whittaker and John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and a handful of traditional Welsh, German, and Spanish works, plus that Yank standard "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." For button-down audiences only who still can appreciate pop songs in expanded and exploded arrangements. --Martin Keller

Price: $11.98