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2003-11-10 German Newspaper

Powerful-voiced guarantee for goosebumps
"The Celtic Tenors" provided enthusiasm with ballads, Irish Folk, love songs and rock-like songs at "Dolce-Theater"
by Tina Ruehl

 

Bad Nauheim. "Ich bekomme eine Gänsehaut nach der anderen" ("I am getting goose-bumps over and over again"), said an enthusiastic lady who was queuing in front of the lavatory during the interval. The other concert-goers nodded in silence. The guys are just great, the most original performers the "Dolce-Theater" has seen for ages. On Friday evening the audience got enthusiastic about "The Celtic Tenors" who performed a combination of ballads, Irish Folk, love songs and rock-like songs at the not completely sold out theatre.

 

Matthew Gilsenan, Niall Morris and James Nelson were supported several times by Deirdre Shannon. Matthew Gilsenan's sister provided a pleasure to the ears as well with her gentle voice: Her elegant soprano carried classical and Irish compositions up to the last rows of the venue. You just have to recognise that all four of them have been trained in music. The result: wonderful harmonies, intonated melodies and brilliant heights.

 

Apart from their musical skills, Gilsenan, Morris and Nelson captivated the audience with their charm. Friendly, mischievous, self-ironic and by no means unapproachable the trio gave attention to the audience. "Jetzt singen alle mit!", Niall asked. In well-tempered German the tenors announced their highlights that were mainly from their latest "Irish Album" in the first part of the concert. Why did you choose songs from your Celtic home?

 

"We want to prove that Irish music does not only consist of fiddle sound and diddley-eye but leads into the 21 century", explained Matthew after the concert during the signing session naturally taking place after the two-hour concert. After all Stars 'like you and I' are beloved also in the 'Badestadt'.

 

Accompanied by drums, piano, keyboard, bass and guitar, the audience got enthusiastic about songs such as "Whiskey in the jar". The rhythmic clapping during the refrain of another song made those present realise under which name it became a hit song in our country: "An der Nordseeküste..." was performed by "Klaus und Klaus" in the 1980s. A very cheerful "Phil the Fluter's Ball" followed, and afterwards a melancholic ballad was very heart-rending. "The fields of Athenry were another example of their devotion to Irish Traditionals. Whether the singers proved their vocal power in unision or in three parts in thirds, fifths and sixths - the "Celtic Tenors" succeeded in giving every song a personal touch.

 

After the interval they showed that they are not even overawed by heroes of the rock 'n roll history: Self-knowledge was "We are the champions". Gentle and powerful at the same time - Niall performed that song of his idol Freddie Mercury so touching that the audience rewarded him with standing ovations.

 

Another highlight: "Caruso", the homage to the greatest tenor especially composed for Pavarotti. The beautiful sounding was achieved by the varied spectrum of voices ranging from Niall's lyric tenor to James' heroic tenor to Matthew's warm timbre. Matthew enriched the trio with passages sung on baritone level which came into effect in particular with "Fionnghuala" - mysterious melodics, church-like harmonies and the a capella version made this piece of Scottish folk music that special.

 

With a very parodistic performance of "Granada" and "O sole mio" they showed that they also feel comfortable in Mediterranean countries. Supported by Deirdre, Matthew, James and Niall finished their concert with "Time to say Goodbye". But the overwhelmed audience didn't let the singers go that fast. After thunderous applause and numerous calls for encores, the "Celtic Tenors" appeared on stage another two times before the final curtain fell.