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2006-09-03 Cork (and Dublin)

reviewed by Anja

 

The dates in Cork and Dublin had a little string orchester (The Celtic Tenors Strings for the night) so this promised some "classy" entertainment. The guys started with "Spanish Lady/Mairie's Wedding" which I think is a good start to a concert - everyone was clapping along and had much fun right from the beginning.

 

"Will ye go lassie, go" was next. This song has its origin in the Scottish (or maybe Northern Irish) tradition and is simply beautiful with the strings and Matthew starting this off a capella.

This one was followed by a new track - and the first highlight of the night: "An Poc Ar Buile". Matthew introduced this song telling us how he first heard this on a recording by Sean o Sea who (if I got that right) first recorded this in the 1960th. The guys performed this Gaelic song in Munster, Connacht and "Daryl" Irish as he said he's doing a Gaelic all on his own ;-) Not that I am the person to judge but to me it sounded nice ;-) Down in Cork many people were singing and clapping along while the guys performed a perfect a capella version of this great Gaelic song - this is a more than perfect replacement for Fionnghuala!

The next song was introduced by Daryl who dedicated this to his family, especially his parents. He explained how difficult it must have been to bring up a kid in Omagh during the most difficult time in Northern Ireland and how much he appreciates the fact that hi parents were always open minded about cultur, religion and very supportive to him whatever he was doing. So "You raise me up" indeed is the best "thank you" i can imagine and I had to think about my two grandmothers who both brought up their children during a difficult time in Germany during the Nazi times - also teaching them respect for each and everyone and both of them were arrested for that so this song is special for me now as well. Daryl is singing with a little souly touch (of course a million times better than Samantha Mumba) which is just perfect - what a beautiful version of a beautiful song!

"Wild Rover" was next followed by another highlight of that night - "Angel of Mercy" sung for Holly.

Now it was time for Matthew and James to leave the stage while the musicians started to play a wonderful piece of music from Il Barbiere Di Siviglia while Daryl told us the story of this aria: a young man walking along the street and meeting the woman of his dreams - so Almavia serenades Rosina who wants to marry Bartolo for her fortune. "Ecco Ridente in Cielo" (There laughing in the sky) is a beautiful tenor aria and Daryl impressed me a lot - what a great performance and I hope to hear more of that in the future (there are some lovely tenor arias I would like to hear!!!).

Daryl was joined by the others for the "Pearl Fisher's Duet". The classical section went on with yet another breathtaking performance: "Barcarolle" from Offenbachs opera "Tales of Hoffmann". The guys were joined by Donna Malone who did an excellent "job" again. Matthew and Donna harmonise in a perfect way and James and Daryl blend in like it has to be like this! A song I would love to see recorded in the way it was performed in Cork and Dublin! I still can't belive Donna is just 19 as her voice seems to grow every time I hear her! As much as I love to have Deirdre back Donna will be missed the same way.

Now it was time for Matthew and Daryl to go and the stage was left for James to sing his beautiful solo "Mattinata" (In the morning) written by Ruggero Leoncavallo and again I was impressed. James voice is just perfect for this aria and I could do with a "Celtic Tenors go Classic" album...

Before the interval it was time for "Non Siamo Isole" I must admit it took some time to get into the "stage version" as I love the contrast of Brian Kennedy and the tenor voice but after a year 'on stage' I love this song the way it is. "Remember Me" was the song to finsh the first half.

The second half started with a song I was looking forward to hear - "Ten Thousand Tears" were The Celtic Tenors were joined by Donna again to sing the opera part with James.

"Shenandoah" was next and it was dead silent in the theatre - you could have heard a needle drop! This truely is a beautiful song and the North American fans will love to the CT rendition of this!

Another new song added to the Celtics live on stage repertoir is "Still by your side" - one of the songs I like most on the We are not Islands recording. Deirdre joined the guys on stage for this one like she does on the recording.

After that it was her part and she sang the well-known "She moved through the fair" which she had done for Lord of the Dance and which is on her latest CD. I really prefer to hear this aisling (which means vision poem) in her nearly a capella version. How good Deirdre recorded this so we can enjoy that song whenever we feel like!

Matthew joined her for the breathtaking "The Prayer". I first heard Dee and Matt singing this song in 2004 and since then was hoping to find this recorded - well, it now happened ;-)

James and Daryl came back and we were treaded to "Bring him home" from Les Miserables.

They changed to the complete diverse with their next song: "Paddy Mc Ginty's Goat" which - regarding to Matthew - completes the goats section (James: "This sounds like some medical treatment... ") in the new live set. Well... I must admit I was not prepared for what happened now. This is the most funny and hilarious piece I have heard in a long time. The way James and Daryl "perform" the song is just excellent and I was dying of laughter - there really is no way to describe what's going on and - as much as we might try - you really need to see them to understand... well done lads, this really is "Celtic Tenors style"!!

I have never been a fan of those songs most of the people call "real Irish" (e.g. Wild Rover or Whiseky in the Jar) but learned that some do work out for the guys as "Irish Rover" was next on the setlist. I throughoutly enjoyed that song and it was so much fun to hear Matt playing Tin Whistle, Daryl playing tambourine and James completing his animal performances with a more than brilliant drowning dog :-) This really has to stay in the repertoir, it is great fun and (well, I think so) a million times better than Wild Rover or Whiskey in the Jar....

Again the musical mood changed when "Caledonia" was announced. Caledonia was one of the first songs I ever heard from the Celtics and in fact it was one of the songs that drove my attention to those guys. And what can I say other than I will always love this song. Whenever I hear Caledonia memories of the Glens and the Lochs and the Highlands come flashing to my mind and its very emotional. I am so very happy this seems to be one of the Celtic Tenors Classics!

For the Cork shows the audience now got their surprise song: "The Banks of my own lovely Lee". I wish I could describe the feeling when the whole audience was singing along, many of them very moved. As a special surprise the guys had little Cork flags on the Saturday night as it was the All Ireland Guinness SHC Final (Hurling) on the Sunday with Cork : Kilkenny. There was a loud cheer when the guys startet waving their little flags and as much laughter when Daryl "lost" his and ended up with the tiny flagpole while the flag was "sailing" down the orchestra pit.

For the final song "Tonight" from West Side Story the two ladies were asked back on stage. I must say that this was what I would call a "Grand Finale" as all five voices harmonised very well. This is indeed another song I would love to hear on the next recording - including both ladies! Deirdre and Donna both have a unique style but when they were singing "their" part it felt like they had sung together for ages and I very much liked to hear them singing together.

Time for the encores now which were "All out of love" (nothing to say here, this is simply brilliant!) and "Ireland's Call".