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The Rhythm Of Life
Ulmer Spatzen Choir/Hans de Gilde
Barbara Comes (piano/organ), Kark Albrecht Fischer (piano), Veit Hubner (bass), Torsten Krill (percussion), Ekkehard Rossle (saxophone)
rec. 2016, Ulm, Germany
CARUS 83.484 [54:43]

The Ulmer Spatzen Choir was founded in 1958 and is currently under the direction of conductor Hans de Gilde. The choir boasts more than 200 young singers ranging in age between 12 and 19, and they are divided into two semi-choirs.

This group has created an interesting and varied musical collection for The Rhythm of Life, with works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Purcell, as well as more recent tunes by Harold Arlen, Cy Coleman and others. The choir opens with a sparkling version of John Rutter’s marvelous composition I Will Sing With The Spirit , based on scripture found in 1 Corinthinans 14, 15, and ends with Sunny, the 1966 pop classic written by singer-songwriter Bobby Heeb, arranged by Czech saxophonist Libor Sima. Pianist Barbara Comes performs on many of the numbers, and her smooth and insightful style on both piano and organ is a perfect match for the young, predominately female choir. One of the most beautiful tunes on this disc is Cerf Volant/papierflieger, composed by Bruno Coulais and Christoph Barratier for the 2004 film The Chorus, sung in both German and French. The talented group follows with a spirited rendition of Roger Emerson’s Cantate Brasilia! sung in English and Latin. Bob Chilcott composed the gentle tune Sing You Now which appears in his “Singing By Numbers” collection, and the choir’s ethereal presentation floats with softly harmonizing young soprano voices.

Several fine solos also appear in this collection; Cara Jones and Johanna Mehlich beautifully harmonize the opening verse of Mendelssohn’s Abendlied, and Franziska de Gilde’s solo verse in C’etait la veille de Noel resonates within a soft vocal choral background. Sunny also features a soloist, Lena Weigel, whose young alto voice shines with fun and youthful energy. Maurice White, Allee Willis and Al McKay from the rock-soul group Earth, Wind and Fire wrote the 1971 hit song September, and the singers are joined by pianist Bobbi Fischer, bassist Veit Hubner, saxophonist Ekkehard Rossle, and drummer Torsten Krill for a unique version of the rock standard, rarely heard with a mainly female mix of voices.

The sound quality varies a bit between tracks, but is overall very good. An 8-page booklet is included, with comments and notes entirely in German.

Bruce McCollum

I will sing with the spirit (2:59)
Hotaru koi (1:24)
Hotaru koi (0:46)
Winde wehn, Schiffe gehn (2:15)
Amen (1:18)
Can you hear me? (3:44)
Cerf-volant/Papierflieger (2:11)
Cantate Brasilia! (2:07)
Herr, hore unser Gebet (2:01)
Cantate Domino (2:06)
Weihnacht (2:11)
Abendlied (1:53)
C’etait la veille de Noel (1:52)
Sound the trumpet (2:41)
Schwesterlein, wann gehn wir nach Haus (2:44)
The rhythm of life (2:24)
Abendsegen (2:36)
Blunt the knives (4:19)
I see fire (4:19)
Sing you now (1:56)
Geburtstagskanon (1:22)
September (3:10)
Over the rainbow (2:43)
Sunny (2:36)



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