The Three Tenors
first came together to celebrate the 1990 World Cup in Rome, and the resulting success sent shockwaves through the opera world. A decade later, the trio reunites to observe an entirely different kind of festivity. The Three Tenors Christmas
was recorded in Vienna with conductor Steven Mercurio
, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Gumpoldskirchner Spätzen boy's choir. The 21 selections include favorite songs and carols, such as "Adeste Fideles," "White Christmas," "Silent Night," and "Winter Wonderland," as well as some unexpected holiday fare. Who would have guessed that these three operatic superstars would be raising their voices together in "Amazing Grace" or John Lennon
and Yoko Ono
's "Happy Christmas/War Is Over"? Their lyrical performances of classical lullabies by Brahms and Richard Strauss will come as no surprise, however -- and neither will the stirring atmosphere of this live concert recording. Each of the tenors has a touch of trouble singing in English, but that doesn't stop them from caressing the melodies in their inimitable style. The extravagant arrangements match the tenors' vocal opulence, creating a stirring and joyous accompaniment for sumptuous holiday celebrations.