Classical

Only three songs left in this year’s chart to find your favourite Alfie Boe Live Song and we have the second song in a row to feature a Freddie Mercury song:

Barcelona, with Laura Wright, was performed at the Freddie for a Day party in 2013 and has been a firm fan favourite ever since. Alfie went on to record this with Katherine Jenkins but has not performed it live for a while. The first best live song poll featured this version, fell out of favour with voters and returned to the chart in 2018 at number nine. It’s obviously more popular now!

Barcelona was originally written by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran and recorded by Mercury and the Spanish soprano, Montserrat Caballe in 1987.

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and welcome message from Alfie

xx

Midway through our quest to find your favourite Alfie Boe Live Song 2019 and we come to a song that has reached number one in the past and not been out of the chart since, also being popular on the Best Recorded Song chart:

Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quadrophenia has been a firm favourite with Alfie and The Who fans alike since we first heard it at the world premiere in 2015. Judging by it’s assured place in our chart, people still love it as much as they did four years ago.

Looking back at the many times this song has featured in song charts or Six Sensational Songs (it’s second only to Bring Him Home in number of selections), the one thing everyone says about it is that Alfie’s voice is at it’s best when he sings it. And you don’t listen to this song, along with Alfie, you experience it.

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

xx

Since it was announced that Alfie Boe would feature on a new work by composer Rachel Fuller, fans have been beside themselves with excitement. Add in conductor Robert Ziegler, who conducted the world premiere of Fuller’s Classic Quadrophenia in 2015 and excitement levels rose even more.

Animal Requiem was created by Rachel to celebrate, remember and honour all the animals we have loved and lost, as well as those animals affected by cruelty or neglect around the world. The piece was also created for animal lovers and workers wherever they may be. The audience were urged to bring photos of lost pets and the resulting board was very moving.

The evening began with a beautiful performance of Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, along with poems from Ogden Nash, read by actor Peter Egan, himself a noted campaigner for animal rights. Both were wonderful.

After a short break, Egan again took to the stage, this time to introduce the premiere of Animal Requiem, before which he read the poem Just A Dog. The pet owners in the audience understood and agreed with the sentiments exactly. Robert Ziegler took to the stage to conduct the London Philarmonic Concert Orchestra and the Chamber Choir of London who performed the first few parts of the requiem beautifully. Fuller’s music accompanied the familiar requiem words in a new way whilst always remaining true to what we might expect from a requiem. The Prayer of St. Francis was especially moving in this respect.

Alfie then took to the stage (or, being in a church, the pulpit) and sang Psalm 142 and Agnus Dei; there was a palpable frisson of anticipation when he appeared.

As Alfie mentioned afterwards, singing this type of music in this setting (St. James’ Church, Piccadilly) took him back to his Royal College of Music days, when church music was a staple of his repertoire. As expected, it was glorious to hear Alfie’s voice performing as it was trained to do, without amplification, soaring above, but not competing with the orchestra. The setting was perfect and he held the audience in the palm of his hand for the entirety. Soprano Katy Batho was also lovely – the two of them coming together for the finale were sublime. The last song of the evening was Paul McCartney’s Blackbird. As he wasn’t able to be there, Alfie sang this for him, accompanied by a guitarist and the orchestra – you could have heard a pin drop. It also demonstrated the depth of Alfie’s vocal versatility perfectly:

It was an honour to be present at the premiere of this exciting new work and I’m sure that the entire audience felt the same, judging by the standing ovation given at the end.

Animal Requiem is available now to download and to pre-order on CD here.

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

xx

Alfie Boe will shortly be appearing at the premiere of Rachel Fuller’s Animal Requiem and the good news is that you can now pre-order the album! Due out on March 8 2019, Alfie features on some tracks; click here to pre-order:

To download on 31 January, click here.

There are still a few tickets available for the premiere at St. James’ Church, Piccadilly, click here.

thanks for reading – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos, a welcome message from Alfie

Tis the season for Christmas music (oh yes it is) so today I’ve teamed up with Angry Baby Music to bring you some old and new favourite Christmas songs. Christmas albums don’t usually lend themselves to new music, perhaps because tradition is everything at this time of year and nostalgia reigns. However, we took a look through our version of the Christmas present cupboard and chosen a few tracks from a few artists, some of which may be familiar.

If you like traditional carols, then Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore’s take on O Holy Night will be to your liking; the combination of French and English makes it stand out from other, more familiar versions and the simplicity of Sean’s arrangement enhances the pure vocals from Michael. Beth Ford’s Silent Night has the same traditional yuletide sound. Beth’s voice, which is always described as ‘hauntingly beautiful’ and ‘mesmerising’ brings a whole new expression to this traditional carol.  Angry Baby and Beth are giving away a free download of Silent Night so click here to subscribe and get yours. Meanwhile, Gareth Malone’s own composition, A Child Is Born, Malone’s very first composition, with its traditional arrangement makes an excellent addition to the already full band of Christmas carols.

If you want a traditional song updated, then take a look at what Rachael Sage does with her cover of the classic Joy To The World. Weaving together her proven sounds of folk, pop, and jazz, Rachael brings new life to such a joyful song. As this time of year is also the time to celebrate Hannukkah and Rachael’s song, Hanukkah in the Village, a favourite with Rachael’s many fans is also beautiful.

Classical-crossover artist Mary-Jess last year released an album of Christmas songs that encompasses all types of Christmas music. I Fell In Love With A Snowman provides a theme-song for falling in love whilst Mary-Jess’s duet with Rhydian on The Sound Of Christmas maintains a refreshingly natural range and pitch within the mix. Prayer To A Snowflake , the title track of the album, brings something fresh to the seasonal catalogue. Easily the stand-out piece of a stand-out album, Mary-Jess’s juxtaposition of Chinese musicality and classical European vocals creates an addictively melodic offering.

Earlier we touched on Gareth Malone’s 2016 Christmas album and we return to it with a look at a song written by Malone and Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson. Paradise Street isn’t actually very festive but fits in perfectly to a Christmas album as it instantly calls to mind the magnificent Fairy Tale of New York that has been a Christmas staple since Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues took it to number one. Wilson is of course an extremely talented wordsmith and his bittersweet lyrics combine effortlessly with the melody to take the listener on a musical journey.

Continuing the theme of not especially Christmassy festive offerings, Robb Murphy‘s North Star conjures an atmosphere of lives shared through the simple things. Contrasting a lilting beat with Robb’s laid-back vocal style, you’re invited to hum – or whistle – along. Glisteningly wintery, warm and fuzzy, the song holds an entire landscape in the simplest of arrangements.

We’ll end as we began with a Boe brother – Alfie. Alfie hasn’t recorded many Christmas songs (although he’s sung a fair few in live performances) but one that isn’t much heard these days is Home for Christmas, from his appearance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2012. Beautiful.

If you’re still contemplating Christmas shopping and are unsure what to get the music fan in your life, then Angry Baby have the solution! They have teamed up with Robb Murphy and Beth Ford to produce a couple of bundles of music that they love and know you will too. Click here for Robb and here for Beth.

thanks for reading – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos, a welcome message from Alfie

O Holy Night came out on top, wiping the floor with the other songs, taking 49% of the vote.  The songs in second and third place were I Saw Three Ships and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, with 10% and 9% respectively. Alfie has recorded O Holy Night, with the Boston Pops, on an album called Sleigh Ride (thanks to Claire Smith for the video):

The lyrics of the O Holy Night were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847, having been asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn.  Needing music, he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams who then composed the melody. The carol was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight.

Don’t forget that Alfie will present Christmas Carols on ITV, Christmas Eve at 11.45pm again this year – hopefully we’ll have another song to choose from in 2019!

thanks for reading – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos, a welcome message from Alfie

I’m One at Nottingham Arena:

From the fabulous Classic Quadrophenia, this is one of the first concerts we got to hear Alfie singing this music – I for one fell in love with it there and then, despite never being a Who fan before.

Since 2014, Alfie has done even more and been even more successful, with a run on Broadway and two number one albums to boot.  His first solo album for four years, As Time Goes By, has just been released and hit the top ten in the UK album chart in it’s first week.  If you haven’t got yours yet, what are you waiting for????

It’s available here:

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

xx

As the weather grows ever more Autumnal, it’s another great excuse to stay indoors and watch Alfie on YouTube.  To aid you in this, here is another instalment of Six Sensational Songs and this time, they are from Marie Blair, who first got to know Alfie when he did the Les Mis 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2.

Some Enchanted Evening, chosen by Marie because “…it was the song he sang at STV when I met him for the first time on 28 January 2011. It is from the musical South Pacific. In a recent documentary to celebrate his 70th birthday, Andrew Lloyd Webber said that it is the greatest song ever written for a musical.”

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Marie says “I met Alfie for the second time in September 2011 in Dundee at the Last Night of the Proms. He sang The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. It was and remains the best live performance he has done of that song in my opinion. I think it is mesmerising. It is such a beautiful love song.” Sorry I couldn’t find video of the right performance Marie!

Run, by now needing no introduction.  Marie’s reasons for choosing this are that “I think the performance at VE Day was just wonderful. I often watch it on YouTube and I love the way he acknowledges Murray on stage. I loved Leona Lewis’s version of this song but prefer Alfie’s. I really hope he records it.” And so say all of us, regarding the recording Marie!

The official video for If You Go Away, from Trust.  Marie loves this song and also the video, having watched it loads of times – I’m sure you’re not alone in that!

Billy Joel’s Always a Woman to Me was a bonus track on Storyteller – and is kindly shared here by Marcia, along with photos of Alfie and Sarah.*

Marie says “My sixth choice, Parlami D’Amore Mariu, was written in 1932 for the singer Vittorio de Sica and means Tell Me About Love Mariu. It is exquisitely sung by Alfie and remains one of my favourites. I do wish Alfie would sing more Italian songs and opera arias in particular.”  Knowing Alfie’s views on music and his wide ranging repertoire, I wouldn’t be surprised if this again happens in the future.

Thanks Marie for sharing your songs with us – two new ones added to the list!

If you would like to choose and share your six songs with us, please fill in the form:

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

Name *

Email *

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

xx

Almost time for the new album – who’s getting excited about As Time Goes By?  I imagine one or two of the songs will feature in the list of Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Song 2019 but before we get to that, here is another one in the occasional series of our Six Sensational Songs.  This time it’s the turn of Betty May to tell us her choices.

Dimming of the Day, from Trust – with a great Tom Jones anecdote at the beginning of this clip from Cardiff.

Bring Him Home, this time from Fleetwood, bringing the number of times this song has featured in this series to ten.

The ever popular live song, Run.

A throwback to La Passione with Parlami D’Amore Mariu at Leeds 2015 – note the short hair in preparation for Les Mis on Broadway!

Come What May with West End star Kerry Ellis.

Tell Me It’s Not True, from Blood Brothers – all the way back in 2012!

Thanks Betty for sharing your six songs with us.

If you would like to see your favourite Alfie songs featured here, please fill in the form:

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

xx

On the homeward stretch of the 2018 countdown of the fans favourite Alfie Boe recorded song and we find a song at number four that topped the chart in 2016, fell to number three last year and is now at number four:

I’ve used this video more times that I can remember (the song has featured heavily in the Six Sensational Songs series) but the first version of Love Reign O’er Me remains spine tinglingly wonderful.  The whole Classic Quadrophenia album is amazing but this is definitely the best, showcasing Alfie’s vocal talents like very few other songs in his recent repertoire, either recorded or live.  Anyone who experiences (you don’t see or hear Alfie sing this live, you experience it) Alfie singing this live can never get enough of it again.  It’s simply spellbinding.

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and a welcome message from Alfie

xx