Aled Jones sings sublime ‘Ave Maria’ in time-defying duet with his younger, boy treble self

14 December 2023, 16:46 | Updated: 1 February 2024, 14:52

Aled Jones sings sublime ‘Ave Maria’ duet with his younger self | Classic FM

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The former boy soprano’s treble and baritone voices join in harmony, for a sublime ‘Ave Maria’ to ring in Christmas.

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Aled Jones achieved peak international fame as a teenage boy soprano in the 1980s, finding his big break in ’85 when he memorably lent his iconic chorister voice to ‘Walking in the Air’.

Now, his baritone voice blends perfectly with one recorded over 35 years ago, in this striking duet across the decades.

Over the last 10 years, the best-selling singer and Classic FM presenter has been releasing a series of duet albums in harmony with his younger self – affectionately known as ‘Little Aled’.

This week, Classic FM has released an exclusive session from the album, which Aled described as a “life-changing experience”.

At a beautiful Grade II-listed church in the city of London, Aled sang the much-loved SchubertAve Maria’ in harmony with the original recording of little Aled.

“Being able, through the wonders of technology to combine both my young and older voices has been a surreal, thrilling and unique experience,” Aled said. “No one has ever been able to do it this way before.

Read more: Aled Jones sings ‘O Holy Night’ with 12-year-old treble in Christmas duet

Aled Jones sings in St-Botolph-without-Bishopsgate church in London
Aled Jones sings in St-Botolph-without-Bishopsgate church in London. Picture: Classic FM

“Believe me when I say that performing with ‘little Aled’ is a very special, life-changing experience. ‘Little Aled’ is very much in the past but he is also very much who I am now.”

The church’s name, St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, is owed to the fact it stands beside the gate called Bishopsgate, but is outside – without, rather than within – the Roman wall.

Aled recorded his latest album, One Voice: Full Circle, after discovering recordings of himself as a young boy, singing in a documentary 40 years ago, in 1983.

The album contains 10 new duets, alongside some of Aled’s greatest hits, some bonus material, and a beautiful solo piano version of ‘Walking In The Air’ with Aled himself at the piano.

Read more: 12-year-old treble Malakai Bayoh sings ‘Walking in the Air’ with Aled Jones

Aled and his family found footage of 'Little Aled' from the 1980s
Aled and his family found footage of 'Little Aled' from the 1980s. Picture: Courtesy of Aled Jones

“When the first album came out we had no idea that this would work – it was an idea that came to myself and my producer,” Aled said.

“So we went to the studio and the first song we sang, the feeling and the emotion and everything I had as a boy was exactly the same as an adult. It was just octaves in between us.

“And this one I suppose is the culmination of all that. There’s pieces of music that I haven’t sung for over 30 years and it’s taken me right back – we found footage of me performing these songs for TV series I did as a boy back in the 80s.

“And going back and revisiting these songs that I haven’t sung such for a long time has been such a pleasure. And it’s worked brilliantly because I’ve got better at the harmonies, got better at singing with Little Aled, so this is the best ‘One Voice’ yet.”

Aled is also a much-loved TV and radio host, and can be found on Classic FM on Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-1pm. Listen on Global Player.