Thursday, 18 October 2012

Vienna Boys Choir

Last night we went to a concert by the Vienna Boys Choir. Fabulous.
Here is the program, Programme B.
How did I get so lucky? I even knew one of the pieces well, although it does not sound the same when I croak my way through it.

The show was so simple. One piano, one man, twenty five boys, a couple of little steps for some boys to stand on, a couple of microphones.
They are just boys. The naughty boy was hidden at the back for half the show. They scratch their tummies and their noses. They grin at their friends sometimes. They look both perfect and rumpled. They sing like angels.
Some of the boys brought out some musical instruments and played for us, just as they would for their families. That was so touching.
Some of the boys are so young, I would guess the youngest on stage was four years old.
This was the last stop on their tour of Australia and new Zealand, 25 concerts.
The conductor/concert master was a whole show by himself. So enthusiastic and encouraging. So colourful. Big smile. Wild gestures. Theatrical.

This is a bit from their website, quoted above.

Today there are around 100 choristers between the ages of ten and fourteen, divided into four touring choirs. The four choirs give around 300 concerts and performances each year in front of almost half a million people. Each group spends nine to eleven weeks of the school year on tour. They visit virtually all European countries, and they are frequent guests in Asia, Australia and the Americas.
Together with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the Wiener S√§ngerknaben maintain the tradition of the imperial musicians: as Hofmusikkapelle they provide the music for the Sunday Mass in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498. The choir is a private, not-for-profit organisation. The eight members of the choir’s governing body oversee its development and guarantee its future. The current president is Walter Nettig. Gerald Wirth became the choir’s artistic director in 2001.
At this website I found a charming photo.

At the concert last night the boys wore white sailor shirts and black trousers. The little fellow right in the middle sang with incredible power. Several of the boys sang small solo pieces, but they are a choir.

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