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"Christmas With The Vienna Boys Choir"
Fifteen Christmas-related songs are sung in English and German, with several being sung or heard as the boys go about their normal holiday activities-- bringing in the tree, eating special Christmas treats, decorating the tree, and enjoying other customs which you will probably find interesting mysteries! In several scenes the boys are shown wearing their everyday clothes. You can even spot one "chili-bowl" haircut!
Most of the singing is in the background or lip-sync, but it is a quality job of editing and fun to watch. Program length is 35 minutes. Available at some on-line stores in VHS. This video was once available on DVD, as the second half of "Hallelujah! Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - The Vienna Boys' Choir" (Laser Light DVD #82-005), but the DVDs sold out quickly at a price below $6 each. Clip length: 1:42
This is a 54-minute documentary, produced in 1990, about the Moscow Boys Choir and their director at the time, Victor S. Popov. The production presents much on Popov's style-- told by him and illustrated with selections such as "We Sing Unto Thee" by Tchaikovsky, "The Skylark" by Kalinnikov, and "Glory for Father and Son" by Rachmaninoff. Boys in the choir also provide their opinions to the camera-- mostly positive. One little boy comments, "Well, I can't say I like him. He can be very cross. ...other people like him. He IS a good teacher."
Moscow Boys Choir is SATB, with members chosen from over 400 students attending their choir school. Sadly, this excellent documentary about the Moscow Boys Choir seems to be out of print. I spoke with the man who edited the production, and he had no idea where to obtain the video or where to find Anthony Potter who produced it. Some universities seem to have it, possibly available for loan. Clip length: 5:54
There is a review of the Moscow Boys Choir's 2002 Wichita, Kansas concert HERE and of their 2003 Lubbock, Texas concert HERE.
"Wiener Sängerknaben Sing Mozart"
Uwe Christian Harrer is at his best as conductor of two separate concerts in this video. Just being able to watch him via the "conductor's camera" was well worth the purchase price to me. The videos were made with a total of five cameras in fact-- their operators' names displayed proudly on the Phillips Laser Disc album cover. As per WSK custom, however, the several excellent boy soloists remain anonymous.
The first concert, taped in 1989, was recorded in The Chapel of the Hofburg, Vienna. The boys sang with members of Herrenchores der Staatsoper Wien, accompanied by members of Orchesters der Staatsoper Wien, as they presented Mozart's Missa solemnis c-moll KV 139 in C minor "Waisenhaus-Messe". The second concert, recorded in 1990, was presented in the Church of St. Stephan, Baden bei Wien.
This video has now been released on DVD with the title "Vienna Boys Choir: Choral Works (2006)" and is available at Amazon in the United States (NTSC format) and in the UK (PAL format). Clip length: 4:19
"Ave Verum - Popular Choral Classics"
This DVD by The Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, is cathedral choir at its best-- not just in the familiar worship setting, although that is included. The boys and men, directed by Christopher Robinson, sing in several different formations. The VARIETY is amazing-- 22 selections by 22 different composers! The camera work is simply the best and most creative I have ever seen, from tight close-ups to shots of the choir through harp strings and with the camera sailing by burning candles.
The viewer is treated to the organ mastery of Peter Davis via 'over his shoulder' scenes with full view of the four keyboards!
VERY unusual-- this DVD is available in both NTSC (6364) and PAL (6323) at Brilliant Classics. Click on the picture to hear how this outstanding choir does Sergei Rachmaninov! Clip Length: 3:28