The best treat for the coming holiday season in our music concert scene is the arrival of the internationally famous Vienna Boys Choir who will perform for a one-night only concert on November 11, 2016 – 8 pm at the PICC Plenary Hall.
The Vienna Boys Choir is considered as one of the oldest choirs in the world best known for their boy sopranos and altos. For nearly five hundred years they have been a symbol of Austria.
The VIENNA BOYS CHOIR had its last performance in Manila in 2004. After 12 years, they return for this unforgettable music treat as the final stop of their Asian tour in a concert dubbed “The VIENNA BOYS CHOIR LIVE IN MANILA”.
The VIENNA BOYS CHOIR is a private, not-for-profit organization. There are approximately 100 choristers between the ages of ten and fourteen. The boys are selected mainly from Austria, but also from many other nations around the world, and individually interviewed.
Known for its exceedingly high vocal standard, the choir has worked with musicians including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Salieri, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Anton Bruckner.
The choir is the modern-day descendant of the boys’ choirs of the Viennese Court, dating back to the late Middle Ages. The choir was, for practical purposes, established by a letter written by Maximilian I on 7 July 1498. In the letter, the Emperor instructed court officials to employ a singing master, two basses and six boys. A Slovene, Jurij Slatkonja, became the director of the ensemble.
The role of the choir (numbering between fourteen and twenty) was to provide musical accompaniment to the church mass. The boys received a solid musical education, which in most cases had a significant impact on the rest of their lives, as many went on to become professional musicians. Composers Jacobus Gallus, Franz Schubert, and conductors Hans Richter, Felix Mottl and Clemens Krauss were members of the choir.
In 1920 the Hofkapelle (court musicians) was disbanded. However, the rector at the time, Josef Schnitt, sought a continuation of the tradition. In 1924 the “Vienna Boys’ Choir” was officially founded and has extended into being a professional music group. Since 1948 the Palais Ausgarten has served as their rehearsal venue and boarding school which goes from kindergarten up to middle school.
The boys are divided into four sub-groups or touring choirs, named after famous Austrian composers associated with the choir’s history, namely Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. The four choirs are of equal standing; the tours, appearances in Vienna and recording projects are shared among them. Each choir has a choirmaster, and two tutors or prefects who travel with the boys. They perform about 300 concerts each year in front of almost 500,000 people. Each group tours for about nine to eleven weeks.
For “THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR LIVE IN MANILA,” the BRUCKNERCHOR group will arrive for the concert with Choirmaster Manolo Cagnin and Prefects Andrea Zimmermann and Christian Böhm.
Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896) was the organist of the Chapel Imperial. Several of his masses were written for the court and indeed received their first performance by the musicians of the Chapel Imperial. Bruckner himself used to rehearse with the boys.
The Vienna Boys Brucknerchor has 22 boys plus two probationers.
They are as follows: Elias Christoph ERJAUTZ, Michael GROSS, Magnus Kiljan GUDMUNDSSON, Matthew Niphat HELMS, Valentin HOHENSTATTER, Raphael HORVATH, Dorian KALWACH, Emanuel KIENZL, Leander HOIS, Jeongmin LEE, Maxim MALTSEV, Maximilian MENSCHIK, Robert John Joseph MULCHRONE, Steve N’TWA YDJUMBWITH’S, Ryusei NAKAMURA, Jeremy NEMEC, Elias Anton ROZANICS, Raphael RUMBERG, Laurenz SARTENA, Philipp SCHIRETZ, Clemens Schnabl, Francesco SIMONATO, Lance Eric Castro SO, Paul VÖLKER, and Yu ZHANG
The choirboys come from Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Styria; from Canada, China, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Russia.
The Vienna Boys’ Choir strives to create an environment in which boys can fully develop and realize their personal and musical potential. Choristers learn to express themselves on a professional level in many different styles of music, and they are provided with the tools to set them on the road to – should they wish it – a professional career in music.
The experiences a boy has while a member of the Choir, in particular the concerts and the touring, stay with him for life; the Choir aims to make these experiences as diverse as possible.
The boys are taught to become well-rounded, independent, generous and open human beings. The education is available to all talented boys, regardless of their backgrounds.
Among the Choir’s duties today are the Sunday services in the Imperial Chapel, appearances at official state occasions, concerts in Vienna and abroad as well as in the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper. Each choir spends about 11 weeks of the academic year on tour; each choir boy sings around 80 performances a year.
Given the boys’ concert load, it is essential to maintain a careful balance of musical training, rehearsals, academic lessons and leisure time. The choir’s own grammar school – which is attended only by choristers – takes the choir’s activities into account. Tours and indeed their preparation are part of the curriculum. The time table is flexible and can be altered at short notice in accordance with the rehearsal and performance schedule.
Choirmaster Mr. Manolo Cagnin feels it is especially important to communicate with the audience, “Music is a gift. As musicians, we have the obligation to share that gift with our audience.” Mr.Cagnin finds working with the boys particularly rewarding, “They possess character and spirit. This is reflected in the way they make music. The children learn from me, and I learn from them.” The repertoire is chosen to match the boys’ voices and personalities.
Herewith is the repertoire of THE VIENNA BOYS LIVE IN MANILA:
Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741)
Et in terra pax
from: Gloria in D, RV 589
Tomás Luis de Victoria (~1548 – 1611)
Tenebraefactaesunt (Darkness Fell)
from: Officiumhebdomadaesanctae (1585)
Motet for four parts
Luigi Cherubini (1760 – 1842)
Ave Maria (Hail Mary, 1816)
Gioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868)
Duetto Buffo per Due Gatti (Duet in the Buffo Style for Two Cats)
Compiled in 1825 by Robert Lucas de Pearsall (1795 – 1856)
Gioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868)
La Carità (Charity)
from: Trois Choeurs Religieux (1844)
Text: Louise Colet (1810 – 1876)
Pietro Mascagni (1863 – 1945)
from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana (1890)
Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)
Va’, Pensiero, Sull’alidorate (Fly, Thought, on Wings of Gold)
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from the opera Nabucco (1842)
Libretto: Temistocle Solera (1815 – 1878)
*** Pause / Intermission ***
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
Der Gondelfahrer, (The Gondolier) D.809 Op.28 (1824)
Text: Johann Mayrhofer (1787-1836)
Giuseppe Rachel (1858 – 1937)
A Diosa (Non Pothoreposare, 1920)
Sardisches Lied / from Sardinia
Text: Salvatore Sini (1873 – 1954)
Eduardo Di Capua (1865 – 1917), Emanuele Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878–1972)
O Sole Mio (My Sun, 1898)
Text: Giovanni Capurro (1859 – 1920)
Barcarole aus Neapel / from Naples
transcribed by Teodoro Cottrau (1827 – 1879)
Henry Mancini (1924 – 1994)
The Pink Panther (1963)
Arr. Jay Althouse
Ennio Morricone (*1928)
Nella Fantasia (In My Mind)
Aus dem Film / from the film The Mission (1986)
Text: Chiara Ferraù; Arr. Audrey Snyder
Domenico Modugno (1928 – 1994)
Volare: Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (In the Blue Painted Blue)
Text: Franco Migliacci (*1930)
Josef Strauss (1827 – 1870)
Auf Ferienreisen (On Holiday)
Polka, opus 133
Text: Tina Breckwoldt; Arr. Gerald Wirth
Johann Strauss, jr.(1825 – 1899)
An der Schönen Blauen Donau (Blue Danube,1867) Waltz, opus 314
Text: Franz von Gernerth (1821 – 1900); Arr. Gerald Wirth
Josef Strauss (1827 – 1870)
Matrosenpolka (Sailors’ Polka), opus 52
Text: Tina Breckwoldt; Arr. Gerald Wirth
Johann Strauss, jr. (1825 – 1899)
Wo die Zitronen blüh’n (Where the Lemons Blossom)
Waltz, opus 364 (1874)Arr. Uwe Theimer
Lance So, the only Filipino member of the choir
Lance So: ” I started singing when I joined the Dulwich choir. I auditioned because my friends wanted to audition so I tagged along. Turned out I was the one picked. While in the choir, there was an opportunity to sing the solo part in the finale song for the Founder’s Day. I auditioned for that and got picked.”
” I like eating barbecued ribs in Vienna. In the dorm, my favorite is the burgers. They give us the bun and the burger patty, and then we put things in it ourselves. I put ketchup and cheese. No vegetables. Lettuce is yucky. ”
” I speak English and some German and a little bit of Chinese. ”
” My best friends in the choir are Matthew and Ryusei. They are also international boys so we get left behind in the dorm when everybody else is picked up by their parents on Saturday afternoon. ”
” I like singing Italian songs because I find them peaceful and nice. My favorite concert tour was the Iceland one. The concert hall was really nice.”
” When I’m not singing, I like to play football, play the drums, play games, watch movies. ”
Countries he has performed in: Japan, Iceland, Canary Islands, Croatia, Hungary, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Austria.
Raquel So (mother): “It was at Founder’s Day that I realized that Lance could actually sing. I’m not musically inclined so I never really listened. During the grand finale song, I was dumbfounded to hear Lance sing so well.”
HOW LANCE GOT TO THE VBC
Every year, Lance’s school choir send members of their choir for summer camp with the VBC in Vienna. The choir master asked us if Lance would be interested to join the summer camp that year he joined the choir in 4th grade. We said no. After Founder’s Day, when we realized Lance could sing, we decided we’d send Lance the next year.
In 5th grade, Lance went to Vienna for the 2-week summer camp with the VBC. At the end of the 2 weeks, Mr. Gerald Wirth, head of the VBC, invited Lance to join. We said no. Four months later, Mr. Wirth came to Shanghai and asked to meet with Lance’s parents. He again invited Lance to join the VBC. This time we said yes.
“The Vienna Boys Choir Live in Manila” is presented by the Alumni Association of Xavier School and the Austrian Embassy Manila
For tickets, please call TICKETWORLD at (02) 891-9999 or visit http://www.ticketworld.com.ph/.