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Die Thomaner - A Year In The Life Of The St. Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig

Bach,J.s. / St Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig / Leipzig
Release Date: 09/25/2012 
Label:  Accentus   Catalog #: 20212  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas' Boys Choir Leipzig
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available on Blu-ray

A Film by Paul Smaczny & Günter Atteln

Founded in 1212 the St. Thomas Choir Leipzig is one of the most famous and prestigious boys' choirs in the world. This documentary accompanies “Die Thomaner”, aged between 9 and 18 years old, over a period of one year. Their unique world, from motets to boarding school and the football pitch, is distinguished by success, pressure to perform, doubt, pride, homesickness, and friendship. The film charts the breadth of the boys' experience from the classroom to traveling on tour to South America.

BONUS Two tracks from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion”
Read more performed by the choir for which it was written - St. Thomas Boys Choir - in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, where the composer worked and is buried. No. 1 Chor: "Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen" No. 39 Arie (Alto): "Erbarme dich" Read less

Works on This Recording

Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Excerpt(s) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Thomas' Boys Choir Leipzig
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1727; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Not to be missed September 26, 2014 By Morris Reagan (Madison, MS) See All My Reviews "My viewing of "A Year in the Life of The St. Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig" confirmed what was already apparent from my experience with the marvelous DVD of this choir's 2013 performance of Bach's Mass in B minor: that the choir's director, Herr Gerog Christoph Biller, instills into these boys, all boarding students at Leipzig's St. Thomas School, the meaning of the music they present at its deepest level. Herr Biller concerns himself not only with the musical production of the choir, but also with these students' personal development. In Herr Biller's several DVDs with this choir (I own them all), the communication with the hearer goes beyond the purely musical. There is an extramusical element that would be missed by only hearing, but not seeing the performance." Report Abuse
 Boys in Leipzig January 24, 2013 By M. Booth (Huntington Beach, CA) See All My Reviews "Excellent DVD. The Cantor portrays what it would have been during Bach's time teaching and rehearsing those kids. It conveys an important lesson to be learned from life disappointments which is all part of growing up. Presentation is very good, specially those in which the boys sing in the choir loft same place where Bach's boys sang. For those of us having been in Leipzig, it brings back many pleasurable memories. and for those who didn't, may be you'll make it to Bach's shrine." Report Abuse
 Simply a joy January 16, 2013 By Bob Arr (Maryville, TN) See All My Reviews "This is a one hour 53 minute peek into the hearts and minds of the students and faculty of the St Thomas Boys Choir of Leipzig. It fills my heart with joy. Perhaps the best way I can tell you about it is to just repeat some notes I made to myself. I made these notes after watching it several times, English subtitles ON (I don't speak German). They include the time reference and some of the boys' names. Herr Biller is the head of the choir. Here they are. About 90 boys ranging from 9 to 18 have been accepted into the choir, which includes a boarding house (the Alumnat) and one of the best academic schools in Germany (St Thomas, a gymnasium school). Each was only 9 when he entered, and each will spend 10 years here, receiving a superb musical education and be qualified for any college when they graduate. Older boys, "prefects", live with, help and supervise younger boys. An "ultimus" is the name given to a close relationship between an older and younger boy, more than best friends, perhaps closer than brothers. At 6:14, observe the younger boy, still wearing his Keil blouse, embrace his older pal, who has just graduated and will soon be gone. The tears are real. Consider 14:30: Newcomer Cornelius tells of his homesickness, having wept twice yesterday, but later tells about his older roommate who talked to him that night about life in the Thomanerchor, easing his pain and finally letting him get to sleep. That was a precious act, and Cornelius will always remember it. Note the expressions on the face of Max, Cornelius' tiny companion, who is clearly concentrating on every word said, and reflecting his own serious engagement with the trials his friend is enduring. I think his face defines empathy. 12:37, watch the spontaneous smile and humor of Herr Biller as little Max hits high C. "You can't even hear this high pitch!" Note that the producers are careful to acknowledge that the boys' lives are not all roses. At 14:15, Ansgar tells it like it is: "We are perfectly normal boys, with all kinds of problems." At 15:05, the initiation rite (a kind of baptism?) is fun and understandable, but look at the faces of the 9 year old initiates when Herr Biller tells them they must wear the letters "TC" inked on their cheeks until they graduate. Their smiles are frozen and faked -- they don't know if he's kidding or not! (He is.) See the boys' total boredom with the sermon at 23:48 33:05 Bedtime pillow fight. The Prefect comes in and breaks it up. One boy thinks the prefect has it in for him, and as the prefect leaves, the boy says "It's just because I grinned. S***!" (Yes, they're certainly normal boys.) All that is in the first 35 minutes, and it only gets better. 1:19:00 The Christmas caroling in the snowy streets brings tears to my eyes; it is an exchange of gifts of the heart between the Thomasers and the community, humanity at its finest. The caroling over, the kids run to return to the warmth of their Alumnat, running across the iconic, softly-lit, snow-covered wooden bridge in Johannapark, bursting with joy and enthusiasm. For me, this is perhaps the climax of this wonderful story. (Kudos to the producers and photographers; this bridge scene couldn't have been better.) Technically, the DVD is flawless. The images are pristine and composed with great sensitivity. When the choir sings in concert, the performances are superb: the audio quality has to be heard to be believed. Paul Smaczny and Gunter Atteln have produced a DVD worthy of the Thomanerchor. Both the DVD and the choir are masterworks. Bob Arr Maryville, TN" Report Abuse
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