Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I’m afraid I was a little overly optimistic about my recovery time. I came home on Saturday but it’s taken me a few days to get my thoughts together. The operation went well and now I have a new friend that I like to call ‘Mr. Percocet’. If I tend to stray a little we’ll blame it on him.

I’m still enjoying my DVD of L’Or Des Anges. It follows five choirs, Worcester Cathedral, Knabenchor Hannover, Wiener Sangerknaben, Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois and Polski Slowiki, and has some fun and interesting scenes of the boys practicing, auditioning, performing and playing.
I enjoyed watching the Worcester boys playing cricket and lolling on the lawn in their cassocks (but Mr. Percocet kept worrying about grass stains).

Two well known trebles are featured, Terry Wey and Dennis Placzkowski. There is a classic staircase scene from Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne with Dennis and Wojciech Dzwoniarski, although someone says that Dennis is only lip syncing to another boy’s voice here. It may be true because I thought I saw a moment when it didn’t quite line up, but that could be the Percocets, too.
The narrator gives some interesting facts about the history of boy choirs and there are some great song choices throughout the film.

I’m still surprised that with all the wonderful things they could have shown us the producers only came up with 52 minutes of footage. I’m sure the length was chosen to fit a television time slot, but it’s like gathering Chaucer, Zola, Dante and Victor Hugo all together just for a short story.
It’s still fun to watch though and happily there are two other good films on this DVD to fill it out more.

A Slight Fever is a short film about a young cellist remembering his days in the choir as his voice changed and his subsequent choice of the cello to take its place.

Rejoice is about the 7th World Festival of Boychoirs of Poznan, 2001. This film gives us samples of a lot of great choirs as they come together for a wonderful festival. I counted 18 choirs from several European countries and the US is represented by the Madison Boychoir. That must have been something great to see.

I have wanted this DVD for quite a while but I held back because of the expense. Lately I’ve noticed that it is growing less available every year. I figured I had better grab a copy now because the price probably will never go down.


  1. Larry, it is GREAT seeing you again! Glad to hear you're on the mend, with Mr. Percocet there to assist (or, whatever he's doing!).

    Great analogy (Chaucer, Zola, et al)...of course, if one of us who love boy-choirs could make a documentary about them, we'd probably end up with something that would have to be viewed in 6-hour installments over a month or more!


  2. Thank you, David. I'm touched by your concern. Things are going to be much better now.

    Your estimate of a proper film length is exactly right by me. It would be great if someone would do a whole series, each on a different choir.

  3. Happy to have you back with us and posting to your blog. You mention your Percocet, my breakfast each morning consists of a glass of OJ and four pills. How I long for some greasy fried eggs and bacon..giggles.

    I don't know if you have heard, but we lost an icon in the Boy Choir world this week. Jean Amoureux, founder and director of Les Petits Chanteurs D'Asnières/Les Poppys passed. He was the only director the choir has had, over 60 years of leading his boys. He will be sadly missed.

    Take care my friend

  4. Thanks, Buck. I'm happy to be back.
    And thanks for the news. 60 years of music is a wonderful gift for someone to leave the world. I can imagine how many lives Amoureaux impacted and how many friends will miss him.

    Oh yeah, ditto on the bacon and eggs. I try not to even think about biscuits and gravy. My doctor calls it 'biscuits and grave'.