samedi 16 juillet 2011

Long live the King's singers !

Another excellent concert at the festival yesterday night !

I didn't regret going. The voices of this famous British vocal sextet are like angels' and the acoustics of the abbey church are so good that you get goose bumps every two minutes. Their programme was very well balanced, all about dance songs from different centuries and countries. The second part after the interval got me humming, foot-tapping and shoulder-moving much to the dismay of the grey and solemn heads around me. I knew many of the songs they sang because I have one of their CDs at home. The arrangements were very clever, even with songs I had already heard, because all of the six members had such beautiful voices.

I found some of their tunes on the Internet but not with the same line-up because it is an a capella group which dates back to the 80s and they have changed their singers quite frequently. At the moment there are two very young singers (tenor and countertenor) in their twenties who have high but really fully modulated voices. What they can do vocally-speaking is incredible. They can beat any little soprano anytime.  :)
Here are the videos I found : 
Tanzen und Springen by Hans Leo Hassler.This is  an old version broadcast by the BBC which looks dated but it gives an idea of the opening song of the recital.
Then always in the first part of the concert, there was Now is the Month of Maying by Thomas Morley . The presenter of the piece (the tall man with the reddish hair on the right) said that it is about what young people do when spring comes and let our imagination run wild ! The only singer not belonging to the group I saw yesterday was  the bass singer on the very far right.

In the following video clip, you can hear a full concert broadcast by The BBC during the prom season  in 2011 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the group. 


I heard song 3 : Clic, Clac, Dansez sabots ( Francis Poulenc at about 6 minutes) and song 15 : Greensleeves (supposedly written by Henry VIII) at 51.41 : a delight to hear! Those two versions were close to what I had the pleasure to see.

In the first part there was also a nonsense madrigal inspired by Lewis Carroll called the Lobster Quadrille by Gyorgy Ligeti where we hear all kinds of animals speaking : 

"Will you walk a little faster?"
Said a whiting to a snail,
"There's a porpoise close behind us,
And he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters
And the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle -
Will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you,
Won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you,
Won't you, won't you join the dance?

Later in the second part of the programme, we had a very moving version of Danny Boy :

Next a funny Canadian folk song called  Feller from Fortune.  Another one full of onomatopoeic sounds I am a train

Their encore was Home by Michael Bublé, one of their favourites probably because they are always on the road to sing good music.

Et voilà ! :)

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