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Countertenors

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An LWT South Bank Show, presented by Melvyn Bragg, exploring the phenomenon of countertenor singing.

With its unique, soaring beauty, the high male voice is today enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity. Heirs to the celebrated castrati of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, today's countertenors produce their voices by wholly natural means.

In this programme international stars Michael Chance, Andreas Scholl and James Bowman, as well as popstar Jimmy Somerville, shed light on the appeal of the male falsetto. Meanwhile, experts such as Michael White place today's countertenors in their historical context.

What emerges is a compelling portrayal of an unmistakable vocal style, rooted in church and operatic tradition, yet completely up-to-date, resonating louder today than at any time in the last two hundred years.

Following the South Bank Show is a 70-minute programme of specially recorded performance material, showcasing the extraordinary talents of today s most popular countertenors.

Never Weather-Beaten Saile (Campion)
Michael Chance & David Miller, Lute
Sorrow Stay; Can She Excuse My Wrongs? (Dowland)
Flow My Tears (Dowland)
Since First I Saw Your Face (Ford)
James Bowman & David Miller, Lute
Sound the Trumpet; O Dive Custos (Purcell)
Michael Chance & James Bowman with Sonnerie
Strike the Viol; Evening Hymn (Purcell)
Michael Chance with Sonnerie
Ode on the Death of Henry Purcell (Blow)
Michael Chance & James Bowman with Sonnerie
Cantata BWV 170 (Bach)
Michael Chance with Sonnerie
Cum Dederit (Vivaldi)
Stabat Mater (Pergolesi)
Andreas Scholl with the Akademie Für Alte Musik
Ombra Mai Fu (Xerxes) (Handel)
Dove Sei; Vivi Tiranno (Rodelinda) (Handel)
When I was one-and-twenty (Butterworth)
Is My Team Ploughing? (Butterworth)
Michael Chance & Julius Drake, Piano

Review

Recommended. --Video Librarian

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Bowman
  • Directors: David Thomas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B001E181Y6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,376 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

By George Peabody VINE VOICE on December 20, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
OF THE MANY EXCELLENT RENDITIONS ON THIS DISC THERE ARE TWO YOU MUST NOT MISS IF YOU ARE A MICHAEL CHANCE OR ANDREAS SCHOLL FOLLOWER: Chance's delivery of Bach's 'Vergnugte Ruh..' and Scholl's 'Vivi Tiranno'(from a recital performance).

"WITH ITS UNIQUE SOARING BEAUTY, THE POWERFUL VOCAL SINGING OF COUNTERTENORS IS NOW HAVING A HUGE RESURGENCE IN POPULARITY. HEIRS TO THE CELEBRATED CASTRATI OF THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, TODAY'S COUNTERTENORS PRODUCE THEIR VOICES BY WHOLLY NATURAL MEANS."

In this program international stars Michael Chance, James Bowman and Andreas Scholl, as well as popstar Jimmy Somerville,shed light on the appeal of the male falsetto, while experts such as Michael White place today's countertenors in their historical content. There is also a brief appearance of Alfred Deller singing a lute song.

Lest you think that this is primarily a documentary type film, I will tell you that although there is some necessary information presented off and on, (only at the beginning of the film) it is kept to a minimum. This, indeed, is one of the most entertaining DVD's that I have ever viewed.

It begins with a South Bank Show and commentary about countertenors by the four singers as well as brief song excerpts by each one which are quite interesting. All of this takes about fifty minutes.

Then there is a marvelous seventy minute concert featuring Michael Chance singing about forty minutes with James Bowman joining him in a few duets. Bowman sings only one song by himself (Since First I Saw your Face), Chance is truly entertaining to watch as he performs some familiar lute songs: 'Never Weather-Beaten Saile','Sorrow Stay', 'Can She Excuse my Wrongs?','Flow My Tears','Strike the Viol'and 'Evening Hymn' all trademark songs.
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