Jan 11

Die Thomaner, a DVD documentary of the St. Thomas Boys Choir in Leipzig ★★★★★
David Miller on Amazon.com makes a review of this DVD as one of the best music documentaries that he has yet seen. I would concur. This is a one year documentary of the life of students at this 800 year old school in Leipzig, Germany, the most famous cantor being none other than Johann Sebastian Bach. One experiences the brutal testing necessary for entry into the school, the first days of homesickness, the gradual accomodation to a daily schedule that allows for minimal free time, the daily pressure for practice and perfection in music, the world tours, the excitement of performance at special times such as at Christmas and Easter, and the final end of year departure. Boys will enter at about 8-10 years of age, and leave between 16-18 years of age. During that time they will not only have mastered the Bach repetoire, but have spent many of good days on the soccer field, as well as excelled in the Thomas Internat (boarding school), which includes more students than just the 93 or so Thomanerchor Jungen. During those years, you see those who were faithful turn to an athiest belief, while there is a trend the other way, with many being so affected by Bach’s music to making a profession of faith and undergoing confirmation in the Evangelische Kirche. The angst among the students as well as the current cantor (Cristoph Biller) are well portrayed. This movie is a moving commentary on these incredible youth, worth showing to your own children when they are somewhat reluctant to practice their music lessons as they should.  The German is fairly easy to understand, with undertitles that are reasonably accurate translations.

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One Response to “Die Thomaner”

  1. Elizabeth Feucht says:

    i thoroughly enjoyed this documentary about the St. Thomas boys choir school. As the older boys were interviewed on their graduation day from the school, you can clearly tell how some had a deep profession of faith in Christ. Many were baptized during their time at school. They were truly ministered to by all the Bach music they sang. Bach dedicated all his music to God….Soli Deo Gloria.

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