Vienna Choir Boys In Montrealby Peter Phoa
/ October 1, 1998
On October 12, 1998, Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica will be
graced by one of the world's most beloved musical groups, the Vienna Boys' Choir (the only
other Canadian stop on the tour will be in Kitchener, Ontario, in October). The
Choir’s 500th Anniversary Tour concert promises to be one of the musical highlights
of the month, and is of particular interest to Montreal audiences as it marks the
triumphant return of former Orchestre Métropolitain conductor Agnes Grossman at the head
of the prestigious choir she took over 6 years ago.
is the first woman to hold the position of artistic director for the Vienna Boys' Choir,
though her father Ferdinand Grossman was its director several decades ago. Until recently,
the choir has relied more on boyish charm than on great music-making. Grossman and
administrative director Manfred Seipt have made a determined effort to reclaim the
choir’s former prestige and celebrity. Grossman’s changes to both the choir and
its boarding school include expanded repertoire, modernized curriculum, and strengthened
ties to the Wiener Staatsoper. With this makeover, the choir is poised to win the hearts
of audiences and critics alike.
The Vienna Boys' Choir will be complemented by the Chorus
Viennensis, a men's choir made up entirely of former members of the boys' choir. The
collaboration of these two groups allows the Vienna Boys' Choir to explore the
"SATB" (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone) repertoire. Their Montreal program
begins with Haydn's exuberant Te Deum in C Major, and includes the music of composers
historically associated with the choir, including Schubert, Isaak, Bruckner and Salieri.
The major work featured in this concert is Mozart's famous "Coronation Mass".