Mstation Classical Reviews

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Thu, 01 Dec 2005

King's Singers

The King's Singers, From Byrd to the Beatles
DVD, Arthaus

The King's Singers are six male voices. Here, there is a selection of pieces from Byrd, Weelkes, Passereau, Monteverdi, Tallis, and others, as well as more modern works (slightly!) from the likes of Duke Ellington, the Beatles, Freddie Mercury and Billy Joel.

The idea is an evening out of nice singing without any particular musicological lessons to be learnt. It's an idea that normally annoys me but I know I should lighten up, and I do ... occasionally. The saving graces here are that the singing is very nice and interleaved with the songs is interview footage with members of the group talking about all sorts of things, including their touring and the tunes at hand. Curiously, throughout the interviews there's a narrative drive towards the endpiece -- Spem in Aliem.

The performances are very good, including the aforementioned Spem in Aliem which was composed to be sung by a much larger ensemble. The visuals consist of concert footage and cuts to individuals speaking.

This DVD is actually a co-production between Floating Earth, The King's Singers, and Iambic Productions and licensed to a number of companies for DVD distribution. Quite interesting. Good to see that the artists get a look in. (Count K)

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