SWEDISH BOYS' CHOIRS SEEN BY A FRENCHMAN

Gilles Gérard

For many musicians in southern Europe, there has always been a great respect for Swedish choral music. Choirs, conductors (embodied mainly by the figure of the father of choirs, Eric Ericsson) and composers have always been a great source of inspiration. When it comes to boys' choirs, we can easily imagine that English or German choirs would best represent this form of expression. This is why the Rättvik festival was such an amazing revelation as it allowed me to realize the importance of boys' choirs in Sweden.

These few days spent in Rättvik allowed me first of all to observe that there was a very developed sense of brotherhood and friendship among the choristers. This great sense of community is certainly what allows everyone to find their place and flourish in choral singing.

This quality is undoubtedly what was reflected mainly in the great homogeneity of the sound of the choir.

In the final concert, we proposed as the main work TE DEUM by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. This emblematic work of French Baroque music presented several interpretive challenges: uneven notes, French pronunciation and ornamentation. These different components, when brought together, produce a sound characteristic of Baroque aesthetics. This specific work certainly represented an important challenge for the young Swedish choristers, but here again the musical commitment of each one (singers and also the instrumental ensemble) made it possible to present a result worthy of the great Baroque ensembles.

These few days spent at the Rättvik Festival were a real source of inspiration that I was able to take in my luggage to which I often refer not only as an example of high-level musical practice but also as a positive and inspiring collaboration between young people. In this way, the boys 'choirs in Sweden represent a magnificent example of the tradition of boys' choirs in Europe.

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