Boychoirs and Amadeus and Confutatis maledictis

Leaving aside for now the fact that girlchoirs don’t get the same attention, I just heard about a new movie called Boychoir, which has an amazing cast and is about to start filming. I loved the French movie, The Chorus, and the actor who played the director of the chorus, GĂ©rard Jugnot. You don’t have to be a choir person to love this movie! Jugnot will make you weep.

Chorus America recently published a Best Picture Nominees For People Who Love Choral Music, and The Chorus is number 1. I picked Amadeus because of this scene, where Mozart is composing his Requiem. Just watch it. You’ve got to trust me on this. It shows Mozart composing the Confutatis maledictis section, one of the most exciting pieces of music EVER. Although it’s fiction I love how they show him build it piece by piece and then you hear the marvelous whole. Please watch it!

My choir is singing this piece in the spring and we’re working on it now. Our director recently had everyone sing along with the tenors and basses on the Confutatis maledictis. It was thrilling! Lucky tenors and basses to have this to sing. It’s just so magnificent and electric. We were told that only ten sopranos and ten second sopranos and altos will be singing the salve me part. I am the longest of long shots and don’t expect to be picked for this, but a girl can hope.

Back to boychoirs though, I wonder if I have posted about this before, but I love and now own the choir song sung in the movie The Bishop’s Wife. It’s called O Sing to God and it’s sung by the Mitchell Boychoir.

There’s one boy who always gets my attention and I tried to find out who is he, but so far no luck. I haven’t tried that hard really. The movie was made in 1947, and I’m guessing he was 15 years old, except I’m terrible at guessing children’s ages. Maybe he’s a little older. But that would make him 79+ now.

Here’s a screenshot, but you can also see him here. I cued it so when you click on the link it starts at the moment he appears.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Boychoirs and Amadeus and Confutatis maledictis

  1. I LOVE that scene in Amadeus. When I was little I taped the movie off TV and must have watched that scene a million times, it made me shiver to hear the music. I know it was fictionalized but I thought it was a great moment for Salieri too–to understand the music enough to write it down and grasp the genius of it as he was doing so.
    So funny that you reference it here. And now I’ll have to watch The Bishop’s Wife, too.

  2. The title (and trope) translates to:
    When the Damned are Confused (or confounded)
    and the sopranos answer: “Call me.”
    Absolutely celestial, and in an offbeat way: feminist; if not feminist, valuing the feminine. Mozart was androgynous.

    I also loved the movie Amadeus. I saw it in a beautiful, old, but updated with Dolby, Mid-town theater in NYC. I didn’t usually spring for those bucks. It was memorable.
    I long for more artist bio-flicks (biopics).

    Citizen Reader, you must have been an amazing kid. I mean that sincerely.

  3. I agree that Citizen Reader was an amazing kid.

    CT, I loved that you taped that movie as a kid, and kept watching that scene. Our conductor recently pointed out one part that always bothered me too, when Salieri can’t follow something Mozart wanted him to write down, when the instruments were doubling the voices. Salieri acts likes this is incomprehensible when really it’s something that was in and is done all the time, and Salieri as a composer would not have been confused by it.

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