STYLE: Choral RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 15991-DVD204 LABEL: Interfusion FORMAT: DVD Music video ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
A lovingly made documentary chronicling in some detail the fascinating history of Wales' best known male voice choir. The early days are told mostly with black and white still photos with a modern day version of the choir, filmed in a church, interspersing the history with some stirring musical renditions. From their formation in the Rhondda Valley in 1883 through to the pivotal period when choir director John Haydon Davies turned them a world class ensemble, the story is fastidiously told. If anything, there is too much detail here as when the success really kicks in we are given details of an endless succession of overseas tours with particular emphasis placed on their triumphs in Australia. Also, there are probably too many clips of talking head choir members saying how much the choir means to them while the biggest disappointment was the lack of any clear references to the spiritual dimension of the choir, even though hymnody and such gems as John Haydon Davies' "Climbing Jacob's Ladder" have always been the backbone of the choir alongside their musical flirtations with Burt Bacharach and the repertoire of Queen. All in all though, a useful look at one of the great musical institutions.
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