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F10189     8595017418921     released 12/2012     about David     gallery  

play all Celebration of Trebles - David Cizner 63:42
Procession 1:54
Bist du bei mir 2:40
Angels, Ever Bright and Fair 3:08
Confitebor tibi Domine 5:26
O magnum mysterium 2:55
Salve Regina 9:20
O Jesulein süss 2:25
Jubilet 4:52
It Was a Lover and His Lass 3:00
Come Again 3:32
Damigella tutta bella 2:23
Ombra mai fu 2:22
Voi, che sapete 2:23
Ombre amene 1:58
Die Forelle 2:02
Heiden-Röslein 1:47
An die Musik 2:08
Walking in the Air 3:24
Hallelujah 4:23

David Cizner: boy soprano
Soprano: Hana Kovaříková, Anna Punčochářová, Gabriela Synková, Tenor: Ladislav Kolář, Bass: Michael Pospíšil, Violin: Zuzana Grosmanová, Kateřina Trnavská, Jiřina Štrynclová, Viola: Kateřina Trnavská, Harp: Ivana Pokorná, Archlute: Jindřich Macek, Theorbo: Jan Krejča, Romantic guitar: Jan Tuláček, Viola da gamba: Hana Fleková, Pavel Drbal, Violoncello: Hana Fleková, Positive organ: Eva Bublová, Jiřina Dvořáková, Virginal: Markéta Čechová, Fortepiano: Petra Matějová, Piano: Jiřina Dvořáková, Music director: Florence Cizner

The recording that you are holding in your hands is a gateway into an almost forgotten part of the music world, in which boy sopranos were the stars and most admired performers of sacred and liturgical music. (Boy sopranos were also called “trebles”, which is derived from the Latin word “triplum”, used in the 13th century motets to indicate the third and highest voice.) The fame of the boy sopranos blossomed, since at that time, the church interpreted the Bible verse of the apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 14,34: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak” rather literally, not allowing women to participate in the playing and singing during the liturgy. The church choirs were therefore made up exclusively of men and boys. (The first choir of this type in Bohemia was founded in the middle of the 13th century at the St. Vitus’ cathedral. The choir was made up mostly of musically talented boys from poor families, also called „bonifants“.) The boys choir tradition has survived until this day and is very much alive especially in England, Germany, Austria and the U.S.
     A boy soprano’s range is most commonly from c1 to a2 and is therefore perfectly capable of substituting a female soprano. Furthermore, as the boy’s voice approaches the voice change period, (typically around the age of 13 to 14), a uniquely rich tone develops, which gives it an inimitable and rather distinctive timbre commonly seen as a symbol of heavenly purity and angel’s innocence. The boys were expected to sing very demanding solo repertoire and this was reflected in the level of their vocal training, which later even accommodated the ideal of the Italian bel canto singing method.
     Due to the secularization and decline of church music, boy choirs started to recede. The opinion that training a boy’s voice before it “breaks” in puberty is useless became widespread. Dobroslav Orel, founder of the first modern type boy’s choir in Bohemia, already criticized this belief a hundred years ago in an article published by the journal „Cyril“: „The common opinion that boys voices cannot be employed as an independent unit still prevails. Abroad, mainly in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, this belief has been refuted a long time ago. We, on the other hand, still do not properly understand the beauty of the boy’s voice, its certainty in intonation and its „metallic“ sound.“ He makes another point later in his article: „ Sometimes, a freshman comes to me in tears, that he would like to sing in a choir, but was ordered to keep silent in the elementary school so as not to ruin the singing. Even such an adept is accepted. He naturally has a musical ear, but it’s only untrained. Practicing is hard work, but it will be rewarded by the pupil’s gratitude and his improvement in singing. These students usually become the most diligent singers.“ (Orel , D. (July 1916). Několik slov o vyučování zpěvu na středních školách. Cyril.) Dobroslav Orel based his teaching methods on the Italian vocal school and recommended the rather innovative and effective Battke’s intonation method, with the help of which one can achieve „clear“ singing, even when working with musically untrained students.Today, fortunately, there is almost no doubt as to the abilities of the boy sopranos and boys choirs. The existence of extraordinary and famous boys choirs aroun

d the world clearly proves this, for example The Dresden Kreuzchor, Wiener Sängerknaben, Knabenchor Hannover, Trinity Boys Choir, London Libera Boys. In Bohemia, the boy’s choirs fame was reestablished in 1982 by the „Boni pueri – a Czech boys choir“ founded by its music director, Jiri Skopal.
     The album, as its title suggests, is a celebration of the boy soprano voice and demonstrates its vast range of technical and interpretational possibilities. It features David Cizner, a young talented boy soprano, who was only ten years old when he recorded the album. His pure, vibrant voice of amazing dexterity and suppleness is accompanied throughout many genres by well known players on period instruments: baroque violins, violas, viola da gamba, virginal, theorbo, positive organ or fortepiano. Using his phenomenal memory, David sings the whole repertoire in its original language using historically informed pronunciation.
     The album consists mostly of sacred repertoire, as this was the main area of music composed for boy sopranos. It was recorded in the unique baroque church of St. Jacob the Great in Otruby in central Bohemia. To show the wide range of the boy soprano’s expressiveness, several secular compositions were included. The compositions on this album range from renaissance to contemporary music from composers such as Tarquinio Merula, John Dowland, Thomas Morley, Vincenzo Castelani, Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel, Benjamin Britten.
     David uses his versatile voice with ease and virtuosity and shows his interpretational skills in the very demanding masterpieces of Monteverdi’s “Confitebor tibi Domine” and “Jubilet” in which he even applies a period embellishment such as the trillo. The wide spectrum of his expressive and interpretation skills are best demonstrated in Cherubino’s aria “Voi, che sapete” from Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro”. The three songs by Franz Schubert: “Die Forelle”, “Heiden-Röslein” and “An die Musik” are the highlights and conclusion of the classical part of the album. For the lovers of popular music there are two bonus tracks. The first one is the hit “Walking in the Air” by Howard Blake from the soundtrack of the animated movie “Snowman”. (Its recording in 1985, sung by the famous boy soprano Aled Jones, finished in the 5th place of the British hit parade). The second track is the famous “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

David Cizner was born on February the 12th, 2002 in Prague into a musical family. His mother, Florence Cizner, is a well-known voice teacher and the music director of the early music ensemble “Musica Fresca”. The musically saturated environment he and his twin sister were brought up in naturally led to them being very musically talented. Their mother started giving them voice lessons at the age of five. On average, they had three to four lessons a week. This lasted for a couple of years and resulted in a great project: the internet voice training textbook “Unique Vocal Technique for Kids” (www.vocaltechniqueforkids.com) that both children helped create, filming and recording the vocal and musical exercises. At the age of 9, David had already become one of the five members of the Musica Fresca vocal ensemble, recording and performing five part polyphonic repertoire of the renaissance and early baroque era.
     In April of 2012 he performed at the International Music Festival in Brno, where he sang soprano solo in a concert of the Responsorium of the Holy Week by Jakub Jan Ryba. He has won several prestigious vocal competitions: Vinohradsky slavicek (1st place in 2010, 1st place in 2011), Karlovarsky slavicek (2nd place in 2011), the International vocal competition Prazsky pevec (1st place in 2011). He has been chosen to attend the master classes of a well known vocal pedagogue, Mr. Jiri Kotouc at the Summer School of Early Music in Valtice, which has led to a regular collaboration between David and Mr. Kotouc.
     David’s singing career as a boy soprano is now approaching its peak. Although the voice break commonly occurs at the age of 13 or 14, it is not predictable and can arrive sooner. As soon as this happens, his voice will change profoundly, as will his repertoire. We therefore seized this unique opportunity to record his repertoire before he is unable to sing it. Thus the album “The Celebration of Trebles” was created under the music direction of Florence Cizner in May, June and September of the year 2012.

Kateřina Andršová



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