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Last on

Sat 10 Mar 2012 15:30 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 06 March 2012

Stephen Evans traces the 800 year history of the the boys choir of St Thomas' Church Leipzig, from the days of J S Bach through Mendelssohn, the war years and communism.

St Thomas' is a remarkable choir. One of the oldest in Europe it was traditionally formed from the less privileged children of the area and developed a unique sound and technical excellence that J S Bach exploited to the full in his 20 years as its music master. Since then the choir has treasured the musical traditions of its early years and defended the elite musical education of the boys and the performance of Bach's works as he would have heard them, surviving the Nazi years and atheist communism too.

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