Rossini’s meow-song, a great performance by a French boys choir (video)

We’d posted this video a few years back, and it just crossed my path again today.

I decided to do some googling – I wanted to know who these boys are.  The boys are with “Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois (PCCB)” in Paris, apparently a quite well-known boys choir in France.

I also found out the name of the boys doing the singing. They’re Hyacinthe de Moulins (the blonde boy) and Régis Mengus (the dark-haired boy). Yep, the first boy is actually named Hyachinthe – ah the French. Régis is apparently now an opera singer in France.  And Hyacinthe, if I’m not incorrect, is getting married this May – this has got to be him, the face is the same.

Below is my favorite performance of the boys choir, and favorite version of the meow-song, as I call it – the song is officially called Rossini’s “Duetto buffo di due gatti” (Funny (I prefer “goofey”) duet of the two cats).  Here’s Wikipedia on the background of the song:

The Duetto buffo di due gatti (“humorous duet for two cats”) is a popular performance piece for two sopranos which is often performed as a concertencore. The “lyrics” consist entirely of the repeated word “miau” (“meow”).

While the piece is typically attributed to Gioachino Rossini, it was not actually written by him, but is instead a compilation written in 1825 that draws principally on his 1816 opera, Otello. The compiler was likely the English composer Robert Lucas de Pearsall, who for this purpose used the pseudonym ”G. Berthold”.

And here are Hyacinthe and Régis singing it, wonderfully.

Here’s a nice version of Ave Maria from the same singing troupe:

And I found an entire documentary (in French) about the PCCB boys choir, it’s an hour and a half long, but again, it is in French:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • ComradeRutherford

    We were volunteering for an event and the church was the ‘base’, so that’s how we wound up in the room with all the ‘t’s.

  • YourWifeIsMyLife

    You should have stayed home.

  • ChoirAddictOZ

    The same song with the same choir at the same Venus, Seoul Korea on 22nd December 2012. Soloists Augustin H (left) and Elouan M (right).

    Another top class performance by The Little Singers of Paris, Le Petit Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Then there’s Michael, Michela, and Michelle.

  • Sweetie

    When women start to use a name, it is usually then seen as a feminine name. This is because the taint of the feminine must be avoided in a culture that worships masculinity.

  • hauksdottir

    John,

    All of the flower names are feminine except two: Narcissus and Hyacinth.

    Narcissus was so in love with himself that he spent his days gazing at his reflection in a deep pool, eventually becoming the nodding flower when he couldn’t pull away from his own self-centeredness.

    Hyacinth was one of Apollo’s lovers and died when Zephyrus wanted him as well. Fickle gods or fickle breezes? Purple flower was a sign of Apollo’s grief. Unlike Narcissus, he was handsome and talented and worshiped on his own merits before Apollo came along.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinth_(mythology)

    Hyacinthe is a saint’s name, so it does crop up in Catholic countries. However, like Joyce, Evelyn, and Beverley, it is migrating to the feminine name-lists.

    All your names are belong to us! ;^)

    Carolly

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The Church does love its chicken!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Run boys run, the Vatican wants you for a gig.

  • http://borborygmist.influxofdust.com/ Wayne Dyer

    From what I’ve read, the piece was conceived as a play on the personalities of sopranos, and here the (oh, geez I hate myself for doing this) “cattiness” comes through: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sluzi-QGtyA

  • Tor

    Tanks from a happy cat-slave.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    He looks good in that one. I found others of him with that euro-style boy-band mini-beard the Italians came up with, and which I will never forgive them for.

  • ComradeRutherford

    I am so proud. I took my 7 and 9 year old girls into a church once and they asked what there were little ‘t’s everywhere! Thank the Gods my kids know nothing about the ‘god’ of Abraham (deity of monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam).

  • hauksdottir

    We love steak, we love chicken; we’d love a bit of whatever you’re fixin’

  • Sweetie
  • Naja pallida

    We love chicken, we love liver, Meow Mix, please deliver.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.d.brumm Patrick D Brumm

    hope they are wearing something underneath the robes

  • Phil

    But their name translates out to Little Singers of the Wood Cross. The crosses are part of their work drag.

  • tomtallis

    Very nice, but I could live without the cowls and wooden crosses. My husband is an ex-Vienna Choirboy and he was impressed, too.

  • lilyannerose

    Charm and delight!

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