God kväll Europa!
Tonight, live from Partille Arena, Gothenburg, Sweden, we are going to witness the 2nd edition of Eurovision Choir. We are excited to have another European competition, where EBU is the host broadcaster!
My name is Bogdan, and I will try to keep you informed on what’s happening tonight in Gothernburg. This will be my first time actuall watching this competition and I’m hoping to see a great show! Are you ready?
Let me tell you what to expect:
The show will be hosted by the BBC’s Petroc Trelawny and SVT’s Ella Petterson, with Katarina Henryson (SWE – singer and composer, founding member of a cappella ensemble, The Real Group), John Rutter (UK – composer and conductor, was also a judge in 2017 ) and Deke Sharon (US – singer, director, producer, composer and arranger ) as judges.
10 of Europe’s best amateur choirs will try to impress the judges and win the title of ‘Eurovision Choir 2019’.
The running order is as follows:
- Sweden – Zero8: “Khourmi” / “Hej, dunkom så länge vi levom”
- Belgium – Almakalia: “Made in Belgium” (medley)
- Latvia – Koris Maska: “Pērkontēvs”
- Germany – Bonnvoice: “O Täler weit” / “Die Gedanken sind frei”
- Norway – Volve Vokal: “Ønskediktet”
- Denmark – Vocal Line: “True North”
- Scotland – Alba: “Cumha na Cloinne”/ “Ach a’ Mhairead” / “Alba”
- Slovenia – Jazzva: “Spomenčice”
- Switzerland – Cake O’Phonie: “Chante en mon cœur”/ “La sera sper il lag” / “Poï” / “Le ranz des vaches” / “La ticinella” / “Beresinaliedet” / “Chanson d’ici”
- Wales – Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion: “Cúnla” / “Ar Lan y Môr”
The show will consist of two rounds. In the first one, each choir must perform a piece of maximum four minutes long, which must contain some regional or national influence from the participating country.
After all the performances from the first round, three choirs will be chosen to go to the final round. In the final round, each of the three chosen choirs must perform a three-minute piece.
Next, the jury will select the winner, which will be named “Eurovision Choir 2019”, take home a specially designed trophy and go to the World Choir Games in Belgium in 2020.
The songs that each of the choirs will perform (in case they will be selected to be among the three finalists), have been released in advance:
- Sweden – Zero8: “Limu, Limu,Lima”
- Belgium – Almakalia: “Million Eyes”
- Latvia – Koris Maska: “Nāc, Dievini”
- Germany – Bonnvoice: “Air”
- Norway – Volve Vokal: “Famine Song”
- Denmark – Vocal Line: “Viola”
- Scotland – Alba: ““An t-Iarla Diùrach”/ “Innis dhomhsa cà il thu cadal” / “Siud a rud a thogadh fonn”
- Slovenia – Jazzva: “Bejži ptiček”
- Switzerland – Cake O’Phonie: “Believer”
- Wales – Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion: “Yr Alwad”
Where to watch?
If you are located in a country that’s taking part you should check this list and the correspondent tv channel:
- Belgium: La Trois and Musiq3 (20:30 CEST)
- Denmark: DR1 (20:30 CEST)
- Germany: WDR (20:15 CEST)
- Latvia: LTV 1 (20:25 CEST)
- Norway: NRK1 and NRK Klassik (20:20 CEST)
- Scotland: BBC Alba (19:30 BST)
- Slovenia: RTV 1 (20:40 CEST)
- Sweden: SVT 2 (20:30 CEST)
- Switzerland: RTS Un (20:30 CEST)
- Wales: S4C (19:00 BST)
International viewers can watch the show via STV Play from 20:30 CEST.
You know the drill, just refresh this page to get updates. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE
Good evening Europe and Good Morning Australia!
The show is about to start, but no worries, I am here. My name is Bogdan and I’ll be your host for tonight. If you want to read my thoughts, just keep refreshing this page. I’m a bit nervous to live blog this competition as it’s the first time for me 🙂
And we are live from from Partille Arena, Gothenburg !
What a great start of the show: an impressive choir sings ABBA’s ‘Mamma Mia’ as the flags with the participating countries are waved. Are you singing along? Here I go again 😀
And these are our hosts for this evening: Petroc Trelawny and Ella Petterson.
The hard duty to choose the winners will be in the hands of three professionals:
Katarina Henryson (SWE – singer and composer, founding member of a cappella ensemble, The Real Group), John Rutter (UK – composer and conductor, was also a judge in 2017 ) and Deke Sharon (US – singer, director, producer, composer and arranger ).
Let the competition begin!
- Sweden – Zero8: “Khourmi” / “Hej, dunkom så länge vi levom”
The male-only choir sings in an onomatopoeic form for the first part, and to me it resembles a hive of bees in a beautiful meadow. The second part has a more melodic and dramatic performance and the crowd seems to have enjoyed it.
2. Belgium – Almakalia: “Made in Belgium” (medley)
The ‘Beautiful Soul’ from Belgium is up next on the stage. They sing delightfully in a mixture of English and French, with smiles on their faces. I really enjoy their performance and choreography. The rhythm of their piece sounds contemporary, whilst heir youthfulness was perfectly showed on the stage in a style resembling a ‘Pitch Perfect’ performance.
3. Latvia – Koris Maska: “Pērkontēvs”
The Latvian choir starts with ‘boiling’ sounds (I can’t find another term to describe it) and then sing about ‘Father Thunder’ whilst making clapping sounds on their knees (body percussion). Towards the end of their piece, the “rain” starts and we are all amazed by the sounds that the human voice can produce . That was ingenious and very atmospheric.
4. Germany – Bonnvoice: “O Täler weit” / “Die Gedanken sind frei”
The German choir won ‘Der beste Chor im Westen’ and their performance shows us why: they harmonise perfectly. Whilst giving a beautiful, clean performance, I wasn’t spellbound like I was expecting. Still a noticeable presence.
5. Norway – Volve Vokal: “Ønskediktet”
Volve Vokal was founded in 2006. Tonight, they are singing with colourful blindfolds, hopping and almost ‘flapping’ on the stage. It is indeed an original concept. The all-women group seem to be ‘awaken’ and take their blindfolds. They seem to be amazed by the surroundings and in the end they all fall to the ground. What an interesting puzzle!
6. Denmark – Vocal Line: “Viola”
Vocal Line stated its journey in 1991. Dressed in black and blue, the Danish choir from Aarhaus gives me some chills – but the good ones. The sound is modern and I’m almost tapping my feet tho the rhythm. It does help that they have a drum-base like sound in the background. It’s so elating to see them having so much fun whilst performing. Their voices blend perfectly and I can say their performance left me with a positive impression.
7. Scotland – Alba: “Cumha na Cloinne”/ “Ach a’ Mhairead” / “Alba”
Alba was specifically created for Eurovision Choir. The men are wearing tartan kilts designed specially for this occasion by The House of Edgar.
Even though the choir is ‘new’, you can hear the experience in the singer’s voices. The harmonies were on point and the blend of traditional and contemporary worked.
8. Slovenia – Jazzva: “Spomenčice”
It is time to hear our smallest choir of the night – 7 members. In the first part of their performance, they sing in a jazzy way, like their name suggests. In the second part of their performance, their song sounded like a lullaby mixed with a pinch of oumpf!
9. Switzerland – Cake O’Phonie: “Chante en mon cœur”/ “La sera sper il lag” / “Poï” / “Le ranz des vaches” / “La ticinella” / “Beresinaliedet” / “Chanson d’ici”
In this first part of their performance, their voices remind me of old hymns (but in a good way). Then, the second part of their performance becomes more joyful as it is sang in Italian. Just as I was enjoying it, it became serious again and the language was switched to German and next to French. Whilst I appreciate the diversity in dialects, languages and good harmonies, I wasn’t a fan of their costumes (and here I am referring to the women’s trousers and their pattern).
10. Wales – Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion: “Cúnla” / “Ar Lan y Môr”
The first part starts in a fun, playful way. But my, the second part is mesmerising. We have a leading soloist singing like an angel whilst the rest of the choir murmurs in contrast, giving us the chills. Wales almost won it at the first edition of the Eurovision Choir in 2017. Are they in the hunt for a win? I think so. Great job!
Now that we’ve heard all 10 choirs, it’s time for the judges to do the hard part: deciding the three finalists. I seriously have to think who were my favourites.
It’s really tough, but my top three are: Latvia, Denmark and Wales. Do you agree? (Let me know in the comments section below).
Time to find out what the juries has decided.
So, the finalists are LATVIA, DENMARK and SLOVENIA. Well, I got 2 out of three. Not bad 🙂
As an interval act, we can now hear a choir version of AVICII’s ‘Without You’
The head judge just told us that their are taking into consideration a few aspects like: technical skills, accuracy, quality of sound and interpretation/ communication.
Let the Round Two (Grand Final) Begin!
- Latvia – Koris Maska: “Nāc, Dievini”
Singing a blend of classical and folk music, Koris Maska gives us another great performance, spiked at the end with beautiful bird-like sounds.
2. Denmark – Vocal Line: “Viola”
Again, we are delighted with perfect harmonies. Viola has a modern beat and I’m really enjoying this (like the first time I’ve heard them). With smiles on their faces, each and everyone on the stage is giving a great performance. I would definitely listen to this again.
3. Slovenia – Jazzva: “Bejži ptiček”
Jazzva sings ‘Sing Litte Bird’. They start with birds-like sounds. The harmonies are spot-on and the sound is beautiful, but a bit too repetitive (to my liking) towards the end. Have they got what it takes to win it all? We’ll have to wait and see.
For me it’s between Latvia and Denmark. Do you agree? But until the judges decide, we’ll hear a performance from the first Eurovision Choir winner Carmen Manet with the song Shepherd Boy.
Time to find our 2019 Eurovision Choir winner! In 3rd place Slovenia… in 2nd place Latvia.
And the winner is Denmark – Vocal Line!
Congratulations to all and specially to Vocal Line. A well-deserved win.
Thank you all for reading this blog and hope you enjoyed it. Good night Europe! G’Day dear Australian friends!
Author: Bogdan-Stefan Fedeles
Source: EBU, STV