Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Contestants tackle Schubert on 'The Amazing Race'

Did anyone else catch the Schubert song-singing contest on "The Amazing Race"?

My sister Margie hipped me to it! I had not only never seen "The Amazing Race," I had never heard of it. Apparently it is a kind of obstacle course where teams race each other from place to place while having to complete challenges along the way.

On this recent episode they had to stop in Vienna to sing the famous "Die Forelle" ("The Trout") with the Vienna Choir Boys.

It's not perfect. The millions of viewers who aside from this show would never get to hear a Schubert song never get to hear this song the way it is supposed to sound. The one guy who finally sort of gets it together sings the song in a ridiculously deep register so it sounds silly. When he finally sings a verse in the right register, the music is blocked by a voice-over.

Perhaps the Schubert Club could get in touch with the show and suggest a follow-up.

On the plus side, any publicity for Schubert is good publicity. It is hilarious and heart-warming to see the show's contestants poring over the formal German score. This one guy has had a good shot at it but blows it and his team-mate yells it him: "You've come closer than anyone! Go and fix it and bring it back!"

I never heard this arrangement, with choir, and it is a lot of fun. There is a kind of thrill when the song finally comes together. Also you are just hit in the face by how good the Vienna Choir Boys are. They sound fantastic.

It's fun to see them giggling over the bad efforts. And to see the choirmaster shaking his head and saying, "Leider nicht gut."

Also a big Bravo to the show for attempting to show Schubert song singing as the essential life skill that it is.

In the link above, you will have to sit through some commercials but you can kind of skip around. The Schubert segment starts about 16 minutes in.

Here is a fine performance in case you want to practice.

Or just enjoy!

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