Video: A Christmas countertenor on the streets of New York

Video: A Christmas countertenor on the streets of New York


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2013

A year ago, pianist Tamar Halperin and her husband Andreas Scholl took out a keyboard and a voice to see how many New Yorkers knew Schubert’s Ave Maria.

She writes: ‘Most people shook their heads and walked on. Other people looked annoyed and walked on. And then there were those, who quickly fixed their hair, smiled from ear to ear, and sang “Ave Maria” at the top of their lungs.’

There’s only one voice on the vid, however.

scholl halperin


  • Elaine Fine says:

    It sound like it’s recorded in a studio to me. The camera work is also professional, and I imagine the people passing by we’re feeling a little like they were part of a private filming, so they glanced up at the camera and moved on. It is a nice film, and the singing is glorious, but it is not a slice of any kind of reality.

  • Elana Newman says:

    Well, I disagree – the shots of a few bystanders singing so joyfully, as well people walking past one of the world’s great countertenors, were indeed a slice of reality. Still, it might be nice to hear the original…..

  • rdamerell says:

    The passers-by could have been taken back that it was being sung in German, rather than the latin version. That the pianist was wearing the headphones suggests that she was playing along with the studio recording to sync the live performance for the video.