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French Youth Chorus Begins Concert Tour in China

The National Youth Chorus of France, "A Coeur Joie" (With a Joyful Heart), made its China tour debut in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing Sunday night.
The chorus sung a cappella of Renaissance composers, romantic composers such as Berlioz, Saint-Saens and composers in the 20th century such as Debussy, Poulenc and Ravel, conducted by Jean-Marie Puissant, the chorus's musical director.
There were three extra songs -- Chinese "Muge," or Pastoral, an Argentina song and an Ahum song in the premiere Saturday night.
As an activity of "The Year of France in China," the chorus will travel to Wuhan, Qingdao, Dalian and Shenyang for concerts.

The concerts, from April 26 to 30, will mainly be performed for free in local universities.
"Those concerts permit the Chinese audience, especially students in universities and conservatories to appreciate the beauty of the French choral repertoire," said Alain Rechner, the general delegate of the French Alliance, an international French school and the concerts' organizer.

Francois Vergnault, a choralist said it is the chorus's first time to China. "Rehearsing in the modern and old Forbidden City gave me a different feeling," he said.
Founded in 1999, The France National Chorus of Youth is one of the best non-professional choruses in France, consisting of 32 singers aged from 18 to 26 from across the country.

(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2005)


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