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The Chorus
Album Cover Art
2004 Warner
2005 Nonesuch
Album 2 Cover Art
2012 Varèse
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed and Orchestrated by:
Bruno Coulais

Conducted by:
Deyan Pavlov

Produced by:
Paul Lavergne

Additional Music by:
Christophe Barratier
Labels Icon
Warner Brothers (Europe)
(May 3rd, 2004)

Nonesuch Records
(January 4th, 2005)

Varèse Sarabande
(August 7th, 2012)
Availability Icon
All albums are regular commercial releases in their respective countries, though the 2004 and 2005 products sometimes commanded higher prices on the used market prior to the 2012 Varèse reissue. A handful of supplemental albums featuring this music have been released in France since 2004, including a live concert performance.
The song "Look to Your Path (Vois sur ton Chemin)" was nominated for an Academy Award. The score was nominated for a BAFTA Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are partial towards the heartwarming, sentimental performances of boys' choirs, especially when they are layered over resounding orchestral depth.

Avoid it... if a constant stream of simplistic and repetitive choral songs and their instrumental equivalents deters you from your willingness to experiment with a uniquely European endeavor.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 1/15/05, REVISED 8/10/12
The Chorus (Les Choristes): (Bruno Coulais/Christophe Barratier) A smash hit in its native country of France, The Chorus was the nation's submission for "Best Foreign Film" at the 2004 Academy Awards. Despite its familiar storyline, The Chorus launched past its competition in French cinema and became the most popular film during that year in the country. A feel-good story in the subgenre of "noble teacher versus troublesome students," the drama follows the efforts of kind-hearted but washed up composer Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot), who becomes a teacher at a reformatory school in 1949 France. Appropriately named "Le Fond De L'Etang" ("Rock Bottom"), the school has your usual collection of young boys identified as brats and thieves, and the institution is run by a militaristic headmaster in a castle-like structure. The new teacher slowly assembles the delinquent boys into a choir, a move that sets him at odds with headmaster, but the protagonist eventually proves that a little tender loving care and the inspiration of music can turn the boys around. Adapting his material from a little-known French film called The Cage of Nightingales, co-writer and director Christophe Barratier made his surprising feature debut with The Chorus, and Miramax bought the right to release the picture in a limited number of American theatres in January of 2005. French composer Bruno Coulais, slowly gaining recognition in the United States at the time for his extensive work in Europe, was tasked with writing an underscore integrated with the choral performances in the film itself. Utilizing the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and the voices of Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc Choir, Coulais combines his own material (a cross between the romantic sensibilities of John Barry and Craig Armstrong) with several pivotal thematic ideas by Barratier (who also has a musical background) to create a score that spent several weeks atop the French music charts. Selling a million copies in France alone, the album for The Chorus also made a star out of 13-year-old lead actor and vocalist Jean-Baptiste Maunier and renewed interest in boys choirs across the nation. The score was nominated for a BAFTA award and the song "Vois sur ton Chemin" ("Look to Your Path") received an Oscar nomination. Multiple releases of the score in the United States, each with slightly different contents, followed over the subsequent ten years. Much of the soundtrack could technically be classified as "source music," though some of the vocal performances, a few wordless, are utilized in the film as a substitute for a traditional orchestral underscore.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.82 Stars
***** 463 5 Stars
**** 277 4 Stars
*** 144 3 Stars
** 115 2 Stars
* 95 1 Stars
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Alt. short review
Joep - September 1, 2006, at 3:07 a.m.
1 comment  (2563 views)
matt - February 26, 2006, at 3:05 a.m.
1 comment  (3089 views)
Alternate review of The Chorus at Movie Music UK
Jonathan Broxton - February 3, 2005, at 5:42 a.m.
1 comment  (3782 views)
wonderful score
Alvanor - January 23, 2005, at 10:16 a.m.
1 comment  (3165 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
2004 and 2005 Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 38:38
• 1. Les Choristes (1:32)
• 2. In Memoriam (3:25)
• 3. L'Arrivee a l'Ecole (1:32)
• 4. Pepinot (1:50)
• 5. Vois sur ton Chemin (2:19)
• 6. Les Partitions (1:03)
• 7. Caresse sur l'Ocean (2:10)
• 8. Lueurd d'Ete (2:02)
• 9. Cerf-Volant (0:58)
• 10. Sous la Pluie (1:05)
• 11. Compere Guilleri (0:35)
• 12. La Desillusion (1:22)
• 13. La Nuit (2:20)
• 14. L'Incendie (1:23)
• 15. L'Evocation (1:45)
• 16. Les Avions en Papier (1:28)
• 17. Action Reaction (1:45)
• 18. Seuls (1:53)
• 19. Morhange (1:57)
• 20. In Memoriam a Cappella (3:19)
• 21. Nous Sommes de Fond de l'Etang (2:46)
2012 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 50:00

Notes Icon
The insert of the Nonesuch Records album includes lyrics from all of the major song performances in both French and English, as well as extensive credits. The other two products' inserts contain no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2005-2020, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Chorus are Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2012, Warner Brothers (Europe), Nonesuch Records, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/15/05 and last updated 8/10/12.
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