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Thread: Best Choral Music

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    Talking Best Choral Music

    I am a graduate Choral Conducting major at GA State University and I am doing research on the considerations of a composer (if any) when he/she is writing a piece of choral music. Does anyone have any input? Also, I am compiling a list of the top 100 best choral pieces. What are yours as a teacher/conductor? What are favorites of your students from a standpoint of being both entertaining and well-written? Thanks so much for your assistance.
    JACK LOUDEN

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    Senior Member Edmond-Dantes's Avatar
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    My favorites would have to be...
    Gregorio Allegri - Miserere (Psalm 51)
    Gabriel Urbain Fauré - Requiem (Op. 48) - Pie Jesu
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem (K. 626) - Lacrimosa
    Gabriel Urbain Fauré - Requiem (Op. 48) - In Paradisum

    Miserere would be my favorite, but the 4 listed songs are in random order.
    "Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!" ~ Das Lied von der Erde - Der Abschied (Li Tai-Po/G.Mahler) <---Click to Listen

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    Member Bgroovy2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlouden View Post
    I am a graduate Choral Conducting major at GA State University and I am doing research on the considerations of a composer (if any) when he/she is writing a piece of choral music. Does anyone have any input? Thanks so much for your assistance.
    JACK LOUDEN
    One thing that I have noticed in contemporary choral music, there are no real tenor parts! Most composers only right male parts up to a G on the treble clef. That is not tenor but rather baritone. This is doing a great dis-service to men everywhere! Most men will try to sing these notes in the passaggio by pushing their chest regestors up to high causing strain in the voice box. If people that call themselves tenors: as in singing the tenor part had to deal with A's and B's and an ocasional high C, this would force men to learn to develope their head registor. This would be a win\win. Men would learn better singing techniques and directors\composers would have a much stronger mens section with a fuller, richer sound.

    Just the ramblings of a frustrated tenor.
    Peace

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    favourites: Stephen Chatman "Remember", Pseudo Yoik-NT, Stroope "Amor de mi Alma", Whitacre "A Boy and a Girl", "Water Night", Lauridsen "O Magnum Mysterium", Ola Gjeilo "Sanctus".

    When I am composing, I generally worry about phrasing, is the song able to move forward and engage the audience. Some choral songs just sit there and don't do much, Lauridsen's O magnum is a great example of great writing, every part moves and pulls, each voice has good melodic phrases and is just; well a great modern score. On the more classical side, I would lean towards tallis "if ye love me"

    hope this provides some insight.

    once you have the list, post it here, or in a message, I would love to see how you rank the compositions!

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Arvo Pärt's Beatitudes are certainly among my favourites, for shorter pieces. Also Howells' Salve regina.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of choral, but I really like Guido Haazen's Missa Luba & Ariel Ramirez' Misa Criolla. They are based on Congolese and Argentinian folklore, respectively. By the way, the latter has prominent tenor parts, the soloists are three tenors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Arvo Pärt's Beatitudes are certainly among my favourites, for shorter pieces. Also Howells' Salve regina.
    It is great to find another admirer of A Part, I love all of his choral works and most of his latter instrumental works

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    Are there Indian classical musicians registered to your forum? Have you Indian classical music archives?

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    I agree with a previous poster regarding choral works not moving forward enough, it is common problem.
    Some of my favorites however are:

    Carmina Burana
    Messiah
    Mahlers 2nd Symphony, a lot of Mahlers symphonies use choirs and soloists but this one really stands out.
    Brittens - War requiem
    Rutter - War requiem (a lot of great english composers with choral pieces)
    Listsz Faust Symphony has a fantastic chorus in the last movement.


    I also remember an entirely Choral piece in Glass's soundtrack to Koyanisqatsi it was fantastic.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Ah, it was the second part named Vessels - not so well known i think but its great!

    And how did i forget Mozart and Fauré requiems?

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    Senior Member wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Ah, it was the second part named Vessels - not so well known i think but its great!

    And how did i forget Mozart and Fauré requiems?
    Yes, at least Mozarts! And throw out Carmina Burana on the street where it belongs, and put in Verdis Req insted.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Whats wrong with the Carmina Burana?! :angry:

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    Senior Member Bach's Avatar
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    It's bollocks. Apart from 'In Trutina' which is delightful.
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Whats wrong with the Carmina Burana?! :angry:
    The redoubtable Arnold Whittall has called it 'Carmina Mundana'.

    Here's what else he has to say about it:

    'Orff's concerns, 'to create a spectacle' and 'to make the most immediate impression possible', are those of commercial art, and have more in common with the rituals of the Nuremberg Rallies than of the Bayreuth Festival.'

    Ooo... burn!

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    I saw my teacher playing the Catulli Carmina. At some point in the piece she played the same chord SIXTEEN times in a row (I counted). The lack of imagination and the repetitive nature of his music are nauseating, little ostinati which come and go without any development, also without any orchestral interest, any harmonic change, nothing at all. Plain music, it is horrible. And it shared the night with Les Noces, which is a completely different story, and even the uneducated public of my city cleary enjoyed much more Stravinsky.

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