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Thread: Religious Operas/Oratorios

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    Senior Member Jobis's Avatar
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    Default Religious Operas/Oratorios

    I'm looking for recommendations, along the lines of Messiaen's Saint Francois and Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, of operas with overt religious themes; though not limited to the modernist genres! Rather, operas of any era that capture a similar tone and mystical representation of God. Hopefully that is not too specific.

    Also, does anyone know where I can find a recording of the late John Tavener's opera Therese?

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    Rossini's two Moses operas and Donizetti's Poliuto are three representants of the subject inside bel canto. I'm not greatest fan of the Moseses, but they do have some strong highlights. So does opera by Donizetti.

    (also, Rossini's Comte Ory is about pious group of nuns)
    Last edited by Aramis; Jan-01-2014 at 23:37.

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    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Handel's The Messiah.

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    Hans Pfitzner - Palestrina
    Peter Maxwell Davies - Taverner
    Kari Tikka - Luther
    Francis Poulenc - Dialogues of the Carmelites
    Giacomo Puccini - Suor Angelica
    Krzysztof Penderecki - The Devils of Loudun, Paradise Lost
    Paul Hindemith - Sancta Susanna
    Rued Langgaard - Antikrist
    Arrigo Boito - Mefistofele
    Ferruccio Busoni - Doktor Faust
    Alfred Schnittke - Historia von D. Johann Fausten
    Charles Gounod - Faust
    Fromental Halévy - Noé (Noah), and maybe: Le Juif errant (The Wandering Jew), La Juive (The Jewess)
    Anton Rubinstein - Christus
    Ralph Vaughan Williams - The Pilgrim's Progress

    It depends a lot on what you regard as religious. If they are merely biography with a religious element such as Palestrina or dramas that simply take Greek Orfeo ed Euridice and biblical Nabucco characters.
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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobis View Post
    … operas of any era that capture a similar tone and mystical representation of God….
    Also, does anyone know where I can find a recording of the late John Tavener's opera Therese?
    Well in terms of tone and mystical representations Parsifal is an obvious pick.

    I'm not familiar at all with Therese, but his opera Mary of Egypt was recorded and released on the now defunct Collins Classics label.

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    Senior Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    Handel's The Messiah.
    Handel's Messiah tops the list. Others to check out would be Handel's Chandos Anthems and Handel's Chapel Royal.
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    Dialogues des Carmélites (1956) by Francis Poulenc



    This 1958 recording has the best voices; not many operas are able to make me shed tears.

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    What about Haydn's Schopfung, and Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bas View Post
    What about Haydn's Schopfung, and Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans?
    Also Haydn's oratorios The Seasons and Il ritorno di Tobia.

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    Schoenberg wrote quite a lot of religious music. Die Jakobsleiter comes to mind immediately (as it just ended about 5 minutes ago), as well as Moses und Aron (not about God, per se, but a biblical story).

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    Handel's Theodora, about the eponymous Christian martyr.

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    Senior Member MagneticGhost's Avatar
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    As you seem more drawn to modern music - I recommend Peter Maxwell-Davies - Job
    image.jpg
    Last edited by MagneticGhost; Jan-03-2014 at 20:29.
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    Senior Member Rapide's Avatar
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    Verdi wrote a few with religious theme. Say Nabucco
    "If a composer is not moving in the right direction, he will be killed, metaphorically speaking." — Pierre Boulez

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    Senior Member drpraetorus's Avatar
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    Here is a more obscure Wagner work "Liebesmahl der Apostel"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVPi22dbWzc

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    I don't know much but if you're into Easter (since it's coming up soon) there is Bach's Easter Oratorio.
    Last edited by messadivoce; Apr-18-2014 at 23:38.

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