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Thread: Music with Christian undertones

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    Default Music with Christian undertones

    This being my first post..., I hope it's in the right section!

    I'm working on a project that is to be performed at a church event. I don't have any immediate ideas, but I've been thinking (rather idealistically) about performing pieces that incorporate Christian hymns, Bible verses, etc... for example, the hymn "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow" appears in the last movement of Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No. 2 in c minor, first in the piano and later again from the piano and passing to the violin and the cello (as supported by the program notes for one performance by the Capuçon/Angelich Trio). I was wondering if anyone knew any pieces that would be similar in characteristic.

    Also, any suggestions on how I would go about finding related examples?

    I'm not trying to start a debate on religion or anything - this is just a request for musical knowledge from the smart guys out there.

    Just some additional details:
    - preferably not vocal, i.e. masses composed by "standard" composers of classical music. Also, I will most likely not have a large enough number of musicians for full orchestral music. In other words, preferably chamber or solo music.
    Last edited by xen; Jan-20-2009 at 09:50.

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    hi, xen!

    secure a 'sacred harp', 'missori harmony, 'christian harmony', etc., tune book and arrange some string quartets.

    dj

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    Thanks for the reply!

    The problem, however, (in which I must apologize for not mentioning), is that it's for my music school's outreach class, so I have to fulfill the class' requirement - the music should mostly/primarily that of professional, standard repertoire. I did ask for arrangements, but that's a little more last-resort. Of course I'm not meaning that arrangements of songs is not part of good performance music, but... ah, you guys should get the point. For the sake of staying on the safe side of the project logistics, I'd like to request music from the general meat of classical music - namely, the Baroque through "Contemporary" period.

    Though thanks, DJ, again, for the suggestion! I'll still be writing it down for my outline/brainstorm!

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    the books contain william billings and jeremiah ingalls...both often performed by professinal vocal groups.

    contact -

    Paul Westermeyer
    Visiting Professor of Church Music
    westerme@stolaf.edu

    luck,
    dj

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    Messiah by Handel is performed quite often in churches. I can think of many others, none of which were composed in English.

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    Appropriate music might include the overture from Messiah, Copland's arrangement of "Simple Gifts", and the "Pastoral Symphony" from Messiah. I think Mozart wrote some church sonatas, at least some of which might work for string quartet. Look also at some of Bach's trio sonatas, many of which were transcriptions of works by Vivaldi (or look for the Vivaldi trio sonatas themselves). And don't forget the slow movement of Samuel Barber's string quartet which was later turned into a setting of "Agnus Dei."

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    Senior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    Here's one by Beethoven, he basically wrote it after recovering from a serious illness, as thanks to the Lord.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-jus6AGHzQ

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    You could look at some music by Charles Ives. His music is filled with hymn quotations, usually in fragments but easy to recognize.

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    A great deal of Russian music quotes actual Gregorian Orthodox chant in it. Let me give some examples:







    I would not describe these pieces as sacred, but as secular music incorporating sacred elements.
    Last edited by Huilunsoittaja; Oct-26-2013 at 03:40.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    A great deal of Russian music quotes actual Gregorian Orthodox chant in it.
    Not to mention Rachmaninoff, who had a well-known fixation on a particular chant... Berlioz liked it too, but he wasn't Russian (or at least wouldn't admit to it.)
    Last edited by KenOC; Oct-26-2013 at 03:54.


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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Not to mention Rachmaninoff, who had a well-known fixation on a particular chant... Berlioz liked it too, but he wasn't Russian (or at least wouldn't admit to it.)
    Are you speaking of the "Dies Irae" ,the Day of Wrath which is Latin.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    Are you speaking of the "Dies Irae" ,the Day of Wrath which is Latin.
    I'm open to correction, but I believe most or all Gregorian chants are in Latin. Which is what Huilunsoittaja is talking about. Are "orthodox" Gregorian chants different?
    Last edited by KenOC; Oct-26-2013 at 07:37.


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    If you want some non vocal church music try the instrumental parts of Purcell's Music for the funeral of Queen Mary.
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-26-2013 at 07:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celloman View Post
    You could look at some music by Charles Ives. His music is filled with hymn quotations, usually in fragments but easy to recognize.
    I'm not sure how much those are supposed to be evocative of Christianity though, as much as just evocative of themselves, and the nostalgia for Ives' childhood they invoked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    I'm open to correction, but I believe most or all Gregorian chants are in Latin. Which is what Huilunsoittaja is talking about. Are "orthodox" Gregorian chants different?
    I wouldn't know and religion and information on it is a mystery to me. Certainly your post was not likely to enlighten anyone,but I know the "Des Irae" mentioned.
    Tt's apparently a 13th century Latin hymn att. to either the Franciscan Order or Latino Malabranca Orsiini. It is included in the Roman Classic Requiem mass.
    Gregorian chant developed in the 9th and 10th centuries I believe.
    So now I have information on the matter !
    Last edited by moody; Oct-26-2013 at 15:29.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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