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Thread: Recommendations for non-operatic vocal music

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    Default Recommendations for non-operatic vocal music

    I can appreciate PARTS of certain operas, mostly choruses and some arias, but in general I find the solo voices painful to listen to - even in a good quality recording - still sounds like bellowing men and screeching women to me, no matter how good the tune or how highly-regarded the singer. And the filler (dialogue sung with no disernable tune at all) between arias and choruses just sounds a little silly to my ears. It's all too overly dramatic.

    One of my favourite pieces is Orff's Carmina Burana though - all of it - since the singing doesn't have that same painful over-the-top quality to it - it's more playful and fun. And I love Dawn Upshaw's singing on Gorecki's 3rd, and some interpretations of Mahler's 2nd - I can appreciate the solo female voice if it's delivered gently and sensitively.

    So, given that, what other vocal works should I be getting into? Any recommendations?

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    You can hear samples here.

    It's William Christie; it's Les Arts Florissants; it's Sophie Daneman; and it's Patricia Petibon. It doesn't get better than that. The 'Troisieme Lecon' where they're both singing together is particularly beautiful (tracks 13 to 22). Guaranteed entirely screech free, and balm for the soul.

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    Hi jezbo,

    You could also try:



    Samples here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Pergolesi-Stab...9103599&sr=8-3

    Apart from that, you get a different style of singing in medieval music - very soothing and "balmy". For example Hildegard von Bingen:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_m?...bingen&x=0&y=0

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    The Baroque & Medieval singing style is easier on the ears to be sure. I have heard the Pergolesi before and like it. I'm also getting into Handel's Acis & Galatea.

    Any recommendations for later periods? I'm more drawn to the later 19th & 20th century stuff.

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    20th century:

    Ramirez - Misa Criolla
    Andreas Scholl - The Best of Andreas Scholl (includes a piece by Jocelyn Pook)

    19th century and earlier:

    Berlioz - Requiem
    Beethoven - Missa Solemnis
    Mozart - Mass in C Minor

    As far as opera is concerned, you could also give a chance to:

    Berlioz - Les Troyens, Damnation de Faust
    Delibes - Lakme
    Dvorak - Rusalka
    Gounod - Faust
    Rimsky-Korsakov - Sadko

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    Quote Originally Posted by jezbo View Post
    And the filler (dialogue sung with no disernable tune at all) between arias and choruses just sounds a little silly to my ears.
    Recitatives. They are sung, actually, and written in the score with musical notation.

    I suggest song cycles by Gustav Mahler, like Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen, Kindertotenlieder and the Rückert-lieder.

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

    And you may recognize the tune from this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCYh1ojuOFE


    Hermann Prey was definitely a jewel.

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    Mozart's Concert arias in a Decca box set are sheer delight. Worth every penny of their low price.

    Jim

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jezbo View Post
    Any recommendations for later periods? I'm more drawn to the later 19th & 20th century stuff.
    I've talked about this so often on this forum that I'm almost afraid to mention it again, but:



    Ignore the Coronation Ode - that's not why I'm recommending this. This disc is worth having purely for the wonderful, but incomprehensibly neglected, The Spirit of England; furthermore, this is the version to get; no one sings this like Teresa Cahill. You can hear samples here (the last three), but the selections are badly chosen and don't give an adequate impression of the work. (The CD is so cheap that you can't go wrong, really.)

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    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    Anything by:

    Léonin, Pérotin, Vitry, Machaut, Dunstable, Dufay, Ockeghem, Josquin, Obrecht, Tallis, Palestrina, Lassus, Byrd or Victoria.

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    Beethoven's Choral Fantasy in C minor
    Rachmaninoff's The Bells

    (Not sure how you would personally classify incidental music relative to opera, but....)

    Beethoven's Ruins of Athens, King Stephen, & Egmont
    Grieg's Peer Gynt (some really good vocal passages)

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    faure requium
    winterreise (bostridge, don't worry he's a great singer, no bellowey mush)

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    I'll be trying some of these out folks - many thanks.

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    check out some Randall Z Stroope (more traditional chorus works), Eric Whitacre (very popular rising musician in the choral world, very cutting edge) Morten Lauridsen (sounds similar to whitacre, not as daring imo) and Moses Hogan (american spiritual) if you're looking for some more contemporary music. If it's the vibrato that you dont like, Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen have some really good pieces out

    Stroope:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxa_P...eature=related (my favorite tbh)
    and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r0jKHf4vEw

    one of my favorite whitacre pieces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ggQu...eature=related

    and while not my favorite, this one from Lauridsen seems to be the most popular: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iss5a8BqYw0

    and Hogan:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvQyf...eature=related
    or
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLR31...eature=related

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    Faure: Requiem, Durufle: Requiem: Atlanta Symphony Orch. & Chorus, Robert Shaw, Telarc:



    Berlioz: Requiem, London Symphony Orch., Sir Colin Davis, Philips:



    Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony, London Philharmonic, Sir Adrian Boult, EMI:



    Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms, Berlin Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez, Deutsche Grammophon:



    Mahler: Symphony No. 8 "Symphony Of A Thousand," Chicago Symphony Orch, Georg Solti, Decca (there are MANY different versions of this symphony, but this is one of the best):



    This should keep you busy for a while.

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