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I prefer female vocals to male in classical music. Especially when there are multiple women singing harmonies, I just really like the sound a lot of the time. So I'm looking for recommendations of pieces of any kind, songs, choral works, operas, literally anything that has mostly female vocals. I don't dislike male vocals, so an opera or other piece that has some male parts is FINE. I'm just looking for stuff with a large portion of female vocals. It's probably near impossible to find an opera without some male vocals after all.

Anyway. I'd love some suggestions!
 

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I prefer female vocals to male in classical music. Especially when there are multiple women singing harmonies, I just really like the sound a lot of the time. So I'm looking for recommendations of pieces of any kind, songs, choral works, operas, literally anything that has mostly female vocals. I don't dislike male vocals, so an opera or other piece that has some male parts is FINE. I'm just looking for stuff with a large portion of female vocals. It's probably near impossible to find an opera without some male vocals after all.

Anyway. I'd love some suggestions!
Operas:
Puccini: Suor Angelica
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (some men, but the best parts are women only)
Poulenc: Dialogues of the Carmelites (a couple of male roles, but mostly women).

Other music:
Britten: Ceremony of Carols
Faure: Messe basse

There are lots of Lieder recordings sung by women, so I won't list those. The Handel operas are often cast primarily with female voices, since many roles were originally sung by castrati. And don't neglect Bach, Mozart and Haydn choral works - they usually feature some beautiful soprano solos.
 

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Missa sancti Nicolai Tolentini, MH109
Missa sancti Aloysii, MH257
Vesperae in F, MH294
Anima nostra, MH452
Vesperae in F, MH548
Deutsches Hochamt, MH602
Missa sancti Leopoldi, MH837
(The boy choir can be substituted by females)

 

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Off the top of my head, here are some choral works:

Casals: ***** Sum (love it!)
Holst: Two Eastern Pictures & Hymn to Dionysus
Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs of the Four Seasons
Poulenc: Litanies à la Vierge Noire
Stravinsky: Cantata (w/ tenor soloist)
Endless part-songs from Brahms and Schumann, et al.

Female Chorus used, but not necessarily the focus:
Liszt: Dante Symphony
Holst: The Planets
Debussy: Nocturnes
Schmitt: La tragédie de Salomé
 

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As it is Lent season: Stabat mater settings by Alessandro Scarlatti and Pergolesi (Soprano/Alto), Lecons de tenebres by Couperin (alto).

Most operas from the age of castrati (mid 17th- late 18th century, up to Mozart's Clemenza di Tito and even some of Rossini's) are dominated by high voices. Typically, there were two main rôles for castrati (usually alto/mezzo) and two main females. In addition often one bass and/or tenor (villain or elderly man) and another minor role or two for high voices.
E.g. Handels Julius Caesar:

Giulio Cesare – Francesco Bernardi „Senesino“ (Mezzosoprano) castrato, primo uomo
Cleopatra – Francesca Cuzzoni (Soprano) prima donna
Cornelia – Anastasia Robinson (Alto) seconda donna
Sesto – Margherita Durastanti (Soprano) (a boy rôle sung by a woman)
Tolomeo – Gaetano Berenstadt (Alto) castrato, secondo uomo
Achilla – Giuseppe Maria Boschi (Bass)
Nireno – Giuseppe Bigonzi (Alto) another castrato
Curio – John Lagarde (Bass)
the last two are minor rôles.
So you get 6 high voices out of 8 singers and one Achilla is a major character.

Of course, nowadays the castrato rôles are often sung by males and these voices are not liked by everyone. But one can probably find a few recordings with mostly females. E.g. Handel's Orlando and Alcina with Christie conducting have females for all the main castrato parts, same for the Alcina with Hickox (Auger in the title).

If full scale opera seria seems a bit long there are hundreds of shorter pieces (cantatas, serenatas etc.) in the baroque opera style by Handel, Scarlatti, Caldara, Bononcini etc. often for one or two soprano/alto singers. But of course one has to like that style.
 

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Nice! CnC Bartok, in mentioning Bartok's Children's/Women's Choruses. .... Also, wkasimer (Bill K) is very-right, in mentioning that singular opera of Puccini's - Suor Angelica. I have a recording with Katia Ricciarelli, and it's exceptional.
 

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Nice! CnC Bartok, in mentioning Bartok's Children's/Women's Choruses. .... Also, wkasimer (Bill K) is very-right, in mentioning that singular opera of Puccini's - Suor Angelica. I have a recording with Katia Ricciarelli, and it's exceptional.
I don't think I listen to all 27 in one go very often, but the Bartok Choruses are really lovely works. Kodaly did a lot of similar stuff too, but I don't know that at all well.

Bartók's Village Scenes is another gem, a sort of Slovak/Hungarian Les Noces*, and the Lullaby in the middle is a truly beautiful piece.

*I think the original folksongs are from the Banská Bystrica area in modern-day Slovakia.....?
 

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Luzzasco Luzzaschi (1545-1607) wrote some famous madrigals for the concerto di donne or the "singing ladies of Ferrara," a trio known for their virtuosic singing and beautiful voices. Luzzaschi accompanied the ladies on the keyboard in some of the most virtuosic and difficult music of the late sixteenth century.

 
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