Choral music, anybody?

Kevin KW Cheng
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Choral music, anybody?

Post by Kevin KW Cheng » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:23 am

Recently I've been involved a lot in choral music, including singing in and conducting choirs. Yet when looking at my CD collection I found that there is almost no good choral recordings at all. Could anybody suggest good recordings / choirs / works which I should try to get?

And maybe we could put down a few of our favourite choral music? may be interesting :wink:

For me:

Mozart -- Ave verum corpus
Faure -- Cantique de Jean Racine

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Post by val » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:30 am

Mentioning only choral works, excluding those with soloists - the case of Bach Cantatas, Passions, Mass in B minor - here are a few examples of works I deeply love:

Dufay: Missa Ecce ancilla Domini / Missa Se la face ay pale / Motets Nuper rosarum flores, O gemma lux, Salve flos tusce

Palestrina: Missa Assumpta est Maria / Missa Viri Galilei

Lassus: Stabat Mater / Penitential Psalms

Janequin: Chansons polyphoniques

Gesualdo: Tenebrae (Responsoria Feria V, Feria VI, Sabbato Sancto)

JS Bach: Motets

Mozart: Ave Verum corpus

Brahms: Schicksalslied

Stravinsky: Mass

Schönberg: Friede auf Erden, Moderner Psalm

Webern: Das Augenlicht

Messiaen: Cinq Rechants

Xenakis: Nuits

Ligeti: Lux aeterna

Jack Kelso
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:38 am

These may be a little harder to find than the more popular choral works, but they are totally inspired and great masterpieces:

HANDEL: "Belshazzar"; "Samson"; "Saul" (any other oratorios of his are also superb.)

SCHUMANN: "Das Paradies und die Peri"; "Der Rose Pilgerfahrt"; Scenes from Goethe's "Faust" for Soli, Chorus and Orchestra

SCHUBERT: Mass No. 6 in E-Flat, for Soli Chorus and Orchestra

HONEGGER: "King David" oratorio

BERLIOZ: "L'Enfance du Christ" oratorio; Requiem, opus 6


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Post by miranda » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:58 am

Being still new to the vast world of classical music, I tend to recommend specific albums as well as specific composers....

Tallis Scholars--Requiem
Tallis Scholars--Talllis Scholars sing Palestrina
Tallis Scholars--Tallis Scholars sing Thomas Tallis

Guillaume De Machaut--Complete Motets, Performed by the Ensemble Musica Nova, on the Harmonia Mundi Label

The A-La-Mi-Re Manuscripts: Flemish Polyphonic Treasures for Charles V, on the Naxos label

Love's Illlusion--Anonymous 4

Canticles of Ecstasy--Hildegard of Bingen, performed by Sequentia
Voice of the Blood--Hildegard of Bingen, performed bt Sequentia

Medieval Gardens--performed by the Orlando Consort , on the Harmonia Mundi label

Arvo Part--Litany, on the ECM label

Any of the three recordings of Trio Mediaeval, on the ECM label

and I'd second the vote for Gyorgy Ligeti's Lux Aeterna.

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Post by DavidRoss » Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:38 am

Some recent works by contemporary composers:

Pärt -- Kanon Pokajanen
Whitacre -- Cloudburst and other works (on hyperion--Layton & Polyphony)
Adams -- El Niño
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Post by MahlerSnob » Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:13 am

There are many great works for chorus. Some that I haven't seen yet:
Barber - Reincarnations
Poulenc - Motets for Christmas, Lent; Mass in G
Durufle - Ubi Caritas and the other pieces that come in that set
Messiaen - O Sacrum Convivium
Ravel - Trois Chansons
Debussy - the three pieces that, I think, are also titled "Trois Chansons"
Schumann - Vier Doppelchor Gesange
Bolcom - The Mask

and some other great oratorios/symphonys:
Schoenberg - Gurrelieder
Stravinsky - Oedipus Rex (men's choir)
Vaughan-Williams - Symphony #1
Mahler- Symphony #8 (and 2)
Beethoven - Mass in C
Brahms - Nanie, Alto Rhapsody, Schicksalslied

As for ensembles to look for, I recommend these:
Chanticleer, The Sixteen, Robert Shaw Chorale/Robert Shaw Festival Singers, Tallis Scholars, King's Singers, Anonymous 4
-Nathan Lofton
Boston, MA

WWBD - What Would Bach Do?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:46 pm

Faure Requiem
Mozart Coronation Mass/Ave Verum Corpus
Monteverdi Vespers of 1610
Gregorian chant
Byrd Masses for 3 and 4 voices
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Voices! Real voices.

Post by PJME » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:28 pm

Hello Kevin, you have already an impressive list of works and composers .
I want to add Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly
He wrote really beautiful works for chorus . You can find a lot on the Hungaroton label in authentic performances.
I'm also happy with a well produced Glossa disc (a Spanish label)on which the Flemish Radio choir sings a good selection of Kodaly's major works.
Zoltán Kodály
GCD P32202
Glossa offers many other very refined and superbly produced discs with interesting repertoire:from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to Marc Antoine Charpentier and Henry Desmarets
On the Alpha label, you can find several CD's by Le poème harmonique, conducted by Vincent Dumestre. This group offers also unusual repertoire in highly personal & vital performances -from old folksongs to intricate motets.
in Belgium, Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale Ghent : Bach cantatas,works by Jean Gilles, Lassus, Gesualdo - Berlioz, Beethoven and Mendelssohn ( a superb disc with psalm settings, on Harmonia Mundi) ... n=&format=
There are many more very good choruses that deserve your attention : from Finland and Estonia ( conductor Tonu Kaljuste ), to the Netherlands (the Dutch chamberchoir is excellent) , the Swedish Radiochoir (any performance with Eric Ericson is worth listening to!) the French Accentus under Laurence Equilbey....etc.

Kevin KW Cheng
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Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:04 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Post by Kevin KW Cheng » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:56 pm

wow!!! thanks everyone. It seems that in all the choral stuff mentioned I only have heard of around a tenth... :oops: really have to catch up with them.

And by the way PJME, Kodaly's music is lovely... I used to hate them when I was singing in a children's choir when I was young because I basically didn't understand his music back then. But now looking back at his music... I just love it. :D


Post by Brendan » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:31 pm

I didn't see these listed so far, but enjoy them:

Mozart - Great Mass in C - Ferenc Fricsay
Verdi - Requiem - Ferenc Fricsay
Bruckner - Masses - Eugene Jochum
Burckner - Te Deum, Motets - Eugene Jochum
Brahms - German Requiem - Otto Klemperer
Haydn - Masses and Oratorios, too many to list recs

Carols - Choir of King's College Cambridge

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Post by PJME » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:04 pm

how could I forget:

Gregorio Allegri's Miserere - which deserves its fame!

Thomas Tallis: Spem in alium ( 40 voices - it makes the head spin)

G.F.Händel : Acis and Galatea - a lovely pastoral "masque" (1716)

And for something completely different :
Roy Harris' fourth symphony "on American folksongs"( now on Naxos)
Wilhelm Stenhammar's mighty "Sangen" (The song)
Bela Bartok's Cantata profana
Bohuslav Martinu's epic & patriotic "Czech rhapsody" from 1918- ca 40 minutes of grand & wildly romantic singing !


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