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650536 Posts in 25995 Topics by 3711 Members - Latest Member: whiskeyhill September 15, 2019, 05:36:38 AM
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Author Topic: Sweet singing in the choir: a choral miscellany  (Read 693 times)
JK
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« on: April 12, 2019, 04:31:14 AM »

I used to have a topic of this name at my old forum that went AWOL. It served to take the strain off the "classical" thread and it can do the same here. The title comes from a line in the Christmas carol "The Holly And The Ivy".

We recently attended a concert that included these movements from a stunning new Requiem by the Spaniard Bernat Vivancos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM1de-iiEdg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCRJZTuzJ2g

http://www.classical-music.com/review/ives-romanc-ne-ieva-ezeriete-and-latvian-radio-choir-perform-vivancos-requiem
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 01:43:27 PM »

My favourite a capella choral work right now is a toss-up between Herbert Howells' Requiem and this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn5ken3RJBo

"[Morten Lauridson's] O magnum mysterium is pervaded by the same tenderness and refinement found in Lux aeterna; indeed, this refulgent work was written in 1994, just before Lauridsen began to contemplate the composition of the larger score. The composer has disclosed that this motet is an ‘affirmation of God’s grace to the meek—a quiet song of profound inner joy’. With a text from Christmas Matins that has been set by such disparate composers as Victoria and Poulenc, Lauridsen’s O magnum mysterium expresses mystical awe at the mystery of the Incarnation as well as the very human tenderness of the Virgin Mary for her newborn child." [Source]
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JK
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 03:28:24 AM »

This is for Silken, who I know looks in from time to time. It's my favourite version of this beautiful work with its extraordinary history:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piPiVndX7kw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miserere_(Allegri)
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 07:22:04 AM »

I have always been fascinated by architect J.M. Luthmann's concrete "cathedral" at the centre of Radio Kootwijk transmitter park (NL). Yesterday I heard an extraordinary choral work dedicated to the radio-telephonic transmission established between Radio Kootwijk and the Dutch East Indies in 1928. Called Mass Transmission, it was written by the polarizing American composer Mason Bates. It was the swooping electronics imitating the fine-tuning of radio signals that first caught my ear. After that I was riveted. (The full text is reproduced here.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQrsfzGd1Xo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Kootwijk

« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 07:25:32 AM by JK » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 03:01:19 PM »

Youth is one of the most visually beautiful films I've ever seen, with some of the best film music, not least David Lang's hypnotic Just (After Song of Songs):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTGtgvMQFm8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_(2015_film)
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2019, 02:51:25 AM »

I heard this movement from Dutch composer Joep Franssens' Harmony of the Spheres this morning. It suits my contemplative mood right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6PJITm02lM

Joep Franssens' Harmony of the Spheres: a conductor's analysis
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 01:10:46 AM »

I was determined not to like this (I can't stand the choral arrangement of Barber's Adagio for Strings) but I think this vocal version of Mahler's famous "Adagietto" sounds fantastic. Maybe it wouldn't in the hands (or throats) of a lesser choir. See what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA1c9jZmdag

https://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/19/arts/classical-music-a-dirge-no-it-s-a-love-song.html
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 02:23:16 PM »

My chorister friend will be singing this moving choral work (SATB with SATB soloists) by Carl Nielsen with 15 others in an impromptu concert for a fellow chorister who is terminally ill. "Sænk kun dit hoved, du blomst" (with license, "Just bow your head, little flower") is one of several pieces that chorister requested. Truly heartbreaking.         

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A7meWbR9gI
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 06:24:29 AM »

I'm utterly unfamiliar with the music of Bohuslav Martinů, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the mesmerising vocal work I heard this morning was by him. "The Ascension of the Lord" (Nanebevstoupení Páne) comes from Three Sacred Songs (Three Legends), which Martinů wrote in 1952.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt4DM1uNe4M

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohuslav_Martinů
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 03:49:42 AM »

Today's BBC Radio 3's Sunday morning feature "Sounds of the Earth", which broadcasts field recordings of nature around the world, took us to Russia's Lake Taymyr in the Arctic Circle in 1990. The sounds of nature alternate with (usually) three pieces of music, one of which today was this choral gem by Alexander Gretchaninov, "Lord, Now Lettest Thou":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd1LoFiqcIQ   

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Gretchaninov

http://magic-ays.com/Lake/LakeTaymyr.htm
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JK
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 01:54:20 AM »

Regrettably I had to attend a funeral yesterday (someone from our street) and the choir in attendance sang Max Reger's "Der Mensch lebt und bestehet nur eine kleine Zeit", not the easiest of pieces to interpret I'm told although an absolute gem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0aD9pGm1TI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Reger
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 03:16:21 AM »

"My" choir had this big concert last night (and I mean big--it went on for ever). I've already linked some of the pieces they sang but not this breathtakingly beautiful Locus Iste by Paul Mealor, who seems to be something of a superstar among living UK composers (see the wiki page):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0stt4Vm8uO8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Mealor
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2019, 01:16:51 PM »

I heard this today on an early morning programme of religious music. Kreek's Psalms (including this "Onnis on inimene"), which I had the honour of accompanying at choir rehearsals years ago, mean more to me since I visited the Baltic States and experienced the openness (at times, the desolation) of the landscapes there.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGPLLedbSoc

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrillus_Kreek
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