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Author Topic: Sweet singing in the choir: a choral miscellany  (Read 2720 times)
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« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2019, 04:03:19 AM »

Both Holst and Elgar have been growing on me, especially as I get a better sense of their place as English composers, and their importance to that most hallowed of countries.  We had lots of nice Elgar organ music today, but nothing choral (Today)

England has a lot going for it, to be sure, but I wouldn't want to live there again--just a holiday from time to time (my wife's a massive Anglophile). I must admit I'm not familiar with E's works for organ. Thanks for the tip. Maybe next up after my current CD of Dieterich B's harpsichord music. Wink

On the subject of English choral music, perhaps you should check out Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony. This is the magical second movement, "On the Beach at Night, Alone". It always makes me think of Brian and "Till I Die":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb5FffH6R54

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sea_Symphony
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« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2019, 04:39:42 AM »

My introduction to Purcell was through Britten's variations on the theme from Abdelazer (as I'm sure it was for many others.) . I like Purcell, but he has not grasped me in the loving bonds of enrapturement like some of his contemporaries.

That said, I love this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rWVaFO01No

Thou Tun'st This World, with Susan Hamilton's staggeringly pure vocal.  Frankly, I'd kill a man to have that voice.

That was my entry into his music as well, followed by the Queen Mary funeral music (possibly prompted by A Clockwork Orange) and the sublime "When I Am Laid in Earth".

I see (or rather hear) what you mean about Ms. Hamilton's voice!
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« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2019, 02:12:11 AM »

This is going back a bit. Guillaume de Machaut's Messe de Notre Dame dates from the 14th century. I love its uncompromising harmonies, if you can call them that. We attended a concert by the Huelgas Ensemble under Paul Van Nevel a while back at our local cathedral (in music by Victoria)--hence my choice of this version of the "Kyrie" and "Gloria":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr1lt7zZL6o

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messe_de_Nostre_Dame
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« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2019, 02:15:03 AM »

We had lots of nice Elgar organ music today, but nothing choral (Today)

I can imagine it sounded wonderful. (I have this playlist blasting out as I peck away.) We visited Worcester Cathedral some years ago and even did an Elgar Walk while we were in that city.   

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ncKcDgOro9vkhtIalAg87nXO_txQ7ndNQ

http://www.elgar.org/3organ.htm
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« Reply #54 on: November 18, 2019, 03:28:34 AM »

Gabriel Jackson was a new name to me when I heard his beguiling "I Gaze Upon You" yesterday on the radio.  Seems he's a fan of soul and rhythm & blues--now that's something a "serious" composer would have admitted to at their peril not so long ago. Grin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgLAripO1u8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Jackson_(composer)
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« Reply #55 on: November 18, 2019, 07:56:33 PM »

This is going back a bit. Guillaume de Machaut's Messe de Notre Dame dates from the 14th century. I love its uncompromising harmonies, if you can call them that. We attended a concert by the Huelgas Ensemble under Paul Van Nevel a while back at our local cathedral (in music by Victoria)--hence my choice of this version of the "Kyrie" and "Gloria":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr1lt7zZL6o

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

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

I think you can call them harmonies!  There is something about that style that can indeed feel very uncompromising, and it can be very rewarding to sing.
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« Reply #56 on: November 18, 2019, 07:59:39 PM »

Gabriel Jackson was a new name to me when I heard his beguiling "I Gaze Upon You" yesterday on the radio.  Seems he's a fan of soul and rhythm & blues--now that's something a "serious" composer would have admitted to at their peril not so long ago. Grin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgLAripO1u8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Jackson_(composer)

I think that I've sung a choral work of his, though I can't remember what it was.  I am sort of skeptical of composers who claim to be influenced by things far afield of the traditional understanding of classical music--not because I don't think there's a place for it, but mostly because they end up doing a sort of lifeless, sterile disservice to it.  Not saying this is the case for Jackson, though--I just don't know!
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« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2019, 08:02:32 PM »

We had lots of nice Elgar organ music today, but nothing choral (Today)

I can imagine it sounded wonderful. (I have this playlist blasting out as I peck away.) We visited Worcester Cathedral some years ago and even did an Elgar Walk while we were in that city.   

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ncKcDgOro9vkhtIalAg87nXO_txQ7ndNQ

http://www.elgar.org/3organ.htm

There's an Elgar walk!?  Sounds like a fun time.  I have planned for myself a trip to England where I attempt to visit every CoE Cathedral (and some Roman ones, too.)   There's always some little bit of music history waiting to be discovered at them.
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« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2019, 01:37:41 AM »

This is going back a bit. Guillaume de Machaut's Messe de Notre Dame dates from the 14th century. I love its uncompromising harmonies, if you can call them that. We attended a concert by the Huelgas Ensemble under Paul Van Nevel a while back at our local cathedral (in music by Victoria)--hence my choice of this version of the "Kyrie" and "Gloria":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr1lt7zZL6o

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messe_de_Nostre_Dame
I think you can call them harmonies!
 
Haha. I was covering up for the fact that maybe the concept of harmony only came later. And this was polyphony or even a very advanced form of plainsong. I find music theory fascinating but it's not my strong point! Grin

Quote
There is something about that style that can indeed feel very uncompromising, and it can be very rewarding to sing.

Ah, so you've sung music of this era. I was wondering where it stood in relation to music performed in church. But perhaps you sang it elsewhere.
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« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2019, 02:18:18 AM »

We had lots of nice Elgar organ music today, but nothing choral (Today)

I can imagine it sounded wonderful. (I have this playlist blasting out as I peck away.) We visited Worcester Cathedral some years ago and even did an Elgar Walk while we were in that city.   

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ncKcDgOro9vkhtIalAg87nXO_txQ7ndNQ

http://www.elgar.org/3organ.htm

There's an Elgar walk!?  Sounds like a fun time. 

In many ways it was a symbolic walk. Many of the original buildings were gone. But at least we visited the cathedral and trod where the great man trod.

Quote
I have planned for myself a trip to England where I attempt to visit every CoE Cathedral (and some Roman ones, too.)   There's always some little bit of music history waiting to be discovered at them.

That should keep you busy! I was lucky enough to spend much of my youth in the vicinity of St. Albans, where The Zombies come from (the band, that is). Plenty of history around there, much of it Roman.
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« Reply #60 on: November 19, 2019, 02:23:24 AM »

Gabriel Jackson was a new name to me when I heard his beguiling "I Gaze Upon You" yesterday on the radio.  Seems he's a fan of soul and rhythm & blues--now that's something a "serious" composer would have admitted to at their peril not so long ago. Grin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgLAripO1u8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Jackson_(composer)

I think that I've sung a choral work of his, though I can't remember what it was.  I am sort of skeptical of composers who claim to be influenced by things far afield of the traditional understanding of classical music--not because I don't think there's a place for it, but mostly because they end up doing a sort of lifeless, sterile disservice to it.  Not saying this is the case for Jackson, though--I just don't know!

I'd say the influence is quite subtle in his case. I agree--this is by no means always so. Perhaps it's a question of sincerity.
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« Reply #61 on: November 27, 2019, 01:53:13 AM »

Leonard Bernstein has been in my sights ever since 1966 when I bought an album of Ives's music conducted by him that included The Unanswered Question. Much later my son gave me a CD of LB conducting a live version of Franck's Symphony in D Minor and that clinched it for me. (It was years before I found out about his Brian connection.)

One of the ladies who accompanied us to St. Petersburg last month sings in a choir whose most recent concert included a performance of Mr. Bernstein's moving and at times thrilling Chichester Psalms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8gKSqVAXrg

https://leonardbernstein.com/works/view/14/chichester-psalms
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« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2019, 05:11:53 AM »

Taking its cue from the "classical" topic, here's a fine version of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody sung by a great favourite of ours, Kathleen Ferrier. (I remember hearing Ms. Ferrier singing "Blow The Wind Southerly" on the radio as a young child and being told that she had just died, which flummoxed me somewhat at the time.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7S162WFNI8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alto_Rhapsody
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« Reply #63 on: November 30, 2019, 04:18:56 AM »

Back to Buxtehude...

I'm now making my way through a second volume of his vocal music. It's full of remarkable ideas, such as the striking "clarion calls" in Ich suchte des Nachts in meinem Bette (first heard here just after 9:05). It's almost as though Bach was a step backwards in comparison! (I shall no doubt be ticked off for saying that. LOL)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4ZY-wGrYYI

Oooff! Looking at the list of CDs in the wiki link, I see I still have a pleasantly long way to go! If anyone were to offer to buy me just one boxset, they might regret it because I'd choose this one, all 30 CDs of it. Grin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieterich_Buxtehude_–_Opera_Omnia
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« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2019, 07:14:27 AM »

Taking its cue from the "classical" topic, here's a fine version of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody sung by a great favourite of ours, Kathleen Ferrier. (I remember hearing Ms. Ferrier singing "Blow The Wind Southerly" on the radio as a young child and being told that she had just died, which flummoxed me somewhat at the time.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7S162WFNI8

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

I admit I'm not familiar with this but I will become so shortly.
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« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2019, 07:16:13 AM »

Back to Buxtehude...

I'm now making my way through a second volume of his vocal music. It's full of remarkable ideas, such as the striking "clarion calls" in Ich suchte des Nachts in meinem Bette (first heard here just after 9:05). It's almost as though Bach was a step backwards in comparison! (I shall no doubt be ticked off for saying that. LOL)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4ZY-wGrYYI

Oooff! Looking at the list of CDs in the wiki link, I see I still have a pleasantly long way to go! If anyone were to offer to buy me just one boxset, they might regret it because I'd choose this one, all 30 CDs of it. Grin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieterich_Buxtehude_–_Opera_Omnia

So pleased you're continuing to enjoy Dieterich.  I think you are actually right, in some ways, that Buxte was a more progressive mind than Bach, compositionally.
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« Reply #66 on: November 30, 2019, 10:14:26 AM »

Back to Buxtehude...

I'm now making my way through a second volume of his vocal music. It's full of remarkable ideas, such as the striking "clarion calls" in Ich suchte des Nachts in meinem Bette (first heard here just after 9:05). It's almost as though Bach was a step backwards in comparison! (I shall no doubt be ticked off for saying that. LOL)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4ZY-wGrYYI

Oooff! Looking at the list of CDs in the wiki link, I see I still have a pleasantly long way to go! If anyone were to offer to buy me just one boxset, they might regret it because I'd choose this one, all 30 CDs of it. Grin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieterich_Buxtehude_–_Opera_Omnia

So pleased you're continuing to enjoy Dieterich.  I think you are actually right, in some ways, that Buxte was a more progressive mind than Bach, compositionally.

The pleasure's all mine!

We're celebrating the eve of Sinterklaas on Thursday. Although it's a kids' (in our case grandkids') thing, we've been asked what we'd like as a token present. That was easy--I just said any CD of music by Buxtehude--anything! 
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« Reply #67 on: December 03, 2019, 05:13:39 AM »

A short while back, we attended a concert of Finnish choral music by the YL Male Choir. Their stunning performance included the first three parts of Runo, written in 2015 by Juuso Vanonen (1980). And I thought Dutch was a difficult language!

1. "Vaka vanha Väinämöinen"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEhismMTF5I

2. "Kosken tyttö, kuohuneiti"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkdWUJau3Ek

3. "Kivet keskellä jokea"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqNSwzWBarQ

https://yl.fi/eng
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« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2019, 01:15:08 PM »

A short while back, we attended a concert of Finnish choral music by the YL Male Choir. Their stunning performance included the first three parts of Runo, written in 2015 by Juuso Vanonen (1980). And I thought Dutch was a difficult language!

1. "Vaka vanha Väinämöinen"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEhismMTF5I

2. "Kosken tyttö, kuohuneiti"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkdWUJau3Ek

3. "Kivet keskellä jokea"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqNSwzWBarQ

https://yl.fi/eng

Finnish is agglutinative, like Hungarian and thus, difficult for those of us who tend to mark stuff with inflection rather than agglutination!

Interesting music!
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« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2019, 02:10:19 PM »

We're celebrating the eve of Sinterklaas on Thursday. Although it's a kids' (in our case grandkids') thing, we've been asked what we'd like as a token present. That was easy--I just said any CD of music by Buxtehude--anything! 

And this is what I got:



Your favourite's in there and at least one other you've recommended to me. Best Sinterklaas present ever. Smiley

As for your enlightening "agglutinative" comment, I now plan to investigate stuff by Bartók and Kodaly sung in their native Hungarian. Wink
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« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2019, 03:10:54 PM »

Hooray!
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« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2019, 04:14:25 AM »

Hooray!

I had to chuckle when I saw this, but thanks! Smiley I still have to play it but it looks promising. Grin

This gorgeous evening song ("Esti dal") would seem to be the only choral piece by Kodaly on YouTube that includes its Hungarian lyrics onscreen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfdtCYUZpX4
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« Reply #72 on: December 06, 2019, 07:51:58 AM »

That was beautiful. I just finished listening to Kodály's Budavári Te Deum online, a favorite that I sang in a choral group long ago.

In the folk group I was in we had to sing in many languages, mostly Eastern European (because they were the most interesting music wise ).  Bulgarian and Russian lyrics were easy to memorize . On the other end , I found Romanian rather difficult, and yes, the hardest by far was Hungarian.
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« Reply #73 on: December 06, 2019, 10:04:08 AM »

That was beautiful. I just finished listening to Kodály's Budavári Te Deum online, a favorite that I sang in a choral group long ago.

In the folk group I was in we had to sing in many languages, mostly Eastern European (because they were the most interesting music wise ).  Bulgarian and Russian lyrics were easy to memorize . On the other end , I found Romanian rather difficult, and yes, the hardest by far was Hungarian.
Hello E. Good to see you around again. aeijtzsche and I have been holding the fort. Smiley

Did you see the two previous posts about Finnish as a language for vocal music? I shall give the Kodály (thanks for the tip--and the accent!) a listen right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx5qRvHhP7I

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_Deum_(Kodály)
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« Reply #74 on: December 06, 2019, 10:55:05 AM »

I shall give the Kodály (thanks for the tip--and the accent!) a listen right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx5qRvHhP7I

That's really lovely. I only know Kodály from his Háry János suite and the occasional earful of the Dances of Galánta. It reminded me at odd moments of Janáček's stirring Glagolitic Mass, which I have on an old Supraphon LP. (I'll find out who performed it and post it, if it's on YouTube.) Janáček to my mind is one of the great originals of 20th-century non-atonal "classical' music. To quote Prokofiev, "There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major"!
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