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Author Topic: Sweet singing in the choir: a choral miscellany  (Read 8813 times)
JK
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« Reply #75 on: December 09, 2019, 04:09:30 AM »

That's really lovely. 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.)

I did--and it is. Roll Eyes

The recording was made in 1963 and earned itself a Grand Prix du Disque the following year. All credits can be seen in the opening minutes of the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO2UUxO3RfE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glagolitic_Mass
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"Ik bun moar een eenvoudige boerenlul en doar schoam ik mien niet veur" (Normaal, 1978)
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« Reply #76 on: December 13, 2019, 01:01:47 AM »

I heard this this morning on Dutch classical radio in the recording captured in this "teaser:"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y3cbyv6IzM

(We've attended breath-taking concerts by the Latvian Radio Choir under that same conductor, Kaspars Putniņš.)

The version below is sung by a Russian choir under a Russian conductor, which can't be bad:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPJ3wxBxjAo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-Night_Vigil_(Rachmaninoff)

This is for JH, who I hope is doing okay.
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« Reply #77 on: December 17, 2019, 02:18:27 PM »

Reading my brilliant book on Buxtehude I noticed that Schlagt, Künstler, die Pauken und Saiten (BuxWV 122), a cantata for the wedding of one Joachim von Dalen (Lübeck, 1681), is the only extant work of his that calls for two timpani:
   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbRzD49WkfA
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« Reply #78 on: December 19, 2019, 03:58:58 PM »

Still reeling from a performance of the first three days from Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium. We were treated to tickets a little late, so we were sitting near the back. However, the view was fantastic (the seating rises sharply at that point) and the sound was perfect. Call it a blessing in disguise. That view enabled me to check out the instruments on stage. The string section was comprised of 18 violins, 6 violas, 4 cellos and 3 doubles basses. Then you had two transverse flutes, two oboes (or were they oboes d'amore, or did the players switch from one to the other?) and a bassoon, supplemented in part two by the two oboes da caccia). The continuo consisted of a small organ, a theorbo--always a spectacular sight (and sound)--and one of the cellos. The choir (which included "my" soprano) was large (maybe 200 singers?) but every entry sounded stunning in the concert hall setting. Oh, and not to forget the four very convincing soloists.     

The first two "days" made for a glorious contrast between the ebullient part one (with three trumpets and timpani) and the pastoral part two (when that quartet left the stage to be replaced by two oboes de caccia). Part three, which came after the intermission, seemed a little lost by itself but the violin solo went a long way towards making up for that.

It's the fifth time I've heard the work during the past seven years but it was as if I was hearing it for the first time! Put it down to my recent conversion to Bach (and the Baroque in general). Now I have a whole new world to discover. There is only one person to thank for that. Smiley

This video is from the performance we heard in Leipzig but never saw, as the performers were behind us on a balcony! So I'm seeing it now for the first time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf-pBaQw7QQ

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Oratorio
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« Reply #79 on: December 20, 2019, 02:11:17 AM »

The choir (which included "my" soprano) was large (maybe 200 singers?) but every entry sounded stunning in the concert hall setting. Oh, and not to forget the four very convincing soloists. 

It's the fifth time I've heard the work during the past seven years but it was as if I was hearing it for the first time! Put it down to my recent conversion to Bach (and the Baroque in general). Now I have a whole new world to discover. There is only one person to thank for that. Smiley

This video is from the performance we heard in Leipzig but never saw, as the performers were behind us on a balcony! So I'm seeing it now for the first time:

Couple of errata to the above:

While I was counting the players, the other member of the "we" estimated the number of choristers at 130, not 200!

And that performance in the video was from the year before we were there. But the set-up was the same. It was fascinating to hear it in the Thomaskirche, where Bach didn't play the organ, as I once thought, but presided as Cantor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Thomas_Church,_Leipzig
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« Reply #80 on: December 25, 2019, 03:23:34 PM »

One thing I've learned about playing CDs when we have the family to Christmas dinner is not to play CDs! It's never appreciated and unless you play dynamix-free musical wallpaper it's much more likely to irritate than titillate. Grin

I made up for it later during a mammoth washing-up session by playing (and marvelling at) the first 14 numbers from Handel's The Messiah. My, times have changed! Roll Eyes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrWWi3fTkdI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_(Handel)
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« Reply #81 on: January 06, 2020, 12:50:26 AM »

Here's a conundrum, one that has at least two people scratching their heads. This version of Buxtehude's "Wie wird erneuet, wie wird erfreuet" (BuxWV 110) features a none too Baroque-sounding tinkly instrument, something like a celesta or keyed glockenspiel. To my great delight I eventually discovered this excerpt on the net where you can hear it (scroll down to disc 2, #6):

https://www.amazon.de/Kantaten-Ton-Koopman/dp/B00PFAX6LU

Here is a more Baroque-sounding version (one tone higher!) under the same conductor (the Amazon snippet contains the opening bars):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElTg5EjrwCM

To be continued, I'm sure. Wink
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"Ik bun moar een eenvoudige boerenlul en doar schoam ik mien niet veur" (Normaal, 1978)
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« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2020, 01:26:23 PM »

It's hard to believe a tormented soul like Philip Heseltine (or rather his alter ego composer Peter Warlock) could pen anything as spiritually pure as "Bethlehem Down":   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKtTFIkP9ck

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Warlock
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« Reply #83 on: January 19, 2020, 03:23:15 AM »

It's always a joy to come across a composer for the first time. Julian Wachner is one such find. This is "Surge, illuminare", the third of his Three Songs of Isaiah (1998):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5F2qqLaikU

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Wachner
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« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2020, 01:28:56 AM »

I've always had this thing about William Byrd, even in my most fervent anti-older music days. This is his Mass for Four Voices, which I dedicate to JH, who has done so much to keep this topic afloat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXeT2HWpwc4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_for_Four_Voices
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« Reply #85 on: February 09, 2020, 06:23:04 AM »

I met Herbert Howells once, when applying for a place at the Royal College of Music in London (in vain--I was pushed into it anyway). The meeting did not go well. I was a bit of an arsehole in those days and when asked my opinion of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven I told him I didn't like them!

Decades later I fell in love with Howells's own music. Life can be incorrigibly strange at times. This is his Te Deum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dv4j1FT3Do

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collegium_Regale_(Howells)
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« Reply #86 on: February 12, 2020, 01:10:05 PM »

Max Reger's music is often regarded as dry and academic. There's certainly nothing of the circus about it.

But surely no one can be failed to be moved by his Requiem, written in 1915, a year before his death. The recording linked here, which I heard on Dutch radio late this afternoon, was released mere days ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP2yRZVuxgs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_(Reger)
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« Reply #87 on: February 13, 2020, 02:16:01 PM »

Claude Le Jeune is a fascinating figure. Messiaen thought so too. "Printemps" is perhaps his best-known work.

We've attended concerts by the a cappella Huelgas Ensemble under Paul Van Nevel and they were sublime!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkYSKuifKg0

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Le_Jeune
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« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2020, 08:22:04 AM »

I heard this astonishing choral work yesterday and could hardly believe my ears. Written by the young Latvian composer Jēkabs Jančevskis, Atsalums is sung here by the Mixed Choir of RDKS (from Latvia), conducted by Jurģis Cābulis:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2YQG42JJPk
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« Reply #89 on: March 16, 2020, 04:26:02 AM »

Keeping a promise I made yesterday, here is Béla Bartók's magnum opus in the choral and orchestral department.

Cantata Profana (1930), subtitled "The Nine Enchanted Stags", is sung here in Hungarian (see the wiki page):

I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux4OGCPpemM

II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go1BvDBcedM

III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJOG8C9NXB0

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

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« Reply #90 on: March 30, 2020, 02:46:39 PM »

I heard this spellbinding work by Eric Whitacre on the radio at the weekend. "Hope, Faith, Life, Love" rings very very true right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cJNoqNOwc4

https://ericwhitacre.com/music-catalog/three-songs-of-faith
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You're Grass and I'm a Power Mower: A Beach Boys Orchestration Web Series
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« Reply #91 on: April 05, 2020, 02:45:21 AM »

This is for Joshilyn H, she of "Power Mower" fame, firstly to celebrate the fact that the number of subscribers to her YouTube channel is fast approaching three figures.

Secondly, it's the next thank-you in an ever-longer line of thank-you's for helping me make this man's acquaintance. It's no exaggeration to say that Herr Buxtehude's music has changed my outlook on life. This is his Membra Jesu Nostri (BuxWV 75), performed by The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists under John Eliot Gardiner:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1VYgi8Fxu8&list=OLAK5uy_mfK3mPfRjlBDwpeNXfnMfhumSPyWrQ-qA&index=2

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

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« Reply #92 on: April 20, 2020, 03:04:42 AM »

Gustav Holst's third group of choral hymns from the Rig Veda, for the ethereal combination of female choir and harp, belongs among his most intimate works. This is the opening hymn, "To the Dawn", which I heard on BBC radio this morning in this version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgJ_c0qk6Jk



https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/holst-choral-hymns-from-the-rig-veda
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"Ik bun moar een eenvoudige boerenlul en doar schoam ik mien niet veur" (Normaal, 1978)
You're Grass and I'm a Power Mower: A Beach Boys Orchestration Web Series
the Carbon Freeze: Eclectic Essays & Art
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