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What are the best choral works to listen to?

Discussion in 'music' started by madscientist, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. madscientist

    madscientist pfm Member

    Having been seduced by some of the choral passages that Steven Wilson and Talk Talk amongst others have employed on some of their work to great effect (IMHO) can anyone recommend some choral pieces that may be worth investigating?
  2. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    I think Mozart's Requiem might be near the top of the list.
  3. herb

    herb music live

    Verdi's Requiem is pretty good too
  4. robs

    robs pfm Member

  5. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Live ones :)
  6. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    KrisW likes this.
  7. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    If you're coming from rock (apologies if I've got the wrong end of the stick, you could be a massive jazz scholar!), then both Mahler's 2nd and 8th, have a wide variety of solo through to massed choir with orchestra.
    Everyone NEEDS to have a copy of Beethoven's 9th.

    These are generally large scale pieces, moving down in scale, Bach wrote 200 odd cantantas; I haven't yet heard one I don't like and I'm a Stooges fan.

    Moving down in scale again, to much simpler arrangements and more sparse instrumental accompaniment, you could try some Hildegard of Bingen, lots of recordings out there but I'm very fond of the Emma Kirkby/Christopher Page, "A feather on the breath of God".
  8. madscientist

    madscientist pfm Member

    Thanks guys, i really like Lux Aeterna out of those recommendations
  9. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

  10. springer

    springer pfm Member

  11. Bill Colledge

    Bill Colledge pfm Member

    Stravinsky. Symphony of Psalms.

    The version conducted by Stravinsky is the best IMO.

  12. Ponty

    Ponty pfm Member

    So much to choose from. Brahms requiem would be fairly high up on my list.
  13. Fulci

    Fulci pfm Member

    clifftaylor likes this.
  14. MotelBlues

    MotelBlues pfm Member

    Since nobody’s mentioned it, Faure’s “Requiem”; a bit “Spirit Of Eden”-ish in places, now I come to think of it.
    KrisW likes this.
  15. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    You've probably heard the György Ligeti "Lux Aeterna" before - it's one of the composer's three pieces to be featured in the film 2001: A Space Oddysey. Being Kubrick, however, he didn't bother to ask for permission from the composer, who was slightly annoyed at not being asked first and having his music jumbled up with Strauss and other composers, and very annoyed to discover that Kubrick had electronically processed one of the three recordings to alter its sound.

    That Ligeti is part of his Requiem mass, and those are usually a good place to start for choral music. Mozart, Vivaldi and Fauré are all fantastic pieces of music... actually, any Requiem by a good composer is worth a listen - doing a Requiem mass was seen as the pinnacle of a choral composer's career.

    That's part of the problem with choral music - because there's so many settings of the same text, the titles aren't that helpful: there's probably over a hundred settings of the Magnificat text, so you need to know the composers too (and some have done it more than once).


    Antonio Vivaldi - "Et Misericordia eius" from Magnificat (actually, the whole Magnificat is only 15 minutes). Also, his "Gloria" (a standalone piece) is good.

    Richard Wagner - "Beglückt darf nun ..." (the Pilgrims' chorus) from Tannhäuser (the standalone arrangement, rather than the one from the opera; Wagner kind of buries this, the best tune of the whole opera, in the background in the original opera).

    For more modern composers, try Arvo Pärt (Magnificat), Eric Whitacre (Lux Arumque), Ola Gjielo (Spheres, or Northern Lights)
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019

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