Author Topic: My "all time" favorite Choir works  (Read 868 times)

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Offline cc-30-12-33

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My "all time" favorite Choir works
« on: July 14, 2020, 03:22:45 PM »
Feel free to move this to a more appropriate sub-forum if need be.

As I stated in my "introduce yourself" post, I got an early start in classical from both a favorite uncle who played a lot of classical music on his Hi-Fi (he was one of the few on our block that went "stereo" when it first came out). I can't really offer my favorite "instrumental" classical work as there are several. If I had to make a choice now, I'd have to go with "Beethoven's 5th" (followed closely by the 9th), but there are so many others.  I have been currently listening to several different covers of the Camille Saint-Saens classic, "Danse Macabre." This... thanks to my elementary school music teacher. But also other things like Paul Dukas'  "Sorcerer's Apprentice,"  etc. thanks to a Walt Disney record for which Sterling Holloway recorded a narrative with it.

As for the "choral" side of me, I had all kinds of favorites from my days in my church choir.  As it turns out, our choirmaster also had his favorites and would have us do them, repeatedly at various times of the year. Furthermore, he being the music teacher he was, would challenge us by increasing the tempo for some works so that they'd sound faster. I dunno... maybe he felt he was under pressure to keep the services "moving along," or maybe he felt they just sound better that way. I would agree with the latter.  For example, I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Christmas Carol "Pat-a-Pan."  But, would you believe, "Speed Pat-a-Pan..."  (i.e. under 1 minute)?   

The primary seasons for us would be Christmas (and for which we'd have a "carol service" where we'd do a bunch of different things.  There would also be the Easter Season (we were more than likely to do the Handel "Hallelujah Chorus" at Easter, not Christmas). There would be a spring "choral service," similar to the Christmas Carol service. Finally, there would be the "End of year" service where we did standard works for our last service of the season (the full choir would go "on hiatus" for the School summer vacation). We'd also have our annual "Choir Dinner" where the choirmaster would present attendance awards, various other awards and would present the "Honor Boy" of the year, whose name would appear on the plaque in the rehearsal room for that year.  My last year there, I received a copy of Brahms Requiem score/script book as an "outstanding attendance" award. I also received the award for the "Most improved Treble" as well. I was doing solos in regular services by then.

The end of year was very memorable as there were, primarily, two anthems from which my choirmaster would choose in a given year. First is the Randall Thompson "Alleluia," which was a crowd pleaser. But I always looked forward to the other end of year selection.  The "gradual" would be a specific cover of the "Te Deum Laudamus" composed by Joseph W. Clokey (adoptive father of Arthur Clokey of "Gumby" fame).  We affectionately called it the "TDM..."  :)  We would also do the "T Tertius Noble" cover of it throughout the year, but I always favored the Clokey version. It sounded a lot more modern and it also featured a sounding of the organ's chimes at the very end (assuming the temperature allowed the chimes to be "in tune" on that day). For the end of year anthem, my absolute favorite.... We affectionately called it "King Fuzzy..."  (In the year that King Uzziah Died by David M Williams)   Although we would sing it at double the tempo of what you're listening to, here.   

For Advent, we'd do things like "Springs in the Desert" -   (although that first part was done exclusively by our tenor soloist). It was a triumph for us to be able to hit that "hi" note on "highway..."

For the Christmas Eve Service, I don't recall specific anthems except these two... "Lo the Messiah..."  , sung at just about the tempo here. And this one:  A Spotless Rose.....

For the December Carol Service, we'd sing a number of different things, including pretty much all the pieces in Book 1 of "Carols for Choirs..."  My favorite being the Sussex Carol, for which my choirmaster had a fantastic organ registration. But the "main event" of that service was our cover of  Colin Taylor's "The Three Ships,"  sung slightly faster than what you hear in this video. Not to be confused with "I saw Three Ships" which we'd also sing. 

For Easter, it was either Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus as the anthem"  or "Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain"  or my, personal favorite, the Beethoven "Hallelujah" from the "Mount of Olives"  We would also do "Since By Man Came Death" for the Easter "gradual."

Some of the other standards we'd do included some things in Church Latin, including:

   1)   Three Motets   

   2)   Gabriel Fauré Requiem  (including "In Paradisum....")

   3)   Pange Lingua (Zoltán Kodály) -  - (skip to 03:46 for the beginning)

   4)   My Choirmaster studied in Koln, Germany for a while, and was a huge fan of Hermann Schroeder.  He taught us Schroeder's "Magnificat."  After clicking the link to the left,  Scroll down on the page to where you see "Magnificat (1951)" and click on that.   

Speaking of "Requiem..."  My favorite was Brahms Requiem  and one for which I actually Won the music script book as an attendance award my last year. My favorite movement was VI, or as we'd know it by its page number, "63."   It taught me what a "fugue" is....  While this recording is in German, we'd, of course, sing it in English. We had a baritone soloist who could sing the bejeebers out of the solo part here.

One of the first one's I learned was Greater Love Hath no Man than this......  I almost got to do the "Body on the tree" solo for it :(

Another fun one was "Zadok the Priest" but we sang the intro at the same tempo as the other two movements. as heard in this video:   

Keep in mind that this was a "men/boys" choir so any of the above parts you see sung by Soprano ladies were (in my case) sung by young treble boys (think Vienna Boys choir) of ages 6-12.  The Teen boys (13-18) were the "altos."

I could go on, but hopefully this will get the discussion going.  Now, a big question and, hopefully, someone will know of a recording.  I'm desperately trying to find a YouTube video or some other recording of the "Clokey Te Deum..." It's as if it never existed, but I am here to testify that it did/does. In fact, the score is recorded at two separate places you can see here...    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much!

« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 02:47:35 PM by cc-30-12-33 »

Offline cc-30-12-33

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Re: My "all time" favorite Choir works
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 02:48:33 PM »
I have fixed the links on this page.  There was something wrong with them.....  Hope you enjoy!