American Hymns

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

On this edition of Choral Fixation, an hour of choral music from the rich American tradition, including works by Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland, Ned Rorem, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber.

A spiritual strain permeates several works in this hour including Copland's Four Motets, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Thomson's Hymns from the Old South, Rorem's Three Hymn Anthems, Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei and Sure on this Shining Night.

Comments [3]

Richard from Brooklyn

so glad you're playing Ned Rorem right now. Thank you.

Nov. 21 2010 11:49 PM
Michael Meltzer

Much is made of the Barber Agnus Dei, as a spillover from the Adagio for Strings, but it is a transcription and is a lot more work to sing than anything else Barber wrote for chorus. Often that hard work shows up in the choral sound.
Everything that Barber wrote originally for the voice sits beautifully and naturally for the voice. "Sure on This Shining Night" is at least a vocal piece to start with. His best work was, to most choristers, the "Three Reincarnations." I've never heard them on WQXR.

Nov. 21 2010 02:20 AM

I'm sorry you did not include the great hymn (anthem) from Ernest Bloch's Rhapsody.

Nov. 21 2010 12:42 AM

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