Kent Tritle's All-Time Favorites

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

This week on The Choral Mix, Kent Tritle shares some his favorite choral works. From the well-known classics to the contemporary, Kent shines light on some of his most beloved choral literature.

Familiar to many of us, Bach's extraordinary Mass in B Minor and Handel's Messiah open the program. Having withstood the test of time, these masterworks continue to be celebrated long after their 18th century premieres. Later we hear the glorious but far lesser known Lord Nelson Mass of Haydn. Composed in 1798 for the Esterhazy family, it as was originally titled Mass for the Troubled Times.That year was indeed a time of trouble for Haydn and Austrians, as Napoleon continued to repeatedly defeat Austria in battles that year. On the day of the Mass premiere, Austrians learned of the French being defeated at the Battle of the Nile by the British, led by Horatio Lord Nelson. Since that day, the nickname "Lord Nelson" has been associated with the Mass.

Among the newer works on tap, we hear Kevin Oldham's Boulding Chorale and Arvo Pärt's Beatitudes conducted by Maestro Tritle. Rounding out the show are works by Brahms, Tallis and Vaughan Williams.

What are some of your favorite choral works?

Playlist (in alphabetical order by composer):

B Minor Mass, Kyrie I and Dona Nobis Pacem
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Orchestra of the 18th Century
Franz Brüggen

Requiem, Mvt VI
Monteverdi Choir
J.E. Gardner

Messiah, Worthy is the Lamb
Musica Sacra
Richard Westenburg

Lord Nelson Mass, Kyrie
The English Concert
Trevor Pinnock

Kevin Oldham
Boulding Chorale: My Lord, thou art in every breath I take
Choir of St Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Arvo Part
Choir of St Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Thomas Tallis
O Sacrum Convivium
Choir of St Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Vaughan Williams
Mass in G Minor
Corydon Singers
Matthew Best

Comments [10]

Fletcher from Westchester

It's late, but I'll weigh in here too. I'll cast two votes for favorite. The first is the two Easter movements from the B Minor Mass, the Crucifixus and then the
Et Ressurexit. Heard together in order, they are a lesson on the meaning of the day and the height of religious joy. The other piece is Haydn's Dona Nobis movement sung - I must insist - by the choirs of Chatham and Hamilton College under the direction of James Fankhauser, on Edici's album Grande Messe Avec Orgue.

Jul. 24 2011 08:00 PM
Karen from Brooklyn

Great show! Maybe your best yet. Loved the Oldham in particular and had never heard it. The Brahms is so amazing and yes, I want it at my funeral too. Bach B minor probably the greatest major choral work ever. One of my personal favorites, since you asked, is Bruckner's Locus Iste, from his sacred motets. One small item, it was the end of the Gloria and not the Kyrie of the Lord Nelson Mass, but a great passage! Thanks for bringing all this glorious music to a wide audience!

Jul. 02 2011 11:20 AM
kaspar schroeter

Especially loved the Brahm's and y
strds prgrm. I want to send Tubin's Ave Maria, a magnificent work for male (or satb) chorus and organ. You won't be disappointed. For my funeral perhaps the final chorale of BWV 56, or Verdi's Te Deum, or Tubin's Elegy, or Wir Setzen Uns or Ruhe Wohl.......

Jun. 27 2011 10:49 AM
DiAnn from New York

The Brahms was just heavenly -- thank you! I was fortunate enough to be in the studio audience for the previous Brahms program -- Brahms in Love and Loss -- which was absolutely thrilling. Aside from its beautiful music, delivered by a superb chorus drawn from some of New York's best choral groups, it happened at SUCH a civilized time of day! Can't something be done to air The Choral Mix at a more user-friendly time? I realize we can access the program online anytime, but I for one would prefer to hear it on Sunday, but at a different time.

Jun. 27 2011 09:55 AM
Nathan K

Absolutely love choral works by Poulenc, especially his Four Motets for Lent. And narrowed down more, the first piece, Timor et tremor, still gives me chills.

Jun. 26 2011 09:20 PM
Michael Meltzer

The very moving Oldham piece is reminiscent of the wonderful 20th-century French repertoire we used to explore in the 1970's-80's with the Occasional Singers.
It would be a great treat to hear a performance of the Darius Milhaud: Les Deux Cités (The Two Cities)- 3 short motets (Babylon-Elegy-Jerusalem), running 8 stunningly beautiful minutes.

Jun. 26 2011 08:21 AM
Donald Coppersmith from China

I am living in Shaoxing Zhejiang China.
I listen to your music Sunday evening which is Sunday morning NYC.
孔  思 德
Kong Si De
Peace Corps Volunteer

Jun. 26 2011 08:20 AM
Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

The Kevin Oldham chorale is beautiful, perfect for a Sunday morning.

Jun. 26 2011 08:01 AM

The list includes my own favorites, so, clearly, for me, this is a must-hear program.Thank you!

Jun. 26 2011 06:34 AM
Michael Meltzer

Kent has given us another unremittingly beautiful hour of music. His taste and good judgment seems to be taking root, we've been hearing more good choral selections on WQXR around the clock in regular programming slots.
I'll just share some experience at slight variance with whoever wrote the above intro, from my days as a vendor of the printed product. Of course, no choral work trumps "The Messiah" in popularity. In the days when G. Schirmer publishers owned their own printing plant in Woodside, when there was nothing else scheduled for the presses, they would print more Messiahs, and so it was for years their lowest-priced large choral work.
On the other hand, the Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass is far from "far lesser-known." In piano-vocal scores, it far outsells the Bach: B-minor Mass. From my conversations with conductors, one of the reasons is, that for many amateur choruses, the Bach is just a bit more difficult to learn than a normal rehearsal schedule will allow. For this reason, the choral publishers usually have single-movement excerpts in print, like the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus and the Dona Nobis we hear today. Those can be learned in time and keep the Bach lovers happy.
The Haydn: Lord Nelson is much more accessible for amateur singers, is well known, popular and is performed frequently.

Jun. 26 2011 06:06 AM

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