Celebrating the Glories of Spring

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Cathedral In Spring

Here in New York City, it feels like we escaped winter altogether. With the unseasonably mild weather over the last few weeks, we have suddenly entered spring and mother nature has burst forth in all her excitement and flirtation. Today on The Choral Mix we celebrate the arrival of spring with music that reflects all its glory.

Works on the program include a spring section from Vaughan Williams's Folk Songs of the Four Seasons. The piece is scored for only upper voices and orchestra. Its festive tone is heard throughout. We hear the the Choir of Clare College in Cambridge led by Sir David Willcocks.  

We contrast that with two Schubert songs composed for male tenors and basses only: An den Frühlingsgesang (In the Spring Song) and Frühlingsgesang (Spring song), which are settings of poems by Schiller and Shober. Also on our spring mix: a major yet rarely heard work by Vincent Persichetti. Flower Songs, a cantata structured in seven movements, brings to mind the loveliness yet short-lived beauty of spring flowers.

Finally, we showcase excerpts from the Spring portion of Haydn’s oratorio, The Seasons, perhaps the greatest known work expressing the glories of spring.



Whitacre/Cloudburst/Polyphony, Stephen Layton

"I thank You God for most this amazing day"


Vaughan Williams/Folk Songs of the Four Seasons; In Windsor Forest / The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, English Voices, The Dimitri Ensemble & Sir David Willcocks

Prologue: To The Ploughboy

Spring: Early in the Spring

Spring: The Lark in the Morning

Spring: May Song


Schubert/Songs for Male Chorus/Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, Robert Shaw

An den Frühlingsgesang



Persichetti/American Choral Music/ University of Texas Chamber Singers & University of Texas Orchestra, James Morrow

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 1. Flowers of Stone

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 2. Spouting Violets

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 3. Early Flowers

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 4. Is There a Flower

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 5. Yellow Flower

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 6. The Rose Is Dying

Flower Songs, Op. 157: No. 7. Lilly Has a Rose


Haydn/The Seasons/Süddeutsches Madrigalchor, Orchester der Ludwigsburger Festspiele, Wolfgang Gönnenwein

Helen Donath, Soprano, Kurt Widmer, Bass, Adalbert Kraus, tenor

Chorus of the Peasants: Komm, holder Lenz

Sei nun gnadig, milder Himmel!