The Best Music You Hardly Know

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

On this edition of The Choral Mix, it's the best music you hardly know. We explore great choral works you hardly hear; music overshadowed in performance for one reason or another.

To that end, we share a meditative Nunc Dimittis by Holst. Scored for 8 voices, each part enter separately and then ends with a glorious Amen. This version is performed by the Sixteen under the direction of Harry Christophers. 

The Italian composer, Ildebrando Pizzetti, (a contemporary of Gerald Finzi during the early part of the 20th century) composed a Requiem of exquisite beauty. We hear a movement from this work -- Dies Irae which incorporates striking two-part writing where the traditional chant melody supports a keening counter-melody. Listen for haunting Eastern and early-music influences.

Other works on today's program just itching to be heard are Mendelsohn's Lobgesang and Brahms' Nanie. We think these pieces are all true contenders for their spot on the masterwork list. What about your favorite neglected pieces?  


Holst/ Ikon-Music for The Spirit and Soul/ The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

Nunc Dimittis


Rossini/Choral Adagios/ Choir of New College, Oxford, Edward Higginbottom

O salutaris


Finzi/ Lo, the full, final sacrifice/ Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, Christopher Robinson

Lo, the full, final sacrifice


Brahms/Alto Rhapsody-Gesang der Parzen- Nanie/ Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Robert Shaw



Pizzetti/ Martin and Pizzetti: Mass and Messa di Requiem/Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O’Donnell

Dies Irae


Mendelsohn/ Symphonies Nos. 1-5/Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Radio Chorus Leipzig, Kurt Masur

Lobgesang Final Chorus: Ihr Volker, bringet her dem Herrn

Comments [5]


While most of the work done on April 22,2012 may be lesser knowen, this is not true, at least for me in the case of the Nanse. A year ago, for our commutily chorus, we did it along with parts of Bramms better known German Requiem. It was nice to hear it again. I would a Choral mix spotlighting both Handel's and Vindalic's Dixit, two movements that I feel are not done to often. In this case, there is good reason; Handel picse is really a three not two part soprano[if you think that alto line was actualy written for alto, well, ladies and countenors can,t say what they really think}, and the sopranos are not loving it as well. But both make for truly great music. Thank You

Apr. 25 2012 06:40 PM
Stephen J. Herschkorn from Highland Park, NJ

Ives, Psalm 90.
Vaughan Williams, Dona Nobis Pacem.
Wuorinen, Genesis.
Are Les Noces and Alexander Nevsky overlooked?
Milhaud, Les Choéphores.
Stravinsky, Mass.
Schubert, Mass in E flat.

Apr. 22 2012 11:42 PM
david from OKC, OK

Forgot 5 more favorites:
Ockeghem Requiem Mass
Josquin "Déploration sur la mort d'Ockeghem
Poulenc "Quatre petites prières de St François d'Assise", for 6 vv. male choir a cappella.
Tye Missa "Euge Bone" a 6. and also "In pace" by Tye.

Apr. 22 2012 11:32 PM
david from OKC, OK

Stravinsky 1952 Cantata, for female vv. sop an tenor soloists and small instrumental ensemble.
Battishill "O Lord, Look Down from Heaven", for 8 voices.
Schoenberg "Dreimal Tausend Jahre", Op. 50a (his last opus)written in honor of founding of state of Isael, 1949.
Verdi "Ave Maria" from Quattro Pezzi Sacri.
Byrd Mass a 3, a masterpiece for just 3 vv. 4 & 5 voice Masses are fabulous as well.
Jonathan Dove "Seek him that maketh the seven stars".
Eric Whitacre "Sleep"

Apr. 22 2012 11:15 PM
Stephen J. Herschkorn from Highland Park, NJ

Respighi, Laud to the Nativity.
Meneely-Kyder, I have lighted the candles, Mary.
Duckworth, Southern Harmony.
R. Strauss, An den Baum Daphne. (Deutsche Motette is not heard that often, either.)
Schoenberg, Friede auf Erden.
Menotti, The Gorgon, the Manticore, and the Unicorn.
Barber, Prayers of Kierkegaard.
Brahms, Gesang der Parzen.
Gideon, Sacred Service.
Schnittke, Requiem
Schnittke, Minnesang.
Harrison, La koro sutro.
Schnittke, Choir concerto.
Rachmaninoff, The Bells.
Liszt, Via Crucis.
Poulenc, Stabat Mater.
Poulenc, La Figure Humaine.
Britten, Cantata Misæricordium.
Stravinsky, Threni.
Stravinsky, Perséphone.
Martin, Mass.
Howells, Requiem.
Kodály, Psalmus Hungaricus.
Kodály, Jesus and the Traders.
Lidholm, ...a riveder le stelle.

Apr. 22 2012 05:28 PM

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