Choral Music in the Twentieth Century

20th Century Choral Music

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Chester L. Alwes

Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Classical, Early, and Medieval Plays and Playwrights: Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: Classical, Early, and Medieval Prose and Writers: Classical, Early, and Medieval World History: Civil War American History: This was a break-out work for John Adams—a major work premiered by a major orchestra that brought him a major acclaim.

He drew inspiration from Beethoven, Sibelius, Wagner and early Stravinsky, but also incorporated some of the ideas of minimalism to create a work that feels grounded in tradition while being very much a part of the modern world. Then, satisfied, it drifts into final silence. I ultimately went with Peter Grimes in that it truly launched his career, making the War Requiem possible, but this in no way takes away from the power or importance of this mighty work, and I am pleased to list it here.

The inserted poems were written by Wilfred Owens, who fought in the trenches of World War I and wrote about his experiences. He was killed on the front lines a week before the war ended, giving his poems greater poignancy. The result is a stunning work that captures the universal horrors of war. But what a series of amazing works they are, particularly the Requiem! Sometimes, the chants are the basis of the vocal lines, sometimes they are in the orchestral accompaniment, but they are always present and give the work a sense of timeless ritual.

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Choral Music in the Twentieth Century [Nick Strimple] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. (Amadeus). Nick Strimple's all-encompassing. Nick Strimple's all-encompassing survey ranges from 19th-century masters, such as Elgar, to contemporary composers, such as Tan Dun and Paul McCartney. Repertory of every style and level of complexity is critically surveyed and described. This book is an essential resource for.

Supporting the chants, he created a gorgeous wash of harmonies that firmly ground the work in the modern world. The result is a mystical, serene work that floats above the trials of this world and provides a vision of the next.

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He later re-scored the work for chamber orchestra, and again for solo organ, so it could be more readily performed in a liturgical setting. I prefer the full orchestra version.

When we got the word that that concert had been canceled, and it became clear we were in for an extended labor dispute, we were pretty low. It was a gorgeous moment of hope and community. This is an odd work, in that it is essentially a set of two distinct cantatas linked in their exploration of The Divine. And he pulled out all the stops to do so.

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And while it is seldom performed with such forces today, it remains a Musical Event. Some years ago I had the good fortune to perform this with the Minnesota Orchestra.

I usually have a group of friends and well-wishers in the audience when I sing, but this was the concert where everything aligned, and everyone I know came out to hear it. And all for completely unrelated reasons. I had college friends, people I met when I studied abroad in Costa Rica, poker buddies, and all of my maternal relatives who drove down from Upper Michigan. But, everyone said they liked it…. The Epic of Gilgamesh.

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I ran across this work some years back, when a person I trusted breathlessly exclaimed this was the single greatest choral work of the 20 th Century. Still, I decided to track down a recording and give it a listen. It tells of the meeting between Gilgamesh and Enkidu, who initially battle but ultimately become great friends. The final sequence as Gilgamesh tries to speak to the spirit of his fallen friend is riveting. I suppose there are those who will see this warhorse on my list and scream… or at least move to have my status as a music nerd revoked.

But that is part of the point. Carmina Burana has struck a deep and abiding chord with the public. Its primitivism, its rhythmic vitality, and its aural effects grip listeners tightly and do not let go. Moreover, its overwhelming popularity has also shifted an expectation of what music should sound like. For example, one time after finishing up a performance, I was leaving Orchestra Hall, standing at the street corner ready to cross.

The Top 10 Choral Works of the 20th Century

Right from the start, Poulenc makes his intentions clear, with a grand fanfare of an opening that drifts into music that is celebratory, inviting, and ultimately life-affirming. Its quicksilver themes grab your attention, but quickly morph into new ideas… which give the piece a sense of propulsive movement and seem perfectly matched for our modern web-surfing attention spans. The Book of the Seven Seals.

This is a work I know through the advocacy of Michael Steinberg, who included it in his list of the great choral works of all time. And it is astonishing. Written as Nazi forces were rising in his native Austria and premiered in Vienna within months of the Anschluss, the work captures the anxiety of his age, along with hope for a final accounting. The theme is grand in the extreme—the text describes a vision of a great book, whose seals are opened sequentially by the Lamb of God. This unleashes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, earthquakes, and other terrors, and finally Satan himself in the form of a great dragon who does battle with Archangel Michael.

The music Schmidt creates is magnificent, ranging from ferocious choruses to sublime orchestral music.