Music for organ and small choir?

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bruce.simonson
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Jul 2011 04:16

Music for organ and small choir?

Postby bruce.simonson » 15 Nov 2018 17:14

Hi,

We've nearly completed the installation of an excellent Allen four manual Bravura organ in our church, and I'm looking for suggestions on fine classical choral literature to show off this instrument with our choir.

Our chorus is quite small, but also quite good. However, I am concerned that this organ can easily over-power out singers, so I'm thinking of working on some early (or "earlier"-ish) music.

In other venues, the choir has sung the Tallis Lamentations of Jeremiah, and quite a few Bach cantatas, for example. In the venue with the new Allen organ, it will have to be a smaller chorus, and there is not room for an orchestra.

Any suggestions for fine works to look at, as the church (Episcopalian) gets used to this new organ in its sanctuary? I'm excited about the possibilities.

Thanks,
-Bruce

Cdalitz
Posts: 139
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Re: Music for organ and small choir?

Postby Cdalitz » 20 Nov 2018 16:59

As you intent to show off the organ, you are presumably looking for music with an obligatory organ part and not merely with basso continuo accompaniment. What about Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Mass in B flat Major, which is available on CPDL?

You can find for more classical (ie. Vienna classics) music with the multi-category search on the CPDL main page.

cjshawcj
Posts: 41
Joined: 04 Jan 2011 00:21

Re: Music for organ and small choir?

Postby cjshawcj » 03 Dec 2018 16:46

The piece which springs immediately to mind is Benjamin Cooke's Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in G, which was written to celebrate the introduction of a new organ at Westminster Abbey in 1780. My edition is on this site.
Don't let the words Westminster Abbey put you off: the forces can be anything from two to a part upwards (especially upwards on the treble line, originally a team of schoolboys), and the standard, coming from the period when training was viewed a sinecure, is not demanding.

bruce.simonson
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Jul 2011 04:16

Re: Music for organ and small choir?

Postby bruce.simonson » 03 Dec 2018 18:20

Cdalitz wrote:As you intent to show off the organ -- What about Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Mass in B flat Major, which is available on CPDL?


Thanks for this suggestion -- looks like what I'm trying to find. Just heard a Hummel work at a chamber concert in Spokane, and was surprised and delighted. Thanks!
Last edited by bruce.simonson on 03 Dec 2018 18:36, edited 1 time in total.

bruce.simonson
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Jul 2011 04:16

Re: Music for organ and small choir?

Postby bruce.simonson » 03 Dec 2018 18:33

cjshawcj wrote:The piece which springs immediately to mind is Benjamin Cooke's Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in G, which was written to celebrate the introduction of a new organ at Westminster Abbey in 1780. My edition is on this site.


Very nice pieces - thanks for your suggestion, and for your edition. I think I'll try these pieces with the chorus.

What do "can" and "des" refer to in your edition? I can guess, but it's usually better to ask.

A little off topic, but I appreciate your wit on your home site ("notAmos" - indeed). And Bath - what a pleasure - I had my first "aha" experience there at Wood's Royal Crescent (ha-ha), and also discovered Rauzzini and Malthus (on my own) in the Abbey when I was traveling that part of England with my folks about 10 years ago. Bath is wonderful.

Cheers,
-Bruce

bruce.simonson
Posts: 8
Joined: 19 Jul 2011 04:16

Re: Music for organ and small choir?

Postby bruce.simonson » 03 Dec 2018 18:35

Cdalitz wrote:As you intent to show off the organ -- What about Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Mass in B flat Major, which is available on CPDL?


Thanks for this suggestion -- looks like what I'm trying to find. Just heard a Hummel work at a chamber concert in Spokane, and was surprised and delighted. Thanks!

cjshawcj
Posts: 41
Joined: 04 Jan 2011 00:21

Re: Music for organ and small choir?

Postby cjshawcj » 03 Dec 2018 22:38

I think I'll try these pieces with the chorus.


I suspect that I am reading too much into a throw-away comment, but just in case: "Chorus" in this type of English choral music is a synonym for "Full".

What do "can" and "des" refer to in your edition? I can guess, but it's usually better to ask.


More layering instructions. In effect reduces the singers to half numbers, deriving from opposite sides of the Choir (architectural term), expressed in terms of traditional sides for seating the Dean (Decani) and Precentor (Cantoris) (North and South sides of the cathedral respectively). A reduction of singers to soloists would be flagged "Verse" (the antithesis of "Chorus").
I apologise for unthinking use of these terms. They are entirely innate to those from the Anglican/Episcopalian community, and I had not realised how unfamiliar they would be elsewhere. I shall try to think of some better terms to substitute. The Evening Canticles are strangely popular, for example, with (Protestant) Holland.

Hope the organ settles in well.

Christopher Shaw


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