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Fiffaro

School choirs and organ suggestions

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I have been asked for suggestions for a work or works that would be suitable for performance by a collection of school choirs, ranging from auditioned to open to any student, with ages from around 11 years  18. The work will be performed in the Melbourne Town Hall where we are hoping to utilise to best effect the substantial organ there. Information about the organ is provided on the following Organ Historical Trust of Australia web page:
https://www.ohta.org.au/organs/organs/MTH.html

A number of years ago, this school performed Britten's Saint Nicolas, with some help from staff members and other ring-ins, and the choral director certainly is not averse to taking on big projects, but suggestions for shorter works that would feature the organ would also be welcome.

I would very much appreciate any suggestions for works that would make good use of the organ. 

And I posted here because so many of the members have experience of both choral music and organ music.

(Trying a bit harder...)

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Thanks, Fiffaro for trying harder! A thought or two as an immediate response...

Parry - I was glad,

Parry - Blest pair of Sirens

Parry - Hear my words ye people

Rutter - Gloria

Rutter - Te Deum

Schubert - Mass in G 

Fauré - Requiem

Handel - some Messiah choruses

Haydn - Insanae et vanae curae

Stanford - Te Deum in B flat

Handel - Let the bright seraphim - (an opportunity for a soprano solist) & Let their celestial concerts

Handel - The heavens are telling and/or Achieved is the glorious work 

Berstein - Chichester Psalms - 

All of these (except possibly the Rutter Gloria) can easily be organ only and they are all things I have done in the past with school choirs. 

Is this the sort of thing that you might have been looking for?

Martin.

 

 

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Britten - Rejoice in the Lamb
Britten - Hymn to St Peter
Bairstow - Blessed city, heavenly salem
Durufle - Requiem (challenging for choir & organist!)

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Stainer: The Crucifixion

 

...and yes, I really mean it! I am very fond of this work with its drama, word-painting and simply wonderful hymn tunes. A good tenor soloist is clearly needed and I'd allow you to omit the Prelude!

I know it's unfashionable to like Stainer at the moment but his time will come again...

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8 hours ago, Richard Fairhurst said:

Sumsion's 'They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships'? Written for Repton Prep School, and a wonderful bit of word-painting.

A great piece, and as Richard said, "a wonderful bit of word-painting".

As Vox Humana will recall, I have often said to choir tour concert audiences "If you don't feel sea-sick by the end of it, we haven't done our job well enough".😁

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Martin Cooke's first response (above) mentioned Parry's "Blest Pair of Sirens".

This was written for a Diocesan Choirs' Festival (in Salisbury, if I remember correctly), and there is a substantial semi-chorus part (presumably written for the resident cathedral choir) which could be taken by a group of more competent choristers, or even a solo quartet.

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Wow! Lot's of ideas! So many thanks and much appreciated. Some I know but hadn't thought of in this context and many to have a listen to, such as Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens, that I don't know. Sumsion's They that go down to the sea in ships is the first unknown suggestion I listened to. How could I not have come across it before! 😊

Handsoff, Stainer's time might be coming. There has been a performance of the Crucifixion in recent times in Melbourne, Australia. I'd like to think we are at the forefront of the revival rather than the tail-end of musical fashion. ;)

 

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On 11/12/2018 at 19:05, DHM said:

As Vox Humana will recall...

Quite a few times!  :D

Thinking back to my grammar school days I can remember the school choir singing - and enjoying - the following:
Brahms - How lovely is thy dwelling place (from the Requiem)
Britten: Noye's Fludde
Bach: Christmas Oratorio pt.1 (needs soloists)
Bach: Cantata 140: "Wachet auf" (also needs soloists)

Other approachable possibilities (but, again, all requiring soloists):
Vivaldi: Gloria
Vivaldi: Magnificat
Pergolesi (attrib.): Magnificat

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On 11/12/2018 at 19:08, DHM said:

Martin Cooke's first response (above) mentioned Parry's "Blest Pair of Sirens".

This was written for a Diocesan Choirs' Festival (in Salisbury, if I remember correctly), and there is a substantial semi-chorus part (presumably written for the resident cathedral choir) which could be taken by a group of more competent choristers, or even a solo quartet.

Was this not, 'Hear my Words ye people' ?

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15 minutes ago, father-willis said:

Was this not, 'Hear my Words ye people' ?

Apologies - a “Senior Moment” on my part. It was indeed “Hear my Words”.

And that, too, would make an excellent addition to the lists above (for the reason I erroneously quoted). 😀

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