By Jonathan D. Green
This leading edge survey of huge choral-orchestral works written among 1900 and 1972 and containing a few English textual content examines eighty-nine works, from Elgar's "Dream of Gerontius" to Bernstein's "Mass". for every paintings, the writer presents a biography of the composer, entire instrumentation, textual content assets, variations, availability of acting fabrics, functionality concerns, discography, and bibliographies of the composer and the paintings. dependent upon direct rating examine, each one paintings has been evaluated when it comes to power functionality difficulties, practice session matters, and point of hassle for either choir and orchestra. whilst current, solo roles are defined. The forty-nine composers represented contain Samuel Barber, Arthur Bliss, Benjamin Britten, Henry Cowell, Frederick Delius, R. Nathaniel Dett, Gerald Finzi, Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, Paul Hindemith, Ulysses Kay, consistent Lambert, Peter Mennin, Gunther Schuller, William Schumann, Michael Tippett, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, and Healey Willan. Written as a box advisor for conductors and an individual else keen on programming concert events for choir and orchestra, this article may still turn out an invaluable resource of latest repertoire principles and a useful relief to practice session practise.
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Extra info for A conductor's guide to choral-orchestral works
Beyond the apparent attempt to combine the best expressions of various aspects surrounding a single theme, the anthologizing composer seems to be reinforcing the validity of his cause through a multiplicity of corroborating sources. Following the model of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, a number of twentieth-century composers have elected to consolidate relevant texts of bereavement into a work of memorial tribute. Herbert Howells, in reaction to his son's untimely death, compiled a series of memorial texts which focussed upon themes of light for his Hymnus Paradisi.
Carl Sandburg's The Corn Huskers has been set as The Prairie by Normand Lockwood and Lukas Foss. Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" has been set, as mentioned above, by Hindemith and Sessions. The same poet's "Drum Taps" has been set by Howard Hanson in Three Songs from "Drum Taps" and William Schuman in A Free Song. It is Whitman who has become the poet of choice for composers of large works in this century. Including the already mentioned pieces, Whitman poems can be found in fourteen works, more than four times the number of any other individual author.
The more common approach exhibited in these works is that of the composer as compiler. The breadth of source materials evidenced in these compositions betrays the intimate involvement in literature among this century's composers. In many of the works, the composer becomes a critic of sorts, drawing upon the "finest" available expressions of each concept to be addressed within the piece. To some extent the composer becomes a collaborator in the poetic process by his juxtaposition of varied text sources.