Female Choruses Playlist

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1. Oskar Lindberg - "Morning" for female chorus
Oskar Lindberg (February 23, 1887 - April 10, 1955) was a nationalist/romantic composer who in 1939 edited the Church of Sweden's hymnbook. His 1912 Requiem was of particular importance to the history of Swedish liturgical works.


Female chorus from the Swedish Radio Choir & Eric Ericson's Chamber Choir conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist

He wrote in a romantic idiom which blended features of composers such as Rachmaninoff and Sibelius with folk music and impressionistic elements.

Lindberg was also prominent as a teacher, holding posts in the conservatory in Stockholm as well as in local high schools. He was a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of music from 1926 until his death.

He is the uncle of jazz musician and composer Nils Lindberg.

2. Oskar Lindberg - "Midsummer Night" for female chorus
Midsummer Night

Female chorus from the Swedish Radio Choir & Eric Ericson's Chamber Choir conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist

3. Mendelssohn - Veni Domine and Laudate pueri
1. Veni Domine, op. 39, no. 1
2. Laudate pueri op. 39, no. 2
a. Chor: Laudate pueri
b. Terzett: Beati omnes

Regensburger Domspatzen

4. Zoltan Kodaly - Two Songs for Girls' Choir (3/3)
Two Songs for Girls' Choir

1. Fancy (1959)
words by William Shakespeare
2. Maghalok, maghalok (1957)
Folksong from Zabor

Fancy (1959)

This musical setting of a few lines from Act III of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice for a three-part one-sex choir was written for a choral collection in English. The publishers commissioned Britten, Saporin and Poulenc, as well as Kodaly, to set the same text. An incomparible asset of Kodaly's piece in the "peal of bells" that makes up the second half, expressed in the rich, varied harmonies of the choir, which divides into six to eight parts. Làszlo Lukin later wrote Hungarian words to the music.

I shall die, I shall die (1957)

This later, bold and exacting arrangement of the first tune in "Two Folksongs from Zabor" is the solo soprano, three or four contraltos and a female choir, and at some points divides into six or eight parts. The difference between the two versions are explained by the time lapse of 50 years, which had darkened the colours on his compositional palette. The harmonisation has an almost atonal effect (dense chromatism and at some point a series of eerie chords), while the reduction of the folksong text to a single stanza heightens the individual's sorrow to an almost universal grief. The text of altogether four lines is assigned to the soloists, while the choir provides a wordless, fresco-like background between the awesome introduction and the resigned concluding bars. István Kacskeméti rightly says that in this mourning music, so tragically reticent, Kodaly "has bequethed the most personal and human gem in his late choral music."

Zoltán Kodály (Hungarian: Kodály Zoltán, December 16, 1882 - March 6, 1967) was a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, educator, linguist, and philosopher.

5. Zoltan Kodaly - Two Songs for Girls' Choir (2/3)
1. False Spring (1938)
words by János Arany

2. Orphan am I (1953)
Folksong from Gyergyóújfalu

Györ Girls' Choir conducted by Miklós Szabó

6. Zoltan Kodaly - Two Folksongs from Zobor for girls' choir (1/3)

7. Brahms - Four Songs from Op. 44 for female chorus
Vier Lieder und Romanzen aus dem Jungbrunnen, Op. 44
text: Paul Heyse (1830-1914)

1. Nun stehen die Rosen in Blüte
2. (1:31) Die Berge sind spitz
3. (2:12) Am Wildbach die Weiden
4. (2:56) Und gehst du über den Kirchhof

The Cambridge Singers conducted by John Rutter

8. Frank Martin - Quatre Chansons (1931) no. 3 ODE
Ode, a setting for three female voices and one cello, of Pierre Ronsard's "Les épis sont à Cérès".

The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers
Helen Verney, cello

9. Frank Martin - Quatre Chansons (1931) no. 1 SONNET
Sonnet, a setting for three female voices and one cello, of Pierre de Ronsard's "Je vous envoye un bouquet".

The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers
Helen Verney, cello

10. Rachmaninoff: Six Choruses for female voices & piano - Angel
11. Rachmaninoff: Six Choruses for female voices & piano - Night
12. Rachmaninof: Six Choruses for female voices & piano - Waves are Dreaming

13. Ave Maria - Camille Saint-Saens, Chester Cathedral Choir

14. André Caplet, Agnus Dei - Ottavina

15. Female Choir of the Russian-German House in Novosibirsk
Dir.: Tatjana Wosowik; Viktor Kalistratov: Mein graues Zicklein; at 10th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf - "SchlussaCHORd" / "Final Chord" 2007 May 29

16. Bulgarian Angelite Choir, Sofia, Bulgaria
at Musica Sacra International Marktoberdorf 2000, Final Concert 1; www.modfestivals.org

17. The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices

18. Otto Olsson - Tempus adest floridum (Choral) The Season of Flowers is Here
Otto Olsson (19 December 1879 -- 1 September 1964) was a Swedish composer, organist and choir director.

Tempus adest floridum (The Season of Flowers is Here)
from Piae Cantiones

The Swedish Radio Choir conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist

The season of flowers is here, for the flowers are unfolding.
Spring is revealed in everything.
What the cold has ravaged, the warmth restores.
We see how this happens with much travail.

The fields are full of flowers, lovely to behold,
where the diversity of herbs is a delight.
Grass and plants rest in winter,
but in springtime they burgeon and grow.

The earth is decked with flowers and much loveliness,
to us are given pure minds and a noble yearning.
Let us therefore rejoice at the blessed time
and praise the Lord from the depth of our hearts.

Otto Olsson was one of the greatest organ virtuosos of his time. He studied organ with Lagergren and composition with Dente at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and then joined the faculty there, where he taught harmony (1908-24) and then organ (1924-45).[1] He was also the organist at the Gustav Vasa church in Stockholm. He became a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in 1915.

He used his strong background in counterpoint, combined with an affinity for French organ music, to create his late Romantic style of composition. He also had an interest in earlier music and used the plainchant techniques of Gregorian chant in his Gregorianska melodier. He explored polytonality in his work, an advancement not found in other Swedish works of the time. In addition to many fine works for the organ, instrumental and choral works, his best-known work is his setting of the Te Deum, a large piece for chorus, string orchestra, harp, and organ.

As a teacher, he influenced many Swedish church musicians, and he was important in the development of church music in Sweden, which had suffered a long period of decline, having served as a member of official committees that supervised the liturgy and hymnology. He also composed Psalm settings for congregational use and wrote two instructional books, on the art of choral singing and psalm singing.

19. Otto Olsson - In vernali tempore (Choral) In Springtime

20. David Wikander - Old Sorrow & Spring is Young and Mild (Choir)

21. Virgil Thomson - Mass for Two Part Choir and Percussion
Virgil Thomson (November 25, 1896 - September 30, 1989) was an American composer and critic.

Mass for Two Part Chorus and Percussion (1934)

1. Kyrie
2. Gloria (1:16)
3. Credo (3:20)
4. Sanctus (7:27)
5. Benedictus (7:59)
6. Agnus Dei (8:33)

Gloriæ Dei Cantores conducted by Gloria C. Patterson
David Ortolani, percussion

Virgil Thomson was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He displayed an extraordinary intelligence at an early age. As a child, he befriended Alice Smith, great-granddaughter of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith. After World War I he entered Harvard thanks to a loan from Dr. Fred M. Smith, the president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and father of Alice Smith. He attended Harvard University, and his tours of Europe with the Harvard Glee Club helped nurture his desire to return there. At Harvard, Thomson focused his studies on the piano work of Erik Satie. He studied in Paris on fellowship for a year, and after graduating, lived in Paris from 1925-1940. In Paris he forged relationships with such prominent cultural figures as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, e. e. cummings, Aaron Copland, Ezra Pound, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Orson Welles, Jean Cocteau, and Gertrude Stein. He eventually studied with Nadia Boulanger and became a fixture of "Paris in the twenties." His most important friend from this period was Gertrude Stein, who was an artistic collaborator and mentor to him. Following the publication of his book The State of Music he established himself in New York City as a peer of Aaron Copland and was also a music critic for the New York Herald-Tribune from 1937 through 1951. His writings on music, and his reviews of performances in particular, are noted for their wit and their independent judgments. His definition of music was famously "that which musicians do," and his views on music are radical in their insistence on reducing the rarefied aesthetics of music to market activity. He even went so far as to claim that the style a piece was written in could be most effectively understood as a consequence of its income source.

In the 1930s, he worked as a theater and film composer. His most famous works for theater are two operas with libretti by Gertrude Stein, Four Saints in Three Acts, especially famous for its use of an all-black cast, and The Mother of Us All, as well as incidental music for Orson Welles' Depression-era production of Macbeth, set in the Caribbean, known as Voodoo Macbeth. He collaborated closely with "Chick" Austin of Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum in these early productions. His first film commission was The Plow That Broke the Plains, sponsored by the United States Resettlement Administration, which also sponsored the film The River with music by Thomson. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1949 with his film score for Louisiana Story. In addition, Thomson was famous for his revival of the rare technique of composing "musical portraits" of living subjects, often spending hours in a room with them before rushing off to finish the piece on his own. Many subjects reported feeling that the pieces did capture something unique about their identities even though nearly all of the portraits were absent of any clearly representational content.