The manuscript of <i>Carmina burana</i>
The manuscript of Carmina burana
Much of the music sung by choirs and choral societies is – naturally enough – sacred in character, so we thought it would be interesting to take a look at secular choral music this spring.

American composer Ann Callaway is busily writing a choral work based on Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “Henry Purcell”. Its world première is in May 2015. Ann told Jaime Robles about the difficulties in writing for voices and how she attempts to overcome them.

Erica Miner explores Vaughan Williams’ sublime Serenade to Music, which is based on text from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

Continuing our 2015 focus on anniversary composers Nielsen and Sibelius, Aksel Tollåli explores their choral music – little known outside Denmark and Finland, but well worth hearing.

Rebecca Lentjes delves into the choral music of the 1960s and 70s, led by Stockhausen and Cage's pioneering work. 

On composing choral music: An interview with Ann Callaway

Vaughan Williams and Shakespeare: A heavenly match in the Serenade to Music

National poetry and polyphony: Exploring the choral music of Sibelius and Nielsen

From micropolyphonics to barbershops: Non-narrative choral music in the 1960s and 1970s