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Choral music

Sibelius and Nielsen: National poetry and polyphony

Lemminkainen's mother © Gallen Kallela
All composer anniversaries, especially those of well-established names, offer a possibility of looking at their lesser known compositions.
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From micropolyphonics to barbershops

Iannis Xenakis (1975)
An exploration of the choral music of the 1960s and 70s by such giants as Stockhausen and Cage, plus a few rarer examples.

Vaughan Williams and Shakespeare: A heavenly match

Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1954
Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music is a much loved vocal work that pays tribute to the greatness of Shakespeare. Here, we explore the work's history and its enduring appeal. 

On composing choral music: An interview with Ann Callaway

Ann Callaway © Yen Bachmeier
An interview with composer Ann Callaway about the art of writing choral music.
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LiverpoolManon Quartet with Benjamin Mellefont, clarinet

Manon Quartet with Benjamin Mellefont, clarinet
Golijov, Mozart
Ren Jian; Naomi Watson; Morag Robertson; Deni Teo

LondonEuropean Union Chamber Orchestra

Haydn, Mozart
European Union Chamber Orchestra; Hans-Peter Hofmann; Gresham's Schola Cantorum; John Bowley; Fellows of the National Youth Choir; Ben Goldscheider

LondonRutter Requiem: Into Night Time

Byrd, Tallis, MacMillan, Kodály, Rutter, Park, Whitacre, Lauridsen
London Choral Sinfonia; Michael Waldron; Kim-Lillian Strebel

SingaporeVCH Presents Gold 50: The King's Singers

Ley, Chilcott, Palestrina, Tallis, Byrd, Stanford, Traditional, Vaughan Williams, Poulenc, Simon, Muhly, Bennett
The King's Singers

AmsterdamZTR Zaterdagmatinee: Haitink conducts A German Requiem

ZTR Zaterdagmatinee: Haitink conducts A German Requiem
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem - A German Requiem, Op.45
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; Michael Gläser; Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor); Camilla Tilling; Hanno Müller-Brachmann; Bernard Haitink

SingaporeVCH Presents The King's Singers with the Singapore Symphony Children's Choir

Chilcott, Le Jeune, Vásquez, Senfl, Saint-Saëns, Traditional, Rutter, L'Estrange
The King's Singers
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Andris Nelsons leads Leipzig Week in Boston

Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony © Michael Blanchard
With Andris Nelsons about to debut as Kapellmeister at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, a collaboration with his Boston Symphony was inaugurated in style. 
***11
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Abbado and Osorio create a masterful Beethoven

Roberto Abbado © Miro Zagnoli
Resident soloist Jorge Federico Osorio continues his Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with Guest Conductor Roberto Abbado and the Atlanta Symphony.
***11
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Long on refinement, short on sparkle: Nelson Freire in Gstaad

Nelson Freire © Miguel Bueno
Freire convinces in Bach, but soft attack and heavy pedal use make for flat renditions of romantic works.
**111
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Bernstein's Mass gushes, swoons and rages

Bernstein's Mass with Dudamel © Craig T Mathew | Mathew Imaging courtesy of LA Philharmonic Association
The Los Angeles Philharmonic proved that Bernstein's Mass, which had been dogged by critics at its première, has stood the test of time.
*****
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Cleveland Orchestra's The Seasons proves successful despite cancellations

Franz Welser-Möst © Roger Mastroiani
Illness caused two baritones to bow out, plus an indisposed tenor on the night of the first performance. But soprano Golda Schultz, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Orchestra, led by Franz Welser-Möst, ultimately revelled in Haydn’s late masterpiece.
****1
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A radiant start to the year in Budapest

Ádám Fischer conducting The Creation © Gábor Kotschy, Müpa Budapest
Ádám Fischer delivers a remarkable performance of Haydn's great oratorio.
****1
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Choral Month: Girls Allowed

David Hill © John Wood
Girl choristers singing in the cathedrals of the United Kingdom have become an increasingly common sight (and sound) but this wasn’t always the case. David Hill, Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral from 1987 to 2002, and his daughter, Alison, who attended Salisbury, the first cathedral to admit girl choristers, reflect on their experiences.

Choral Month in Estonia: A choral phenomenon

Song Celebrations (Laulupidu)
Ülo Krigul sings with the Estonian National Male Choir and offers some interesting insights into the strong grounding choral singing has in Estonia’s education system, news of the amazing festival where thousands of singers meet to make music together, and his thoughts on the Baltic bass sound.

Is Singing Really Good For You?

One need only watch television programmes featuring Gareth Malone to witness the appetite for community singing. Many claims are made about the supposed health benefits of joining a choir, but how much truth is there in this? Rohan Shotton bursts a few bubbles…

Hidden Gems of the Choral Repertory

After you’ve had your appetite whetted by hearing some of the great choral works – what should you explore next? Jane Shuttleworth leads you gently by the hand down the choral byways to recommend some hidden choral gems.

March 2014: Choral Month

March is Choral Month at Bachtrack! Choral music has the power to touch the lives of many people. Take a look at our articles exploring different aspects of choral music, from performing to composition. 

Choral Month: Your Nominations

© Twitter
Out articles highlighting a few ‘hidden gems’ of the choral repertory have generated plenty of interest on Twitter, proving how choral music really strikes a resonant chord in listening habits around the world. We threw the selection process open to allow you to suggest the choral pieces which you think deserve greater recognition… and you haven’t disappointed us! 

Arvo Pärt and Choral Singing in Estonia

Estonian Song and Dance Celebration © Endel Grensmann
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt talks about the current popularity of choral music. We also discover from Maris Hellrand why choral singing in Estonia is so vibrant. 

The British choral tradition: an introduction

Treorchy Male Voice Choir © Treorchy Male Voice Choir
Without it, there would not be over 80 cathedral and college choirs throughout Britain, nor hundreds of smaller parish choirs. There would not be thousands of amateur choruses  up and down the country. We wouldn’t stand up for the “Hallelujah” chorus, nor tune in to the carol service from King’s College Cambridge every Christmas, nor sing Jerusalem at sporting occasions.

Choral Month in Austria: Wiener Singverein

Wiener Singverein
Johannes Prinz of the Wien Singverein answers our questions about the choral scene in Vienna. 

Singing in Schools

© National Galleries of Scotland
Most of us started singing whilst at school. Teacher Alan Coady explores the benefits that choral singing brings, drawing on his personal experiences about the collective power that singing can realise.

Choral Month in Los Angeles: A hearty embrace of new music

Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale © Lee Salem
Grant Gershon, Music Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, took some time out of his schedule to answer our Bachtrack questions about the choral scene in Los Angeles. We were keen to find out which styles of choral music are engaging audiences there and how healthy the situation is with young singers joining the choral scene.

Contemporary Choral Music

Arvo Pärt © Isabelle Françaix
Choral music is now hugely popular with audiences and performers alike. Following our Hidden Choral Gems article, Penny Homer takes us into the world of choral music of today, pointing out some lesser-known works which deserve to be shared amongst Bachtrack's audience. 

The Art of Choral Composition

Ben Parry © SPT Photography
Composer Ben Parry offers an insight into the world of writing music for choral forces. How do you select suitable texts? To write an accompaniment or not? How to write for particular voices and venues?

Sweden: Where many hearts beat like one

Eric Ericson © Lena Koller
What is the secret behind the “Swedish choral miracle”? Even though singing was always big in the country that produced an extraordinary number of vocal talents, including Jenny Lind and Birgit Nilsson, one person is generally credited with the popularity of this pastime: Eric Ericson.

Choral music: exploring across genres

Greg Beardsell
Greg Beardsell explains his work with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Training Choir in collaborating with performers from different genres, to explore different perspectives which can enrich both sets of groups.