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TheGreyPilgrim

The Official Sacred Music/Hymns Thread

70 posts in this topic

May be skirting the rules with this one, but I see no reason why this type of music, and even its textual content, can't be discussed and appreciated from an aesthetic angle, free of any religious baggage.

I'll start off with some of my favorite rousing tunes.

Obviously the English have a knack for this sort of thing.

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I find the hymns of Hubert Parry and most other Victorian-era composers harmonically dull and predictable. That all said, I love Ralph Vaughn Williams's hymns, mostly adapted from English folk songs. Wish they were performed more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_kxBjDud8I

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Kingsfold, the fourth one in my first post, is one of VW's folk tunes turned hymn tunes, and probably my absolute favorite. Don't like the Picardy third at the end of the performance though.


Did you listen to the first one? A Howells tune with gorgeous harmonies.

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It's quite nice, but it doesn't move me like VW's do.

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That all said, I love Ralph Vaughn Williams's hymns, mostly adapted from English folk songs. Wish they were performed more.

(Y)

Whenever people list their favourite works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, I rarely see his arrangement of the old hundredth mentioned. It's so good that I would happily have it as our national anthem. Here is a version from St. Paul's Cathedral.

You don't have to be any way religious (or English!) for that to make the hairs on your neck stand on end.

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I love Handel's "Messiah", and both Mozart's and Faure's "Requiem"s, all of which I have sung, btw.

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Rachmaninov's Vespers.

Indeed. Together with Tchaikovsky's "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom", this is one of the most beautiful sacral works in the history of music. Never liked English or American sacral music, because it's so effin' pretentious and self-righteous...

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Care to give examples of that pretentious, self-righteous American and English sacred music?

...both Mozart's and Faure's "Requiem"s...

Have you heard Duruflé's? It's the best Requiem out there.

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I always liked what Penderecki did with Orthodox Lithurgy in his Utrenya. The Eastern Church singing is beautiful, anyway.

Karol

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Have you heard Duruflé's? It's the best Requiem out there.

Certainly there is no "best" requiem. There are many that are wonderful for different reasons. Love Duruflé's sublime requiem, and I suggest adding Britten, Dvorak, Berlioz, Cherubini, and Brahms to your playlist.

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Of course, the one time I don't add a "for me" or "in my opinion" or "I think" qualifier to something, someone jumps on it!


Sublime

Little anecdote - I never fully "got" Stravinsky's mass until I watched this; something about hearing them play the last bars of the Kyrie at 11:30 just made it click for me. Great documentary as a whole if you've got the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW7GiX4-hPc

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Of course, the one time I don't add a "for me" or "in my opinion" or "I think" qualifier to something, someone jumps on it!

Point taken. Duruflé's was a good mention, though. It's amazing in all of its versions (full orch, reduced orch, organ).

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Anton Bruckner's Motets

Os Iusti

Virga Jesse

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Just the first few favourite pieces that come to my mind, from different epochs.

Bach: "Christmas Oratorio" and the SUBLIME "St. Matthew's Passion". Of course, he also wrote a lot of cantatas, as well as the Mass in b minor, and many many many other sacred works.

Mozart: Mass in c minor K 427, Ave Verum Corpus, Requiem. Tragically, both the Mass K 427 and the Requiem were left unfinished. They are not only his best sacred (large-scale) works, but among his greatest works in any medium. The Kyrie of Mass K 427 is simply breathtaking.

Rossini: "Petite Messe Solennelle".

Brahms: "Ein Deutsches Requiem". I am not a huge fan of Brahms, but this is great, and I consider it his best work (followed by symphonies 4 and 3, plus many beautiful piano pieces).

Verdi: "Requiem". Beautiful and powerful, although some may not like its characteristic operatic quality (I like it).

Ligeti: "Requiem", "Lux Aeterna".

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Here you go (Bach and Mozart):

Bach, "Matthaus-Passion" (Bach wrote no operas, but this work is probably the closest thing to an opera in his catalogue):

Bach, "Christmas Oratorio" (the opening chorus is a Christmas classic):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFnW_CrPUlA

Mozart, "Requiem":

Mozart, "Ave Verum Corpus":


Brahms, "Deutsches Requiem":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LydPLNdob1c

Verdi, "Requiem":

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Here you go (Bach and Mozart):

Bach, "Matthaus-Passion" (Bach wrote no operas, but this work is probably the closest thing to an opera in his catalogue):

All three of Herreweghe's versions that I'm aware of (the two CD releases and this live version) are great. His second crack at it was the best overall for me, but Mields absolutely nails it (pardon the pun) @29:17

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Here you go (Bach and Mozart):

Bach, "Matthaus-Passion" (Bach wrote no operas, but this work is probably the closest thing to an opera in his catalogue):

All three of Herreweghe's versions that I'm aware of (the two CD releases and this live version) are great. His second crack at it was the best overall for me, but Mields absolutely nails it (pardon the pun) @27:17

I believe you - strangely enough (given the fact that I love Bach), I had never listened to the Matthaus-Passion at all until a few months ago, when I "discovered" it in this version that I posted here. What a monument of a piece! There is pure beauty in every movement, in every melodic line. I will go as far as to say that it is probably my favourite work among all of Bach's output. This performance by Herreweghe is superb. I will get the CD release that you are mentioning!

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I've tried to get into Bach's Passion through a number of recordings, but I've found it too animated and jubilant for my sensibilities, and I can't take more than a minute until I can't take it anymore. It grates.

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FYI, I messed up the time stamp on the recitative "Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt". It's 29:17, not 27:17. I made the correction to my original post, so I'm not entirely sure Score knew what part I was referring to ;)

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FYI, I messed up the time stamp on the recitative "Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt". It's 29:17, not 27:17. I made the correction to my original post, so I'm not entirely sure Score knew what part I was referring to ;)

Well, I had more or less deduced that, since the singer at 27:17 does not look (nor sound) exactly as a soprano ;)

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Lovely vespers from Notre Dame. Thanks to Alexander for bringing it to my attention. ;)

Featuring the wonderful Veni Creator chant.

And a breathtaking mass setting by the same organist, Yves Castagnet.

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Here's the Castagnet mass from the previous post, in actual recorded quality. I was floored by this piece. It's the best new music I've heard quite a while, and it's a few years old now! Absolutely stunning.

Sharky likes this

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