Many thanks for your responses regarding repertoire on the theme of nature
and/or the environment. Here's what you said.
Master Chorale of Washington
Washington, DC 20016
You might take a look at "Voices of Earth" by Canadian composer Ruth
Watson-Henderson. Scored for chorus and orchestra, ca. 25' duration,
published by Gordon V. Thompson (distributed by Warner-Chappell).
"On the Nature of Creation" by Univ of Oregon composer Robert Kyr is one
of the best new works I've done in the past 25 years. 35 minutes long, a
cappella, tonal, demanding in places but very accessible to the audience,
plus an incredible assortment of texts from ancient history to the
present. He can be contacted at the Univ of Oregon....a tape was made of
our first performance last year and we will record it this June...I'm sure
Kyr would be delighted to hear from you. Sincerely, Gil Seeley, Oregon
We did a concert on that theme several years ago, and enjoyed Libby
Larsen's Missa Gaia (Mass for the Earth). It's scored for oboe,
percussion, string quartet, and four-hand piano. Libby would be
delighted with a full string section (I asked, though we used the
Frances Fowler Slade
Music Director, Princeton Pro Musica
Director of Music, All Saints' Church, Princeton
I assume you are looking for mixed chorus things. If you don't know
my EARTHSONGS for women's voices and orchestra, however, you might be
interested. It's in three (continuous) movements with texts by the
American geologist/poet James Gates Percival ("The World is Full of
Poetry"), the Buddhist Sutta Nipata ("In Safety and Bliss") and a
litany from the United Nations Environmental Sabbath program ("We
Join with the Earth"). If you'd like, I can send you a copy.
David L. Brunner, DMA
Director of Choral Activities
University of Central Florida
Department of Music
P.O. Box 161354
Orlando, FL 32816-1354
How about the "Sea Symphony" by Vaughan Williams? Does that fit your
criteria? The Clearinghouse has 200 copies for rent if that would be
interesting to you.
Monforte Music Clearinghouse
Ottorino Respighi wrote an obscure work entitled "La Primavera"
(Springtime). It is somewhat similar in style to his tone poems,
and is rarely performed. Some would argue that it is deserving
of its neglect.
Lee G. Barrow
I recommend Andrew Imbrie's "On the Beach At
Night". It's a setting of the Walt Whitman poem
of the same name.
If memory serves, it's about 15 minutes long. It
is SATB with orchestra. I've never performed it
but I've heard it performed by the Brandeis
University Chorus and by the Canata Singers in
Boston. I don't know who published it or if it
has been recorded. I would check the CRI record
label. Sorry I don't have more information to
judyzuckerman(a)yahoo.com (Judith Zuckerman)
Look at "The Hour is Come" by Srul Irving Glick, Canadian...gorgeous... multi
movement; chorus and orchestra. i don't have the text in my head, but it
would be close match to what you're looking for.
Glick is a solid composer, conservative and lyrical. This is a good piece,
with some nature elements, but maybe not "a nature piece". He calls it a
Robert Kyr's On the Nature of Creation would be perfect. But it does not
call for orchestra... alas. Still, it is a work worth recognizing! Four
movements, entitled 1) Let there be light (employing texts from Genesis and
Rig Veda) 2) Celestial Healer (employing text from a letter written by
Galileo to his friend Johannes Kepler about a dream he had) 3) Ballad of Good
Mind (employing texts from Mayan and Seneca Indian cultures) and 4) Let there
be Music (text by Robert Kyr).
I wrote about Kyr's choral works in my dissertation (completed 2000) and
would be glad to send you his phone number or any additional information you
may need. I have a recording of the final movement (Let there be Music) that
my own choir prepared under his supervision and guidance last spring for my
Oh, also, there is Libby Larsen's Missa Gaia (but that only employs small
Dr. Giselle Wyers
Boise State University
Gwyers(a)boisestate.edu (Giselle Wyers)
A few works come to mind, some of which bear an arguably "loose"
relationship to nature/environment:
Holst, Choral hymns from Rig Veda
Vaughan Williams, Sea Symphony
Britten, Choral dances from Gloriana (not sure if there's a version w/orch,
perhaps not an extraction)
Rutter, For the beauty of the earth
Bliss, Lie strewn in the white flocks
Svane, At the earth's imagined round corners
Husa, Apotheosis of this Earth
Finzi, Initmations of immortality (selections)
Zemlinsky, Two poems for chorus and orchestra: Fruehlingsglaube, Geheimnis
Wayne 'Sandy' Glass
Finzi (who allowed his music to gestate quite slowly) began his setting of
Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality during the 1930s, but did not
complete it until 1950. The early-nineteenth-century text expands the ideas
expressed by Traherne, focusing on the gradual erosion of innocence by the
cares of adulthood and on the possibility of retaining a sense of youth and
freshness by remaining open and alive to the wonders of Nature. Scored for
tenor solo, chorus, and orchestra, and lasting some three-quarters of an
hour, it is probably the composer's largest-scale work, and therefore
required a broader and more ambitious expressive palette than that heard in
most of his music. Finzi met this challenge, producing a work of profound
beauty that is sure to appeal to all those with a taste for English choral
music along the spectrum from the religious oratorios of Elgar to Vaughan
Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem. The performance offered here is excellent,
comparable to the version on EMI conducted by Richard Hickox.
You may already know a little work by Haydn called "The Storm."
Bach Society of Saint Louis
From: adennis(a)peaknet.net (A. Dennis Sparger)
Three pieces come to mind, though they may not match your time parameters:
My own *Hymn to Earth* on a text by one Jim Miller ("If the earth were a ball
only a few feet in diameter, floating above a field somewhere, people would
come from everywhere to marvel at it. . .") for SATB div., fl, cl, hp, str
(can be played 1 on a part) and/or org (replaces/doubles the strings). c. 8
min. I'm preparing a score/tape package to send out to someone else; I can
easily make another one if this might be of interest.
Also my own *Prayer for the Earth* (c. 10 min.) on a Chinook Prayer Litany
for SATB (mostly 2-pt), 2 fl, 2 cl, 2 hn, hp or pno, vc which I have been
meaning to (& can easily) rescore for a more conventional "strings +"
Finally, closer to an hour is Gregg Smith's *Earth Requiem* for SATB soli,
SATB div., treble choir, organ & orchestra, which was commissioned &
premiered by the Cathedral Choral Society in DC a few years back. It was
supposed to be published by Laurendale Assoc., but contact Gregg at
for latest info; please tell him I sent you.
Hope this helps. . .
Happy New Year/Century/Millennium!
Robert A.M. Ross, Artistic Director
Voces Novae et Antiquae