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Historical: Significant 20th-century works

Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 14:20:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: David Griggs-Janower
To: choralacademe
Subject: "significant" 29th century works - the response

The original post requested your "top ten" works of this century in
terms of "significant" or "importance," with no definitions or
restrictions as to what those words mean, what size piece we were
looking for, of how we define 20th century. A later post explained
that a colleague wondered what pieces we'd choose to teach in a 20th
century music class in the choral unit.

I think most people assumed that I was looking for "major" works with
chorus and orchestra, and some gave both. Some people answered with
one or two works, some a long list, so the numbers below don't
indicate how many responses I received (about 2 dozen?). Here's a
tabulation of the results. Some of the pieces mentioned came with
modifiers, such as "I think it's a great piece but not much heard," so
I don't know if it fits "important" or not. I suppose we won't know
for another 50 years or so.

Anyway, for what it's worth, and more or less accurate:

The winner: Symphony of Psalms - 18 votes

War Requiem - 16
Carmina B - 10 (11? See end)
Poulenc Gloria - 9 (10? ")
Britten Hymn to St. Cecilia - 8
Penderecki St. Luke Passion - 7
Chichester Psalms - 6

King David - 4
Belshazzar's Feast - 4
Durufle Requiem - 3
Debussy 3 Chansons - 3
Randall Thompson - 3 people mentioned specific pieces (Frostiana,
Alleluia, PEaceable Kingdom) or "his oeuvere"
Schoenberg - Friede auf Erden - 3
Copland In the Beginnig - 3
Ives - Psalms/Ps 90/Ps 67 - 3 (also Harvest Home Chorales - 1)
Poulenc motets - 3 (Xmas/ Lent?)

Paert got lots of mention, but not always for the same pieces: 2 for
Te Deum, 2 for Magnificat, 2 for Litany, one each for Passio, Miserere,
Berlin Messe

Adams Harmonium - 2
Les Noces - 2
Hindemith When Lilacs - 2
Gurrelieder - 2
Bernstein Mass - 2
Survivor from Warsaw - 2
Hindemith Chansons - 2
Tippett A Child of our Time - 2
Ligeti Lux aeterna - 2

The rest received one vote each:

Berio Lux Eterna
Hindemith Apparebit repentina dies
Mahler 8
Mahler 2
Poulenc Stabat Mater
Stravinsky Mass
Alex. Nevsky
Moses and Aron
Barber Prayers of Kierkegaard
Webern Cantata #1
Bloch - Sacred Service
Durufle 4 motets
Elgar - Dream of Gerontius
Penderecki - Polish Requiem
Kodaly - Psalmus Hungaricus
Stravinsky Oedipus Rex
Janacek Glagolitic Mass
Vaughan Williams Hodie
Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem
Britten Ceremony of Carols
Pespighi Laud to the Nativity
Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil
Reich Desert Music
Alice PArker - His Voice as the Sound
Poulenc Mass in G
Tavener Funeral Ikos
Belmont Electra
F. Martin Mass (only one vote - surprised me!)
Raminsch Magnificat
Gorecki Miserere
Britten St. Nicolas
Honegger Jeanne d'Arc
Dallapiccola Canti di Prigonia
Tippett Vision of St. Augistine
Ranchmaninoff Vespers
Poulenc Un Soir du Neige
Feldman the Rothko Chapel
Britten A Boy was Born
Poulenc Figure Humaine
Nystedt O Crux
holliger Die Jahreszeiten
P. Norgord Wie ein Kind (Spelling might be wrong)

Messiaen - no piece mentioned, along with Orff, Poulenc, Vaughan
Williams, so don't know how to count these, but it probably ads a vote
to Carmina

on May 17, 2007 10:00pm

Where can I find a compact disk recording of Hindemith's 'Apparebit repentina dies', please!

Robie Hubley
on June 24, 2007 10:00pm
By the way, Vesper and All-Night-Vigil is Rakhmaninov's same composition (op.37, 1916 russian
on October 28, 2007 10:00pm
I too have been looking for a recording since singing this piece with Robt. Shaw at OSU. I have been told that it is available through German, on the Edeal Label, on a CD titled, "Wake, Awake!" Even with the info, I have yet to put my hands on it. Good luck.

Greg Rosser