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8-part piece for chamber choir

Hi all;
Any suggestions for music, sacred or secular, ancient or modern, for a choir of 8 people, one to a part (so, SSAATTBB)? About 3-4 minutes duration would be ideal. We'd prefer not to sing scaled-down versions of larger works (yes, I've sung the Hallelujah Chorus with 8 voices, but it lacked a little something... like another 192 voices!)
Thanks for your time
Replies (16): Threaded | Chronological
on October 5, 2010 10:54am
Dear Mr. Bridge:
There are so many--the real challenge will be to
select from among an embarassment of riches.
I will make one suggestion--"Coelos ascendit
hodie," no. 2 of "Three Motets," op. 38  by Charles
Villiers Stanford--an absolutely gorgeous piece.
it is written for two choirs--doing it antiphonally
would be an interesting element in your concert.
Best wishes for your performance.
Thomas Sheets, D.M.A.
on October 5, 2010 11:14am
Yes, thank you for that, Thomas, it's beautiful! And would suit single voices...
on October 5, 2010 11:20am
Have you checked out Voces8?  They are an excellent group from England and sing a wide variety of music that's in 8 parts with one to a part.
Here are some anthems that come to mind:
O Clap Your Hands - Gibbons
Any of the Sechs Spruche by Mendelssohn (ideally done with a larger choir, but Voces8 has performed at least the first one in the set and it sounded fantastic)
on October 5, 2010 12:59pm
Dear Tony,
Take at look at two excellent motets by Johann Ludwig Bach - 'Das ist meine freude' and Unser Trubsal'. Both available through Choral Wiki (CPDL) in my editions.
Stuart McIntosh
on October 6, 2010 2:35am
Elgar's There is Sweet Music is wonderful - the choirs are in different keys. Very beautiful piece and not as well known as, for instance, the Stanford motets. And the Gibbons previously mentioned is one of the greatest choral pieces ever produced on the little island where I live!
on October 6, 2010 4:36am
Dear Tony,
I have two works which may suit:
Levavi Oculos Meos - a 4' setting of Psalm 121
Cançó del Mar - a 9' setting of Catalan poems about the sea - requires a chamber ensemble (Cl. BCl. Hp. Vln. Vcl. Db.)
In both cases I envisage a double SATB format rather than SSAATTBB.
I would be happy to send you PDF perusal scores and recordings.
Christopher Marshall
on October 6, 2010 5:31am
Nicholas Gombert: Tulerant Dominum meum ssaattbb, and its textual varients:   Je prens congie & Lugebat David/Absalon- formerly attrib to Josquin. A pleaser.
Choralwiki has as Josquin. Hetland also has an edition.
on October 6, 2010 6:11am
You might want to look at "Lay a Garland" by Robert Lucas Pearsall.
Available on
on October 7, 2010 6:32am
The Pearsall is in our repertoire, thanks, gorgeous!
on October 6, 2010 9:46am
I once sang the Kyrie from the Rheinberger Cantus Missae with just 8 people, two SATB quartets arranged antiphonally. Along the same lines, the Mendelssohn "Heilig" works well the same way.
You can hear the Rheinberger on YouTube here:
on October 7, 2010 6:31am
 Abenlied is in our repertoire, thanks for the YouTube link
on October 6, 2010 2:12pm
3 Love Songs by Kentaro Sato
A lot of pieces by him are in SSAATTBB. So, you might find something better.
on October 7, 2010 6:30am
Kel, particularly like the last of these, also some interesting things on his web site, thanks for the info!
on October 7, 2010 6:46am
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and private mails! Apologies if I haven't responded personally here, but all suggestions have been noted and investigated!
As Mr Sheets said, this is a rich seam...
on October 7, 2010 10:29pm
Tony -- May I suggest "Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God of Hosts," which I wrote for double SATB choir?  Here are links to info and audio as well as a YouTube slideshow.   The text is compiled from Psalm voices and the piece works well one-on-a-part.  Is most effective with good intonation (what isn't?).  At 5' 15" is a little longer than requested but might work for you nonetheless.  Was premiered successfully in Montana in 2008 and would be eligible for an "Encore" performance grant from American Composers Forum, an application I'd be glad to work with you on if interested.  in any event, all the best for your group!  chris hoh
on October 8, 2010 12:24pm
Mr. Bridge,
If you are interested I could send you a perusal copy of my "Pater Noster", SSAATTBB a cappella, 3'30'.
It's the only piece of mine that is still waiting for its World premiere...
Ivo Antognini
e-mail:  potolonto(a)
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