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The Best not-so-well-known major works

I'm looking for public domain SATB oratorio-type works for my college choir that are interesting and worth doing but not the ones everyone knows.  We've recently done Horatio Parker's Hora Novissima, George Bristow's Oratorio of Daniel, and Coleridge Taylor's Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, solid, interesting, and pieces they'll probably never have the chance to do again in their lifetimes if they keep singing.
Any ideas?
David Griggs-Janower
Replies (25): Threaded | Chronological
on November 25, 2010 11:02am
Rheinberger, esp. Requiem & Star of Bethlehem:
Requiem in b op. 60 (ed. Wolfgang Hochstein, 1992)

SATB, Coro SATB, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Clt, 2 Fg, 3 Cor, 3 Trb, Tuba, Timp, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb

Missa in C op. 169 (ed. Wolfgang Hochstein, 1998)

Zwei authentischen Versionen: - Orchesterfassung: Soli SATB, Coro SATB, Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Clt, 2 Cor, 2 Tr, [3 Trb], Timp, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb - Streicherfassung: Soli SATB, Coro SATB, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb, Org


Stabat Mater in c op. 16  (ed. Han Theill, 1997)

Soli STB, Coro SATB, 2 Ob, 2 Clt, 2 Fg, 2 Cor, 1 Trb, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb

Stabat Mater in g op 138 (ed. Han Theill, 1997)

Streicherfassung:  Coro SATB, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb, Org


Christoforus op 120 (Text: Fanny von Hoffnaaß)

Soli SATB, Coro SATB, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Clt, 2 Fg, 2 Cor, 2 Tr, 3 Trb, Tuba, Timp, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb

Der Stern von Bethlehem op. 164 (ed. Harald Wanger, 1988) (Text: Fanny von Hoffnaaß)

Soli SB, Soli TBarB oder kleiner Chor, Coro SATB, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Clt, 2 Fg, 2 Cor, 2 Tr, 3 Trb, Timp, Arpa, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Cb

on November 25, 2010 12:32pm
Another neglected 19th-centuary American masterpiece IMHO:  Amy Beach, Grand Mass in E-flat Major, Op. 5, SATB soli, SATB choir, orch. & organ
Since you've done Bristow, I'll mention that I've heard tell of an "Ode to the American Union" by him but don't know it.  Presumably there's a large 19th-century secular cantata repertoire to explore.  Root's "The Haymakers" would be a prime candidate but as I recall the choruses are all a cappella, so it might not suit your requirements.  Good luck!  chris hoh
on November 26, 2010 4:37pm
There are numerous works by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy that are underperformed, including the following:
Magnificat in D Major (1822) for solo voices, chorus, & orchestra
Te Deum in D Major (1826) for solo voices, double chorus, & basso continuo (not to be confused with the shorter Te Deum in A Major for SATB voices of 1832)
The Eight Chorale Cantatas, most of which were unpublished during his lifetime and only rediscovered in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.
  • Christe, du Lamm Gottes
  • Jesu, meine Freude
  • Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten
  • O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden
  • Vom Himmel hoch
  • Verleih' uns Frieden
  • Wir glauben all' an einen Gott
  • Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh' darein
The Psalm Cantatas for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra
  • Psalm 42 "Wie der Hirsch schreit", Op. 42
  • Psalm 95 "Kommt, lasst uns anbeten", Op. 46
  • Psalm 98 "Singet dem Herrn", Op. 91
  • Psalm 114 "Da Israel au Ägypten zog", Op. 51
  • Psalm 115 "Non nobis Domine", Op. 31
Lauda Sion, Op. 73 for solo voices, chorus, & orchestra
There are also the 11 Chandos Anthems by Handel, which are wonderful works and are not performed as frequently as they deserve to be performed. I'm particularly fond of #6 "As pants the hart for cooling streams", but you need to be careful of the versioning on this title: Handel did five different settings of this text, all grouped under HWV 251 as a, b, c, d, & e. I believe that the correct version for the Chandos Anthem is HWV 251b, at least according to the Groves listing of Handel's works.
John Muehleisen
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