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Choral works with solo violin and/or oboe

The graduate conducting class I teach is open to instrumentalists as part of a half course credit (they play in our recitals to complete the credit), and we usually have a string group of 4-5 players who enroll.  This year though we are down to one violinist and one oboist, so for one unit next term I am hoping to find appropriate repertoire for our conducting students that involves SATB choir and these two solo instruments.  I know of Effinger's "Four Pastorales" for chorus and oboe, and Chatman's cycle "There is Sweet Music Here", also with oboe.  Your suggestions would be welcome.
Replies (21): Threaded | Chronological
on November 23, 2010 3:43pm
Kesselman: Rosin the Beau
for SATB and violin
Boosey & Hawkes
on November 23, 2010 3:45pm
hi Len!
Brent Pierce, How Still He Rests, SATB  + oboe.
Don't forget you can do a search in MUSICANET putting in SATBm, oboe, violin and see what come sup!
on November 24, 2010 6:31am
Leonard and David,
A small addendum to this wise suggestion: if you do not want to select all the pieces with a symphonic orchestra, that do indeed involve a violin and a oboe, you must restrict the search in Musica with the addtional criterion "number of instrumental parts" : 2
You would also better search with the criterion Type of choir: "mixed" rather than Voicing: "SATB", as it will be more open
All other combinations are of course possible
Kind regards,
on November 23, 2010 6:46pm
Thorpe recently published my carol Kings Came Riding,
for mixed chorus and oboe.  Poem of Charles Williams.
Some sample pages are here:
Brian Holmes
on November 23, 2010 10:30pm
Leonard:  A number of 17th century composers used pairs of obbligato instruments with chorus, although not always SATB chorus.  Check Monteverdi, Schutz, and probably Purcell as well.  Plus a number of less well known composers.  And for the most part anything from the 17th century for 2 obbligato instruments can easily be played by violin plus oboe.
We just did Monteverdi's "Beatus vir," for 6 voices plus 2 violins and basso continuo.  And some of his earlier madrigals, like "Ch'io me d'oro" also used paired obbligato instruments.
on November 23, 2010 11:07pm
"The Gartan Mother's Lullaby" by Niel Ginsburg is for Mixed chorus, piano and solo violin (or solo flute).
You could might be able to use "Sactus" movement of Faure's Requiem.
on November 24, 2010 2:32am
Maybe you'd consider the following "Nightfall in a Summer Garden" for SATB chorus and oboe, published by Lighthouse Music Publications -  There is a performance on youtube as well.
Good luck in your search.
on November 24, 2010 7:24am
Mark Hayes - Lenten Carol for SATB and oboe
on November 24, 2010 8:44am
Bradley Ellingboe wrote an a cappella SATB setting of "Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service"  to the tune Beach Spring with a wonderful obbligato line for either violin or oboe.  
J. S. Bach's tenor solo with SATB  from the St. Matthew Passion - "I Would beside my Jesus Be Watching"  has a marvelous solo oboe line.   
In the green Morning Star book of unison and 2-part pieces, there is one movement from Bach cantata 43 IIRC  with the German text "Du Friedefuerst, Herr Jesu Christ" with a violin obbligato.
(pub. Concordia, IIRC) .
Best to you and your students.
Pat Maimone
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
Santa Monica, CA 90405
on November 24, 2010 8:48am
Hi Leonard,
My work The Dark Hills for SATB choir, oboe, and piano is published by Boosey & Hawkes and might be a fit for your group.  Here is a link to more information about the work on my website.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Jenni Brandon
on November 24, 2010 2:25pm
Hi Leonard,
Check out "Thou Whose Harmony is the Music of the Spheres" by Stephen Chatman for a cappella SATB and oboe. Very lyrical oboe part.
All the best, 
Karen Schuessler 
Karen Schuessler Singers
on November 24, 2010 2:51pm
Winds Through the Olive Trees for SATB a capella w/oboe.
by Sandra K. Peter
on November 24, 2010 5:25pm

Clare Shore's Noah's Ark for solo oboe and 4-part speaking chorus
Go here to listen to excerpts:


E.C. Schirmer Music Company, Inc.
(available from (
or call E.C. Schirmer toll-free:1-800-777-1919

(Note: A CD with the entire performance of Noah's Ark, along with a track of the oboe part only,
is available from the publisher)

on November 24, 2010 7:49pm
I thought I'd exhausted my last ounce of appreciation for settings of "How Can I Keep From Singing?" -- until I heard Taylor Davis' recently-published arrangement for SATB chorus, piano, oboe and violin. It's absolutely exquisite. It's on MorningStar's website, if you'd care to have a listen:
Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Laura Sandham
on November 24, 2010 9:04pm
And now, for something completely different: Norwegian folksongs for SATB, piano, and oboe. My "Norwegian Folksong Suite" was premiered last year by the Gordon College Choir, Faith Lueth conducting, and it's a set of six pieces in varying moods. Please check out my website ( if you'd like to hear a sample.
Best wishes,
Melinda Bargreen
on November 24, 2010 10:31pm
Two works by Edwin T. Childs use C instrument (violin or oboe).  They are:

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Woodland Music Press,

a division of Ron Harris Music

exclusively distributed by Carl Fischer

Item: A050205


What Wondrous Love is This

Ron Harris Music

Woodland Music Press,

a division of Ron Harris Music

exclusively distributed by Carl Fischer

Item: A050204

on November 25, 2010 12:35am
Please contact my father, Jacob Avshalomov, at javshalomov(a) He wrote a lovely setting of the Celtic Blessing with solo violin, and his Tom O' Bedlam is his signature youth period piece with solo oboe and one percussionist (just drum and tambourine jingles), a marvellous, haunting  piece.
Best regards,
David Avshalomov
on November 25, 2010 12:07pm
I suggest "Advent", by Craig Courtney. TTBB, but can be performed by SATB voices singing in the not-too-low male octave.  It is a beautiful and highly original approach to "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel".  Requires an accomplished violinist.  
Available through Beckenhorst Press, and you can hear it in it's entirety on the Beckenhorst website.
Good Luck!
on November 25, 2010 1:40pm
From Rutter's Requiem -
The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23) works well with piano or organ and oboe solo.
Violin - Donna Gartman-Schulz's Banks of Doon . . .
on December 20, 2010 4:07pm
Four Pastorales, by Cecil Effinger, are wonderful for chorus and solo oboe.
on December 20, 2010 5:59pm
Obviously not for this season, but for future holiday seasons I would recommend:
Brian Galante - In The Bleak Midwinter -  SATB choir with Piano and Solo Violin. A very beautiful piece!
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