Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Exciting extended sacred works from 20th-21st Century composers

I am seeking suggestions for dramatic extended choral/orchestral works that have a Biblical or sacred theme or content.
We performed Chichester Psalms by Bernstein, Rutter's Gloria, and I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes by Adolphus Hailstork.  For the past
few years we have been singing mostly Classic, Romantic, and Baroque Masterworks and I feel the need and desire to get back
into the 20th and 21st century.
My first choice is Belshazzar's Feast - can't get much more dramatic and exciting than that - but I don't know if I have the space
and resources to bring in the requisite orchestra.  Is there another work out there for chorus and orchestra with sacred text,
about 45-90 minutes in length that would be in that genre?  Could be in English or a different language as long as it is a sacred
Christian text.
Always glad to look at new works, as well as tried and true and perhaps overlooked gems.
 
Grace and peace,
Larry Smith
Missouri Baptist University
St. Louis,  MO
Replies (27): Threaded | Chronological
on March 6, 2014 4:52pm
In the Beginning--Aaron Copland
Le Roi David--Honegger
Cantata--Stravinsky
War Requiem---Britten
Auschwitz Oratorio---Penderecki
St Luke Passion---Penderecki.  (May exceed your capacity---It's a huge work.  Shattering.)
Lauda per la nativita del Signore---Respighi
 
Just a few of my favorites.
Bob Copeland
Geneva Coillege (Emeritus)
 
Applauded by an audience of 3
on March 6, 2014 7:46pm
The chamber-orchestra version of Le Roi David is, I think, better than the revision for (too-)large orchestra. It's a magnificent piece, and if you can find a truly mesmerizing actor for the Witch of Endor you'll really knock the audience out.
 
But it's a Jewish text -- don't know if that would qualify.
 
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
 
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
Applauded by an audience of 2
on March 6, 2014 10:05pm
Dear Larry,
 
Great to hear that things are going so well for Missouri Baptist. Do you remember performing my setting of 'God's Grandeur'? Well I have now completed a
55 minute setting of the Requiem for Soprano and Baritone soloists with SATB Choir and Strings, which is still unperformed, fully.
 
If you are interested in taking a look at the score, e-mail me at my home address and I will send you a pdf and a link to my Dropbox for an audio link.
 
My address is: smacmus(a)yahoo.com
 
Best wishes,
 
Stuart McIntosh
 
BTW:  Belshazzar's Feast is an amazing work but at only 25 minutes in length needs other pieces to fill the concert.
on March 7, 2014 3:45am
Dear Larry,
 
I've written a Requiem (entirely in English) which has been recorded by the University of Glasgow Chapel Choir, so should be suitable for a university-level choir. Duration is about 50 minutes.
 
 
https://soundcloud.com/hutchingsmusic/requiem-live - a recording of the premiere (there are some issues with the soloists but the choir did well, and the recording for CD is much better but not yet available online)
 
Currently it's for SATB choir (divisi in all parts) and SATB soli (who could be drawn from the choir) with organ, but I'd be happy to orchestrate it for whatever instruments you have available. Let me know if it's the sort of thing you're looking for.
 
Chris Hutchings
on March 7, 2014 6:26am
Larry,
 
From the Rental Department of ECS Publishing: selected works. This is only a sampling of our vast offerings. Choices abound!
--
AQUILANTI, GIANCARLO (b. 1959)
Mass: A Celebration of Life (Large Orchestra) ..................45.0”
2-2-3-2 4-3-3-1 1-5-0-1, Strings, Solo Soprano, Solo Tenor,
SATB Chorus
or
Mass: A Celebration of Life (Chamber Orchestra) ...........45.0”
1-1-1-1 1-2-1-0 1-1-0-0, Strings, Solo Soprano, Solo Tenor,
SATB Chorus
+
Magnificat ...................................................................................22.0”
0-0-0-0 4-3-3-1 1-4-0-0, SATB Soli, SSAATTBB Chorus
--
CHATMAN, STEPHEN (b. 1950)
Magnificat ...................................................................................24.0”
Strings, SATB Chorus (divisi), Soprano Solo
--
DEALMEIDA, CRAIG (b. 1976)
The Vision of Isaiah, .................................................................36.0”
2-2-2-2 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus, Solo Soprano
and Solo Baritone
--
ENNS, LEONARD (b. 1948)
The Silver Cord ...........................................................................35.0”
1-1-2-2 2-3-3-1 1-1-0-0, Strings, Baritone Solo, SATB
(Ecclesiastes)
--
FINK, MICHAEL (b. 1939)
Septem Angeli ............................................................................12.0”
Strings, 4 Cellos, 2 Double Basses, SATB Chorus
--
GARDNER, JOHN (b. 1917)
Herrick Cantata .........................................................................27.0”
3-2-2-2 4-2-1-0 1-1-1-0, Strings, Solo Tenor, SATB Chorus
--
HERBOLSHEIMER, BERN (b. 1948)
Visitation of the Priory of St. Michael .................................19.0”
1-1-0-0 0-0-0-0 0-1-0-1, Violin, Cello, Solo Voice, Narrator
--
HOLST, GUSTAV (1874-1934)
All People That on Earth Do Dwell (“Old 100th”) ............. 7.5”
2-2-2-2 2-2-2-1 1-0-0-1, Strings, SATB Chorus
+
Festival Te Deum (“Short”) (Full Version) ............................ 5.5”
2-2-2-2 2-2-3-0 1-1-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
or
Festival Te Deum (“Short”) (String Version) ........................ 5.5”
Strings, SATB Chorus (*Strings are from full version)
+
The Hymn of Jesus (Full Version) ..........................................20.0”
3-3-2-2 4-2-3-0 1-3-0-2, Strings, SATB/SATB Chorus
or
The Hymn of Jesus (String Version) ......................................20.0”
Strings, SATB/SATB Chorus
+
Psalm 148 “Lord, Who Hast Made Us” ................................ 6.0”
0-0-0-0 2-2-3-1 1-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
+
Psalm 86 “To My Humble Supplication” .............................. 7.5”
0-0-0-0 2-2-3-1 1-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
+
Turn Back O Man ........................................................................ 3.0”
2-2-2-2 2-3-2-1 1-0-0-1, Strings, SATB or TTBB Chorus
--
HOPKINS, JAMES (b. 1939)
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (from “Five American
Folk Hymns”) ................................................................................ 3.0”
1-0-1-1 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
or
Five American Folk Hymns (Complete Set) ........................14.0”
1-0-1-1 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
or
Jerusalem, My Happy Home (from “Five American
Folk Hymns”) ................................................................................ 2.5”
1-0-1-1 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
or
My God, My Portion (from “Five American Folk
Hymns”) ......................................................................................... 3.0”
or
1-0-1-1 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
Now the Savior Stands (from “Five American Folk
Hymns”) ......................................................................................... 2.0”
1-0-1-1 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
or
Saw Ye My Savior? (from “Five American Folk
Hymns”) ......................................................................................... 3.5”
1-0-1-1 0-0-0-0 0-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
--
IRELAND, JOHN (1879-1962)
Greater Love Hath No Man ...................................................... 5.0”
2-2-2-2 4-3-3-1 1-0-0-0, Strings, Solo Baritone, SATB Chorus
--
LEHOTKA, GÁBOR (1938-2009)
Hegyi beszéd (The Sermon on the Mount) ........................32.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-0 1-6-1-1, Strings, Solo Tenor, Solo Baritone,
SATB Chorus, Narrator
--
MOLLICONE, HENRY (b. 1946)
Beatitude Mass ...........................................................................36.0”
2-2-2-2 2-2-2-0 1-1-1-1, Strings, SATB Chorus, Solo Soprano
and Solo Baritone
--
PINKHAM, DANIEL (1923-2006)
Ascension Cantata ....................................................................12.0”
2-0-0-0 4-4-3-1 1-1-0-1, Double Bass, SATB Chorus
+
The Dryden Te Deum, for SATB Chorus & Band ...............15.0”
3-3-2-2 2-3-3-0 1-1-1-0, 3 Cellos, Double Bass,
SATB Chorus
+
Spectacle of Glory ....................................................................15.0”
1-1-1-1 1-0-0-0 1-1-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
--
SAYLOR, BRUCE (b. 1946)
Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face ........................... 5.0”
Strings, SATB Chorus
+
World Awaking ........................................................................... 5.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-0 1-1-1-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
--
SHAW, MARTIN (1875-1958)
The Redeemer, for Chorus and Orchestra ..........................48.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-1 1-0-1-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
--
STRIMPLE, NICK (b. 1946)
Franciscan Canticles .................................................................10.0”
0-0-0-0 2-2-2-1 0-0-0-1, SATB Chorus
--
THOMPSON, RANDALL (1899-1984)
The Last Words of David (Orchestra Version) ..................... 4.0”
3-3-3-3 4-3-3-1 1-2-1-0, Strings, SATB or TTBB Chorus
+
Passion According to St. Luke ................................................92.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-1 1-1-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus, SMTBB Soli
--
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, RALPH (1872-1958)
Antiphon from “Five Mystical Songs” ................................... 3.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-1 1-0-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
or
Five Mystical Songs (Full Orchestra Version).....................22.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-1 1-0-1-0, Strings, Solo Baritone, SATB
Chorus
or
Five Mystical Songs (Piano/Strings Version) ......................22.0”
Piano, Strings, Solo Baritone, SATB
Chorus
+
A Cambridge Mass ....................................................................42.0”
2-2-2-2 4-3-3-1 1-0-0-1, Strings, SATB Double Chorus &
SATB soli
+
The Hundredth Psalm (Full Orchestra) ................................. 8.0”
2-2-2-3 4-2-1-0 1-1-0-1, Strings, SATB Chorus
+
Hyfrydol: Prelude on a Welsh Hymn Tune (Foster) ............ 3.0”
2-2-2-2 2-2-0-0 1-0-0-0, Strings
+
O Clap Your Hands (Full Orchestra Version) ...................... 3.5”
3-2-2-2 4-3-3-1 1-1-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
--
WACHNER, JULIAN (b. 1969)
Canticles ......................................................................................17.0”
1-0-0-0 2-2-0-0 1-2-1-2, Strings, Solo Soprano, SATB Chorus
+
Lamentations ..............................................................................25.0”
1-1-0-1 2-2-0-0 0-3-0-1, Strings, SSAATTBB Chorus
+
Regina Coeli ................................................................................16.0”
2-2-2-2 4-2-3-0 1-3-0-0, Strings, SATB Chorus
--
Cheers,

Stanley M. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Chief Editor
ECS PUBLISHING CORPORATION
RENTAL AND EDITORIAL DEPARTMENTS
615 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01702
ph 508-620-7400    ph. (toll free) 800-777-1919
fax 508-620-7401
e-mail: office(a)ecspublishing.com
 
ECS PUBLISHING SALES PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ONLY FROM
Canticle Distributing, 1727 Larkin Williams Road Fenton, MO 63026-2024
ph 800-647-2117 (USA only)     
ph. 636-305-0100 (outside USA and inside metro St. Louis)
fax  636-305-0121
e-mail: morningstar(a)morningstarmusic.com
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 7, 2014 6:52am
I'm happy to offer two options:
 
1) The five part Marian Motets for Chorus and Orchestra.   From Magnificat to Stabat Mater.   Individual durations approximately as follows,
Magnificat 35 minutes, O Magnum Mysterium 5 minutes, Ave Maria 5 minutes, Ave Regina Caelorum, 5 minutes, and Stabat Mater 8 minutes.  All use a chamber orchestra; the Magnificat includes movements for S, MS, A, and T soloists.   Total duration a little over an hour.  All in Latin.
 
2) Moses at the Jordan River, an oratorio, about 75-80 minutes total in seven parts, 36 movements including some short chorales and recitatives.     Important solos for Bass (Moses) and Tenor (Historian), shorter solos for S, A, T, B from chorus.   Moses was  presented successfully in a private workshop with piano, but has not been premiered publicly.  I've been finishing the orchestration and making a few improvements lately.  In English, all text put together from the King James version.
 
My soundcloud account has a few excerpts from each, I'd be glad to email perusal materials.   https://soundcloud.com/williamcopper
 
Good luck with it, and thanks for your ambitious goals!
 
William Copper
 
 
on March 7, 2014 8:54am
Dear Larry,
 
I am currently composing a piece in which you might be interested. It is a Judeo-Christian interfaith companion to Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. My piece has the same instrumentation as the Chichester Psalms, with sacred texts in Hebrew, Latin, and English. The duration is around 35 minutes and it will be finished this June, ready for performances next concert season. Please email me at fishbeinmusic(a)gmail.com if you are interested.
 
Best Regards,
Joshua Fishbein
www.fishbeinmusic.com
on March 7, 2014 11:24am
I have an oratorio on texts from Isaiah: Hear, O Heavens for SB soli, SATB div, and, at the moment, a reduced instrumentation for organ, piano (opt. harp), cb and 1 percussionist; 50 min. in length. It could be orchestrated fairly quickly if you think the piece would work for you. Please contact me privately for examination scores and a recording.
 
Hope this helps,
Robert A.M. Ross
robertamross(a)verizon.net
Soundcloud.com: <Robert Ross 11>
on March 7, 2014 11:54am
I'm pretty in love with Deo Gratias by Michael Cox ( http://www.michaelcox.org/music/2002-4-3-Deo-Gratias.html ), it's wonderful!
Dan Forrest has out a new "Requiem for the Living". Another great contemporary Requiem is K. Lee Scott's.
Mark Hayes' Te Deum, Gloria, and Magnificat are all fantastic.
on March 8, 2014 5:44am
Try Karl Jenkins Requiem
on March 8, 2014 1:44pm
Take a look at the Te Deum by Mark Hayes.  It's unlike many of his church anthems and arrangements, and is absolutely beautiful.  And it has enough complexity and musical sophistication to hold the interest and attention of your collegiate singers.  (Mostly in English but goes to the original Latin in a few key places.)  
on March 9, 2014 1:19pm
Hi Larry!
 
Please take 5 min to listen to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCpma7lYBOg if You do like what You hear then I will gladly send You the sheet music and discuss ev re-arranging for mixed choir and possibly larger orchestra.
 
All the Best
 
Mårten
on March 9, 2014 4:11pm
Agree with those who suggest Honegger's King David. It is dramatic and attractive to your choir. Another possibility is the Vaughan Williams, Dona Nobis Pacem. Text by Walt Whitman is exquisite interspersed with biblical texts. 
on March 9, 2014 7:25pm
Thanks everyone for these suggestions.  they are all very helpful and I am eager to hear more. 
on March 9, 2014 7:27pm
Thanks for the recommendation, Stuart.  I would be happy to take a look at any of your work.  Was God's Grandeur ever published?  It's a very good composition and a great poem.
on March 10, 2014 5:54am
Samuel Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard is an amazing piece - quite difficult, but worth every minute!! I think there are only a couple of old recordings (one with the Shaw & the Atlanta Symphony and the other with Shenk & the Chicago Symphony.)

Herbert Howell's Hymnus Paradisi is for orchestra and chorus, and while, IMHO, it is not as moving as his a capella Requiem, it is close (as well as the basis for the Requiem, I think.)
on March 10, 2014 8:28am
You might consider Ola Gjeilo's "Sunrise" Mass (about 30 minutes). It is with string orchestra rather than full orchestra.
on March 10, 2014 9:38am
If you want new and different you might want to look at pairing two by Leonard Enns:  Logos (22min) or Missa Brevis (14min).  Both performed by the Elora Festival Singes on "Northword" (Centrediscs). Fine and accessible; Logos uses larger forces but not a full orchestra.  
Also Healey Willan's Requiem (not recorded AFAIK).  
Or, Peter Togni's Lamentations of Jeremiah (15min).  
For a real challenge (it's in Finnish, a cappella) Rautavaara's Vigilia (All Night Vigil) runs about 40min.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 10, 2014 11:02am
Actually, the a cappella Requiem (which was not published until long after it was written, in response to the death of Howell's son Michael) was the basis for Hymnus Paradisi.
on March 12, 2014 6:52pm
Dear Larry,
If you are looking for something sacred, contemporary, beautiful, and somewhat challenging, I recommend you consider Responsoria (Book Two), by distinguished composer Richard Toensing. This beautiful and poignant work is scored for six-part chorus, six soloists, double bass, piano, and metal percussion (tubular bells, glockenspiel and tam-tam) and has a performance time of about 50 minutes. The text, in Latin, is drawn from the Psalms and the Gospels, and follows the traditional format of the Good Friday Tenebrae service in the Roman rite. A CD of Richard Toensing's complete Responsoria is available at any of the large commercial outlets. Be sure to let me know if I can provide additional information on this wonderful work.
 
All the best,
Janet Braccio
Bella Voce Communications
janetbraccio(a)comcast.net

 
on March 12, 2014 7:04pm
Much shorter than you're looking for, but perhaps an addition to the program?
 
 

Psalm 13 (SATB) by Jack Curtis Dubowsky. For SATB choir. Choral. Sacred; contemporary. Octavo.

Composed 2002. 12 pages. Duration 4:05. Published by De Stijl Music (D1.SM-02-0001).

Sacred text. Harmonically rich and complex.

on March 13, 2014 8:39am
Thanks Clay, I have performed some of Dr. Cox's octavos in the past.  I just looked up his home page and found the Deo Gratias and also Symphonic Psalms.  Both look promising.
I have done several of K. Lee Scott's works and always find his work compelling.  I know mark's work and he has also just published a Requiem.
on March 14, 2014 2:01pm
Hi Larry,
Paul Gibson's Rorate Caeli should have been mentioned by the gentleman from ECS - it's in their catalog, #5174.
SATB, organ, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones,  [c. 12:30]: "Commissioned by Frank Brownstead, this setting of a rich collection of Advent and Christmas texts (in both English and Latin) begins with heraldic fanfares and concludes with explosive Alleluias for chorus and brass." (from Paul's website, 
You can hear an excerpt on the website. Paul is a good friend of mine, and his music deserves wider attention. 
I'm glad things are going well for you. If I get any more lumberyard gigs, I'll let you know. Greetings from Sara also,
Larry Minton
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 15, 2014 2:49am
Larry: Check out my Seven Last Words (YouTube- first and second words) which is performed by San Antonio Choral Society.
Jerome Malek
on March 15, 2014 8:52am
Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms
Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem
Britten Cantata Misericordia
Argento The Revelations of Saint John the Diviine (male chorus)
 
Hope this helps,
 
Jim Marvin
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 16, 2014 9:45am
You might take a look at Ildebrano Pizzetti's Requiem. It has some blood-and-thunder moments.
on March 16, 2014 10:39am
The Greenville (SC) Chorale commissioned these works.   I highly recommend them to you all.
 
Dan Forrest -  St.Patrick's Prayer      5'30"    SATB   Wind Ensemble       (very powerful)     published by ForrestWorks
 
Mark Kilstofte - Of Rivers Within        42'     Sop, SATB   full orchestra    (texts from Isaiah;   power and influence of water in life)       published by The Newmatic Press
 
Robert Powell -   Rejoice in the Lord, ye Righteous     5'    SATB, string orchestra
 
also........these have proven effective and meaningful to performers and audience, too
 
Daniel Gawthrop -  Behold This Mystery    35'       Sop, Bar, SATB chamber orchestra  (a "service of memory" text, much like Brahms REQUIEM or the Rutter REQUIEM)
     DunstanHouse   Press
 
Mack Wilberg -    Tres Cantus Laudendi     SATB,  brass, organ
 
indeed, all the Mack Wilberg settings (hymns, Christmas carols) which were done for Mormon Tabernacle Choir
 
Mark Kilstofte -  Endless Streams      12'      SATB  full orchestra                 the Newmatic Press
 
Johannes Brahms -   Nänie        15'       SATB full orchestra     "even the beautiful must die..."
 
Bing Vick
Artistic Director and Conductor, Greenville Chorale
Professor Emeritus, Furman Unversity
 
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.