Most important American choral works written in last 50 years
Date: April 5, 2014
I am preparing to teach overseas a semester-long course in American choral literature, and to that end I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what you consider the most "important" Amerkcan choral works written over the past 50 years. "Important" may mean different things to different people--e.g., influential vs. not necessarily influential but unique/effective/brilliant, etc.--so let's keep it flexible and maybe just state why you've chosen to include whatever pieces(s) you cite. I'm looking for a mixture of shorter and longer works, ones that are either sacred or secular, for mixed/men's/women's/children's choruses, a cappella settings as well as those with small or large accompaniment. The course will focus primarily on works from the U.S., but if there are especially significant works to mention from the greater North America then that would be good too.
Of course, there will be a few "big names"--Lauridsen, Whitacre, and the like--who are likely to be mentioned. That's fine, of course, but in such cases perhaps list what in your view are the most important one or two works by each (as opposed to "anything written by x..."
This is a far more difficult (and interesting) question now than in decades past, due to the ongoing proliferation of divergent musical and culture-based choral styles that have emerged in recent decades in this country; so any thoughts on effective organization of such a course would be welcome as well.
Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
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