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ENGLISH Organ and Chamber Choir Music

I am searching for a few works that have organ accompaniment, suitable for a SATB choir of 16. I am trying to stick with the English tradition. There are great works out there by Stanford, Vaughan Williams, etc... but they might require bigger forces. If you have any experience with English organ/choral pieces that worked well with a smaller chamber choir- I'd be glad to hear. 
Kind regards,
Brennan Michaels 
Replies (14): Threaded | Chronological
on July 10, 2014 8:13am
I should make mention: Pieces can be of any time period, with the particular interest to 20th century and contemporary/current English composers. We do have some Rutter already programed and would not need anything additional from this composer. 
on July 10, 2014 9:35am
I did Purcell for many years with just the forces you mentioned and it always worked out just great!  His particular lilt of the English language came across very well with a small group.  True, everyone needed to be on their toes at all times but it was always a joy to perform the result.
Hope that helps.
  Michael A. Gray

on July 11, 2014 3:17am
Yes, definitely Purcell.   The «Bell Anthem» Rejoice in the Lord Alway has a nice balance between Choir, Semi-chorus, and Organ.  It can work with even smaller forces than 16 and with anything from a portative or good electronic to a cathedral monster if approached judiciously.  The Church Anthem Book (Oxford) and The New Church Anthem Book  both contain many numbers worth exploring.  The BOOKS make handy references and virtually all of the numbers can be had as separate octavos; some with orchestral parts.  I only wish I could hear the result —  Good Luck!
on July 11, 2014 4:40am
I am very fond of Sir Michael Tippett's pair of pieces:
Nunc Dimittis
SATB w/Organ
published by Schott
Nick Page
on July 11, 2014 6:53pm
Why not piggyback on the work of Harry Christophers and "The Sixteen"?  Their repertoire would certainly include pieces appropriate for your sixteen.  Google their discography.  Check out their many Youtube recordings.  The time might be well spent.
on July 12, 2014 8:25am
Bearing in mind that much of the English choir/organ repertoire was written to be performed by cathedral choirs, which except for the treble numbers would have been roughly 4-5 voices per part, I think you could find a lot of interesting repertoire for choir and organ from 19th-20th English composers.  Organ registration would be key for good balance, but if you have a good organist who understands these issues and how to effectively balance the choir with organ, there's lots to choose from, for example:
Henry Balfour Gardiner "Evening Hymn" (In Latin, Te lucis ante terminum)
John Ireland "Greater love hath no man"
Britten "Jubilate Deo", amongst others
Len Ratzlaff
on July 13, 2014 7:35pm
Thank you all for the great responses. It is wonderful to see the breadth of music that can be done. I'll keep you all posted on what the concert turns out to be! 
on July 15, 2014 1:19pm
Some superb works out there. Head back to the renaissance - my personal favourite
Best of luck!
on July 24, 2014 12:21am
hello - sorry for rather late response - I'd like to mention
On this mountain - SATB choir and organ - text from Isaiah

commissioned by Nativity Cathedral Bethlehem PA in 2012
won first place in the The Freudig Singers of Western New York international composition competition 2014
(I'm the composer!)
Paul Ayres
London UK 
on July 26, 2014 9:24am
Howells - Like as the Hart
Stanford - Magnificat in G (w. Soprano solo)
Britten - Festival Te Deum
Samuel Sebastian Wesley - Blessed be the God and Father
Thomas Attwood - Teach Me O Lord
Geoffrey Shaw - Praise God in his Holiness
on July 27, 2014 2:48am
William Walton's Magnificat and Nunc Dimmittis - heavenly!!!
on July 27, 2014 3:17am
Herbert Sumsion "Thou Wilt Keep Him In Perfect Peace " is excellent..text mostly from Psalm 139
on July 27, 2014 3:25am
You could also consider Paul Halley. Freedom Trilogy is spectacular and likely requires more resources than you are suggesting, but there are many other choices you could investigate


on July 27, 2014 2:44pm
If you are looking for a larger work, John Stainer's effective "The Crucifixion" would work fine with organ and 16 voices (I have performed it with a group of that size). You need tenor and baritone soloists of pro quality and several smaller solo parts come from the choir. There is a built-in famous choral piece ("God So Loved the World") and a blockbuster tenor aria "King Ever-Glorious!" and the choral writing is broken into four main choruses and the rest are hymns. Beautiful organ stuff for a good organ and organist.
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