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SSA or SSAA: with Orchestra

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 20:09:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Monica J. Hubbard"
Subject: Women's Chorus and Orchestra Repertoire

Dear Choralisters:

Here are the titles (in no particular order) received to date. Sincere
thanks to all who took the time to respond: Hilary Apfelstadt, Charles
Chapman, Megan Cleary, Allen Crowell, Jim Feiszli, Fred Ford, Claire
Gesualdo, Nina Gilbert, Mark Gresham, Leigh Korn, James Laster, Nancy Menk,
Julie Scrivener, Jean Sturm, Jim Yarbrough (and those who posted and got
unintentionally deleted)!

Monica Hubbard
California Institute of Technology MSC 2-58
Pasadena, CA 91125-0001
Persichetti Winter Cantata
Honegger Cantique de Paques
Hovhaness Fuji Peters
Debussy La Damoiselle Elue
Larsen, Libby Canticle of Mary (Magnificat) Oxford
Raminsh Missa Brevis Plymouth
Faure Messe Basse
Galuppi Dixit Dominus
Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Vaughan Williams Folk Songs of the Four Seasons
Holst Seven Bridge Part Songs, Op. 44
Berlioz La Mort d'Ophelie
Bartok Three Village Scenes
Szymanoswki Litany to the Virgin Mary
Dohnanyi Stabat Mater
Beach The Rose of Avontown
Messiaen Trois Petite Liturgies de la Presence Divine
Mecham The Seven Joys of Christmas ECS
Pinkham Emily Dickinson Mosaic Peters
Bartok Six Children's Choruses Boosey
Thompson, R. The Place of the Blest
Scrivener, Julie Magnificat University microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI
Calmel, Roger Stabat Mater A Coeur Joie
Deutsch, Walter Kleine Weihnachtskantate Universal
Dietrich, Fritz Kleine Passionsmusik Barenreiter
Fussl, KH Miorita Universal
Gal, Hans Fantasien Universal
Geoffray, Cesar Penelope P.I.F.
Haydn, M. Missa Sancti Aloysii Hug & Co. (Switz.)
Missa Sancti Leopoldi
Kromolicki, J. Missa Exsultet Schwann
Landowski, Marcel Jesus, la, es-tu Choudens
Rheinberger Messe in A Major Carus
Messe in Es Major
Missa in G Minor
Tomasi, Henri La Chevre do Monsieur Seguin Alphonse Leduc
Villa-Lobos Missa in Honor of Saint Sebastian Associated
Jazwinski, Barbara Remember the Muses Am. Composers Edition

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago I asked for suggestions of music for women's choir
accompanied by orchestra. Many of you responded so graciously! Here is a
compilation of your suggestions including the number of times the work was

I am happy to report that Beach's "Sea Fairies" is available from Hildegard
for a very reasonable price for the choral parts. And the orchestral parts
can be rented from the New England Conservatory. That was my original
dilemma. My new challenge is choosing from a longer list!

If any of you can recommend a recording of "Sea Fairies," this may speed
up the process of selection.

Best wishes and thank you all so much,
Peggy Dettwiler

Vaughan Williams ­ Magnificat for women¹s chorus, mezzo sop,
piano, flute (8)
Debussy ­ La damoiselle Elue (3) (Kalmus)
Beach ­ Sea-Fairies (3)
Vivaldi ­ Magnificat (2) for strings and continuo (Carus)
Vivaldi ­ Gloria (2)
Holst ­ Choral Hymns of Rig Veda (2)
Pergolesi ­ Stabat mater (2)
Vaughan Williams ­ Folk Songs for Four Seasons (2)
Thompson ­ Place of the Blest (2)

Remainder were single suggestions:

Poulenc ­ Litanies
Honegger ­ Cantique de Paques
Boulanger ­ Les Sirenes
Debussy - "Salut Printemps,"
Clokey - "Breakers Off Barranquila"
Rippentrop ­ Sea Trilogy
Paulas ­ Songs of Meditation
Bartok ­ Three Village Scenes
Messiaen ­ Trois petite liturgies
Hasse ­ Misereres
Stravinsky ­ Cantata
Vivaldi ­ Beatus vir RV 589 for strings & continuo (Alliance)
Nash ­ Mass for Women¹s Choir (a cappella)
C. Schumann ­ Three Choruses (a cappella)
Raminsh ­ Songs of Light (Gordon V. Thompson)
Beach ­ Rose of Avontown
Faure ­ Messe basse (orchestration by Jon Washburn)
Kingman ­ ³You whose day it is² for flute, perc. (Brichtmark)
Brahms ­ Four Songs for Women¹s Chorus with harp, 2 horns
Thompson ­ Company of the Creche
Mendelssohn¹s ­ Midsummer Night¹s Dream
Leach ­ ³O magna vasti creta² with string quartet (Peters)
Andersen ­ ³Thoughts and Songs ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven²
with piano, cello, violin
Carey ­ ³Cantigas de Amigo² with 4 celli
Bishop ­ Gethsemane for SSAA and trumpet (Brichtmark)

Peggy Dettwiler
452 N. Main St.
Mansfield, PA 16933
570-662-4721 W
570-662-1055 H

Here is the list of reponses to my querry about women's choir and
orchestra. The list is long and judging by the responses requesting a
compilation this seems to be an interest area for a number of us.
Thanks to all who responded.

Debussy's Blessed Damoselle
Vaughan Williams', Magnificat
Vivaldi Gloria (Lawson & Gould publish a SSA version)
Stephen A. Stomps
Auburn High School Choirs
250 Lake Avenue Extension

I have a suggestion for you...I don't know how important difficult is
for you, but if you want beautiful music you could do John Rutters '3
folk songs for upper voices' from his collection 'A Spryg of Thyme'.
The songs are Irish and English folk songs, are set magnificently for
chamber orchestra, and are breath taking. They are in unison. I had my
elite womens choir perform them this fall at the WSMA convention.
Robbie Doelger
Choir Director
Bay Port High School

You might be interested in my EARTHSONGS, a 9 minute piece in three
movements on texts about nature and ur relationship with it (the first
by American geologist James Gates Percival, the second a Buddhist sutta
and the third a litany from the United Nations Environmental Sabbath
program. It is published for piano
and oboe by Boosey & Hawkes, with a full orchestral version on rental.
David Brunner

I have a piece called Cantigas de Amigo (Songs to a Friend) based on
medieval poems written by young women discovering love for the first
time. The texts are folk texts and very fresh- not dated at all- you
could imagine a 15 year old girl saying the same things today. The piece
is in 5 mvmts and totals about 14 minutes and is scored for SSAA and
cello ensemble (four cello parts- you could do it with 4 or 8 celli).
. . .This piece is unpublished presently but has been performed.

The Cantigo de Amigo is an entire genre of old Spanish poetry- usually a
girl confiding to her mother or some other older confidante about her
first love. The choral parts are in Spanish and are of medium dificulty-
the cello parts are a bit harder (you need a very good cello.
Paul Carey

You may want to try the Pergolesi "Stabat Mater." It is a gem of a work.

Steve Zopfi

Here are some items available from Oxford University Press:

CORP, Ronald
For SA divisi and piano or orchestra
Orchestral material is available for rental
Seasonal Songs: Whether the weather (Anon); Cows (James
Reeves); The
Irish pig (Anon); Winter morning (Ogden Nash); Saddler
Songs: The paint
box (Rieu); Weep you no more sad fountains (Anon) Lone dog
Mcleod); Sensitive, seldom and sad (Mervyn Peake); Sillier
Songs: The
sip of Rio (de la Mare); The modern Hiawatha (Anon); I've
had this shirt
(Michael Rosen); Granny (Spike Milligan); Coda: Whether the
3426242 11.95

A Shakespeare Sequence
For women's voices, piano duet and optional percussion
Full score and parts are available for rental
It was a lover and his lass; Who is silvia?; O mistress
mine; If music
be the food of love, play on; Take, O take those lips away;
Full fathom
five; Orpheus with his lute; Under the greenwood tree
3362600 16.95

HOLST, Imogen
The Sun's Journey
For women's voices and small orchestra or piano
All materials are available for rental

Canticle of Mary
For SSA and piano duet (or small orchestra)
Orchestral material is available for rental
Vocal score
3859858 3.95

MATHIAS, William
For SA and piano duet or 'cabaret band' consisting of
clarinet, trumpet,
piano duet, percussion and double bass
Score and parts are available for rental
Calico Pie; The owl and the pussycat;The duck and the
kangaroo; Uncle
Arly; The pelican chorus
3374692 12.95
3374714 4.00

Salvator Mundi
For SSA and piano duet or strings, piano, and percussion
Full score and parts are available for rental
Make we merry; Mirabile mysterium; Be we merry in this
feast; Lullay,
Susanni; Christe, redemptor omnium; Welcome, yule
3374595 15.95

POWERS, Anthony
Zlata's Diary
For SA chorus and piano duet or small orchestra
Orchestral material is available for rental
343685X 6.95

Folk Songs of the Four Seasons
For upper voices and piano or orchestra
Prologue: To the Plough Boy; Spring: Early in the Spring,
The Lark in
the Morning, May song; Summer: Summer is a-coming in and The
Cuckoo, The
Sprig of Thyme, The Sheep Shearing, The Green Meadow;
Autumn: John
Barleycorn, The Unquiet Grave, An Acre of Land; Winter:
Christmas Song, Wassail Song, In Bethlehem City, God Bless
the Master
Orchestral material is available for rental
339085X 14.95
3390868 6.95

In Windsor Forest
arr. Foote
For SSA and piano or orchestra
3391228 9.95

Take a look at "Messe des Pecheurs de Villerville" by Gabriel Faure and
Andre Messager. Published by Heugel. It's a bit longer than 10 minutes
(16? I don't remember exactly). Faure's Messe Basse was based on this
work, but I actually prefer this earlier rendition, also known as the
"Fisherman's Mass" since it was written for a benefit for the
fishermens' widows and orphans fund.
Dan Krunnfusz
Madison Boychoir

I have a work, about 10 mins, advanced S S (A), called Three Songs of
VIII (words attrib to the King...). Commissioned by Scunthorpe
Co-operative Junior award-winning group from the north of England. It's
currently scored for piano accompaniment, but I'd be happy to make a
small orchestra arrangement (and I think it would work well like that).
It's published by National Music Publishers (California) so officially
you should order a copy through them,. . .
Paul Ayres (London UK)
020 8632 1854

Pergolesi "Stabat Mater"!!!!!!!

You may be familiar with the "Missa Brevis" by Imant Raminish, published

by Plymouth Music. I've only done the first movement, but I'd love to
try the entire work.
Ryan Connolly
Northfield High School
Department of Vocal Music
Northfield, Minnesota 55057

A real coup would be Bartok's Village Scenes. Otherwise Louise Talma's
Celebration comes to mind. Isn't there a chamber orchestration of
Faure's Messe Basse? Also there's a good piece by Chabrier - A La
Musique. Song Cycles (Sea and Air?) with string orch. by Holst Tudor
folksong suite of Vaughan Williams.
Mark Shapiro
Cantori New York, Monmouth Civic Chorus, Mannes College of Music

Do you know Saint-Saens "La Nuit" for women's choir, chamber orchestra
soprano soloist? It is a gorgeous work, in French, and requires an
excellent lyric/coloratura soloist. We performed it a few years ago and
loved it.
Marilyn S. Jones
Founding Artistic Director
The Livingston County (MI) Chorale

One of my all time favorite works is Elliott Carter's "The Harmony of
Morning" for 4-part women's chorus, string quartet, wind quintet and
piano. It's about 10 minutes long. The text is by Mark Van Doren and
it is simply exquisite. (I like it so much that Icommissioned a work
for full choir with the same orchestration, so I could justify hiring
those 10 instrumentalists for the evening!)
Kerry Krebill
now of Helena Montana, late (25 years) of Washington DC

Place of the Blest by R. Thompson
Amy Johns
Notre Dame Academy

Look in Nick Strimple's new book "Choral Music in the Twentieth
You'll find many suggestions from all over the world, all over the
Of course, that will take some research, but it's very exciting in my
opinion. If you're not looking for four part there are some Vivaldi
that are one or two part but they are a bit longer usually.
David Harris

You should look at Psalm Trilogy by Srul Irving Glick. It consists of
pieces for Children's or Women's Chorus and strings. It runs 12 minutes.

I've performed it with my College level Women's Chorus and they loved
It's published by Earthsongs and there is a recording by the Toronto
Children's Chorus for whom it was commissioned.
Abigail Butler
Asst. Professor Music Education
Wayne State University

May I suggest the Vivaldi Magnificat RV 610? It is about 15 minutes (6
tutti movements, 1 trio + chorus movement, one duet, one trio). Needs 2
oboes, strings, and continuo (could be organ).

I am working on it this semester with Pike Kor, using the Carus-Verlag
edition (40.002/01 for the full score - $14.75 a couple years ago,
40.002/05 for the choral parts - about $3.00 (a). I believe our business
office had to pay in Euro!).

The edition (and any other) is SATB. My SI section is singing the
tenor line up an octave. SII sings the soprano line as is. AI sings
the alto line as is. AII sings the bass line up an octave. We have
also played around with this voicing: SI singing the sop. line, SII
on the alto line, AI on the tenor line in the tenor range, AII still
singing the bass line up an octave. Therein lies the controversy of
how the ospedali repertoire was done...and for now I like the sound
of "Plan A."

. . . have you tried Orban's Mass
No. 6. It is beautiful and I think your women would enjoy it.
Hinshaw HMB-223. About 12 minutes long.
Sandra Peter
Luther College
Department of Music
Decorah, Iowa 52101

I have a piece for women's 8-part chorus and string quartet, O Magna
Vasti Creta, that is about 10 minutes long. The texts are in Latin,
ancient Greek, and Italian.
Mary Jane Leach

. . . "Laudate Pueri" by Johann Michael Haydn. It is scored for SSA
voices, violin I and II, cello and bass as well as continuo (organ) if
memory serves. It's around ten minutes long. Hinshaw publishes a
version of it.

. . . "Dixit Dominus" by Baldassare Galuppi. Roger Dean Publishing has
an edition: HCMC-108 (revised version). It is a more challenging work
than the Haydn and is scored for SSAA voices, violin I and II, viola,
cello/bass and continuo. It's probably more than ten minutes long, but
not much.
Philip Kern
Director, Marian College Women's Chorus
Indianapolis IN

Gregory R. Carpenter
Waukesha Choral Union and
Children's Choir of Waukesha

A big thank you to all the listers who took the time to offer me the
following suggestions of repertory for women's choir and orchestra. There
is a listing on the ChoralNet website too.

1. Faure's 'Messe basse' which works for the original SSA version as well
as the SATB version in which we recorded it. It's for one flute, 2
clarinets, 2 horns and strings.
2. Imant Raminsh's Songs of the Lights: strings, flute
and glock, if I remember correctly. Both are available on VCC CD's from

3. Brahms - Psalm 13 - it is for string orchestra

4. Galuppi's "Dixit Dominus" 4 pt women with strings

5. Vaughan Williams's Magnificat if you have a mezzo/contralto soloist

6. Purcell's "Come Ye Sons of Art" (Ssa arr. by Martin Blower.)

7. Holst: Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, two sets for women's chorus and

8. Missa Sancti Leopoldi by Michael Haydn (Musica Hug Verlag Switz.)

9. Mater in Memoriam: For Irene : my own piece, a requiem for women's
voices (original texts in English) and chamber orchestra. It is the only
requiem for women's voices by a woman that I know of paying tribute to the
mother-daughter theme. It talks of meeting with one's mother a second

Naomi Stephan, Ph.D., ASCAP

10. check the website of Veljo Tormis for his many wonderful works for
women's voices. Estonian is an easy language to sing in. His publisher
will provide pronunciation guide free when requested.

11. Henk Badings' Ave maris stella (SSAA, strings & vibraphone

12. Hindemith's A Song of Music (SSA & strings

13. Debussy's Salut printemps (good size orchestra)

14. Chabrier's A la musique (similar to the Debussy)

15. Porpora's Magnificat (SSAA, strings, & continuo).

16. Martin Banner(mbanner(a) who has recently published
numerous editions of Classical era works for treble voices and chamber

17. Winter Cantata by Vincent Persichetti for SSAA, marimba and flute
( 12 - 14 minutes)

18. Persichetti spring and summer cantatas

19. Vaughan Williams: folksongs of the four seasons;

20. Elliot Carter: the harmony of morning...

21. STABAT MATER for SA voices accompanied by sisters Linda Bradley and
Heather Murray (to be orchestrated) September 2005, England & Wales, UK

22. May I mention another interesting piece: Martinu's "Opening of the
Fountains" in Czech and English languages, SSA, violin, piano. (joan)

Thanks again to all
prof Joan Yakkey
Conservatorio di Musica
Firenze, Italy

on December 9, 2002 10:00pm
THANKS for your efforts on posting information on this page!

It really is appreciated and NEEDED.

Steve Roberts
on March 1, 2007 10:00pm
Information on A Song of Music by Hindemith, please.