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Music of the Spheres

Dear Colleagues

I couple weeks ago I asked for your suggestions for a concert titled "Music
of the Spheres". Below is a compilation of responses.

Karen P. Thomas
Seattle Pro Musica

Lloyd Pfautsch, "Tryptich"
Parry, "Blessed Pair of Sirens" which is a long, involved conceit (from
Milton, of course!) about re-tuning our mortal voices to the music of the
heavens (you must print the words if you do this one!)

Seven references on the Choralnet database:
1. Browning, Tony (1952-), Ring Out Ye Crystal Spheres
2. Chatman, Stephen (1950-), Thou Whose Harmony is the Music of the Spheres
3. Crotch, William (1775-1847), Ring our ye crystal spheres
4. Haberlen, Sound All Ye Spheres
5. Purcell, Henry (1659-1695), Sound, All Ye Spheres!
6. Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1872-1958), Ring out ye crystal spheres
7. Wuorinen, Charles (1938-), Celestial Sphere,The

I can recommend the Crotch, Purcell, and VW, and personally like the
compositions of Chatman and Wuorinen (the latter definitely underperformed).

From MUSICA with "sphere" in the title or subtitle:
1. Ring out ye crystal spheres. - Crotch, William. SATB. Publisher: Oxford
University Press.
2. Funeral Anthem. - Heinrich, Anthony Philip. SATBB. Publisher: Kallisti
Music Press.
3. An Ode for Music - òda a muzsikához. - Kodály, Zoltán. SATTBB.
Publisher: Editio Musica Budapest.
4. Erfreue dich, Himmel / Joyeuses les sphères, Joyeuse la terre. - Arr.:
Reysz, Carl. SATB. Publisher: Radio Strasbourg.
5. Ring out ye crystal spheres. - Stafford Smith, John. SSATB. Publisher:
Oxford University Press.

I like Kodaly's music and wish it were more often programmed; if it were
more available...

Williametta Spencer and CHH Parry have both written settings of "At the
Round Earth's Imagined Corners"; I like them both, although I know from
correspondence Ms. Spencer thinks it one of her earlier pieces which is
often the only piece of hers anyone knows, and wishes we would all look at
her later stuff :-) (which is also good stuff, IMO)

Tippett's "Dance, Clarion Air" ? I've forgotten the exact text, so I may be

Neat programming idea--good luck! Please post a compilation.

Pax Domini sit semper tecum.

Patricia Warren, DMA
Fine Arts Chair and Choirmaster
St. Timothy's-Hale School (Episcopal)
3400 White Oak Road
Raleigh, NC 27609

Ross Lee Finney - Spherical Madrigals

Check out a fascinating set of by Lalo
Schifrin, to poems by Ray Bradbury. (Title remembered from 30 years ago in
college -- hope it's right. Can't remember whether there was piano
accompaniment or not.)

======= Two of my choral works might be of interest to you. They could fit your
theme, depending on context and interpretation. The scores and streaming
recordings are immediately accessible simply by clicking on the links below.

"Sweet Are The Lips Of All That Sing" -

"This Is My Father's World" -

Let me know if you should be interested.

Brad Nelson, Composer

Might the Ligeti choral piece ( ?) used in the movie be

============ You can check out "Music of the Spheres" by Danish composer Rued Langgaard:

The CD:

The Composer:

============= I would suggest any arrangement of "This Is My Father's World" - there is a
phrase in it that says "music of the spheres", I think. There is a good
2-part arrangement arranged by Edwin Childs that is real good (with great
piano accompaniment) - part of a collection called "Songs for the Journey"

========== Last summer at the world choral symposium we read a piece called
"Oremus" from "Gloria Patri" by Urmas Sisask. The information said to
order it directly from the composer. I haven't performed the piece, but
it was based on the movement of the planets. It might be worth a check.
Sorry, I don't have any other information.
========= Any St. Cecilia setting. There's the one by Britten and the one by Dello
========= Kirke Mecham: Island in Space Pub. G. Schirmer (Hal Leonard HL50481434)
Words compiled from Astronaut Russell Schweikart and Archibald Macleish.
========= Check out a fascinating set of by Lalo
Schifrin, to poems by Ray Bradbury. (Title remembered from 30 years ago in
college -- hope it's right. Can't remember whether there was piano
accompaniment or not.)
======= Check out, "Sleep Fleshly Birth" by Robert Ramsey

It contains the text, "Music of the Spheres,"
I am living in a parallel universe and working on the same project here in
Denver. My vocal quartet is planning for a program for the opening of the
new planetarium here. The series that we have developed is titled "The
Music of the Spheres" and our program is titles "Voices From the Silence."
The first program in the series is "Classical Planets" with my orchestra
playing Mozart's "Jupiter Symphony" and Haydn's "Mercury Symphony." I do
not know the Monk piece you cite in your note, but will definitely look into
it. It sounds like a perfect match for us as well. Here is other
repertoire that we have selected:

Planets, Stars and Airs of Space
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Chiara e lucente Stella
Hans Leo Hassler

Shining and Lucent Start

Luci Care
W.A. Mozart

Lovely Stars

Of the Heavenly Bodies
Halsey Stevens

(from Roger Williams,

"A key into the Language of America" 1643)

Thoughts by Moonlight
David Bushler

(Chi P'O, 9th century Chinese)

Sure on This Shining Night
Samuel Barber

(from James Agee's "Permit Me Voyage")

An Island In Space
Kirke Mechem

(from "No Frames, No Boundries" by Russell Schweickhart and

"to see the Earth" by Archibald Macleish)

The Light of Stars
Randall Thompson

The Morning Stars
Randall Thompson
Choose Something Like a Star
Randall Thompson

(from "Frostiana")

We will be interspersing amongst the music writings of the astronauts and
cosmonauts, as well as poetic references to space.

===========David N. Johnson's hymn tune "Earth and all Stars" to a text by Herbert
in the LBW (Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978) and others..

Haydn's Creation excerpts..

James Weldon Johnson's "Creation.."

orchestral or band - Strauss "Thus Spake Zarathustra" from the film 2001..

John Williams and Star Wars excerpts..

How about "Musick's Empire" L Pfautsch

=====Wallace De Pue

homophonic setting of a poem by an unknown Victorian poet. This is
appropriate for either concert or church use.

on April 20, 2008 10:00pm
Somebody mentioned Urmas Sisask's "Gloria Patri". This isn't based on the movement of the planets. Rather, it is a set of 24 hymns based on the planetal mode, a mode that he somehow derived from the movement and/or rotations of the planets. The texts are standard liturgical - not about astronomy or astrology. However, the mode of all 24 hymns is based on planetal motion. Very cool stuff. I have all 24!