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Respighi, Laud to the Nativity

Thanks to all who responded to my request for performance experiences with
Respighi's Laud to the Nativity and Clausen's A New Creation. Here is a
compilation of the responses - obviously many more have had experience with
the Respighi...

Peter DuBois
Rochester, NY

I sang the Repighi about 7 years ago in college in a select choir; it was
an enjoyable, rewarding piece and not terribly difficult.
Best wishes,
Laud - Choristers often find this work initially intimidating, however, with
time grow to love it.
I'm a composer moving out to Rochester in the Fall for the year (maybe). I
have a work similar to Laud and Rene's New Creation. It is called the Fourth
Wise Man and has been performed in Albany, Ithaca and Syracuse for the past
few years by Neva Pilgrim. I now live in Minneapolis and have been (until
recently) president of the American Music Center in NYC and formerly pres of
the American Composers Forum. You can see more about me at the website
listed below. Let me know if you would be interested in hearing a tape of
the Fourth Wise Man. I also have a libretto and reviews. Best, Randall

Randall Davidson
Visit our website --
Dear Mr. Dubois
I have conducted the Respighi twice, once with a chorus of 60 and once with
150, both times with the specified orchestration. The singers and
instrumentalsists in each group loved the piece, audiences were interested by
it, but more reserved in their response. It is a very beautiful, subdued (for
the most part), and somewhat difficult work. Any successful performance
requires three good soloists, a strong male section in the chorus, a good
Italian diction coach, capable wind players and two pianists who play well
together. I think any effort put into the piece is effort well-spent.
Good luck,

I sang "A New Creation" with a small Methodist church choir in ...
lesseee ... 1994, perhaps? I LOVED it (I shared soprano solo duties
with another soprano), although it took a fair amount of
"woodshedding" to get the tricky rhythms in the last (or next to
last?) movement. The "central" section -- _Set Me as a Seal_ I
believe is available "stand-alone," and is absolutely gorgeous. The
choir had maybe 24 members, most of whom did not read music well at
all. I think there were maybe 4 or 5 of us who had significant
musical training. But it is a stunning piece, and was extremely well
received by our congregation. I wouldn't say our group did a
phenomenal job with it, but it was a respectable performance.

Let me know of you have any questions -- it's been awhile, but I do
remember that I *really* liked the piece.

I sang the respighi in college and couldn't wait to direct it. I did with a
chamber choarle of only 20 voice, but select. It was a stretch but the
outcome was incredible. Choose your soloists well- the angel must just soar
up tp that high C. Also the men's divisi parts as shepherds is not easy- and
acappella. I held my breath when the oboe came back in and was releived to
know that under pressure they stayed on key. Not easy at all. I did it both
times in churches with wonderful but not overdone acoustics. This
consideration greatly snhanced the group's efforts. After the concert the
chorale was quite pleased they had done it. Its incredibly moving and truly
a beautiful work.
Good luck in your decision. I don't know the Rene Clausen work although
I have done quite a few of his pieces and like his writing very much.

Resphigi's "Laud to the Nativity" is a wonderful work; small
instruemtnal forces, and it does require a great mezzo soloist.
I can tell you more that you want to know about the Respighi, as it was
the subject of my doctoral dissertation. I have performed it several
times. I think it is a charming, well-crafted work. It does take soloists
with good control, and good pitch security on the part of the chorus
(lots of a cappella sections with instruments joining). There is a good
bit of divisi for the men.

It has been well received every time I have performed it.
The Respighi is an outstanding piece. You will need some strong soloists
for it, as well as proficient ensemble players, but the choral parts are
within range of a good adult choir, and very exciting to sing. The finale
is truly exhilirating! I have done it both in Italian and English, and I
think the English works quite well in the available edition (Ricordi as I

Wonderful work, rarely performed. Instrument part available on rental
(Ricordi?). Most difficult section is the long a cappella men's section that
requires staying in tune for the following instrument entrance. You'll love
>Laud to the Nativity (Respighi) and

This is a fantastic piece. The audience loves it, and so do the
singers (and so does the orchestra). You need two excellent oboists
(one for E.H.), and there are a couple of places where the men sing a
cappella for a long time, and the orchestra entrance overlaps -- so
if they drift flat, everyone will know. Having a great soprano
soloist (who can sing high softly) will be a big plus (the other
soloists aren't as critical).
Stetson University Chorus sang the Respighi in 1972 under the direction of
Robert Rich. I was a Freshman. We did it after the Girl's sang the Britten
Ceremony of Carols. Made an excellent program. There should be a good
recording of the piece in the Music Lib. (a) Stetson University, Deland, Fl. in
Presser Hall, the music building.

Good luck, it is a challenging and rewarding piece.

on August 22, 2007 10:00pm
I am desperate need of 40 copies of the Respighi by Aug. 29.It was out of print and will not be available until Aug. 28. Can anyone help by loaning it to my community chorus. Please call 540-616-9355.
Posted Aug. 23