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Women's Choir - French Christmas repertoire (especially multi-movement work)

Hi, folks.
I direct Espressivo Singers, an auditioned women's choir of about 25 voices in Oshawa, Ontario.
I'm building a Christmas program around French music--either musical settings of French texts, or music from France (or other French-speaking countries/regions) with texts in other languages (preferably English, or Latin).
I'd like to find a multi-movement work within these parameters to use as a centrepiece for the program.
I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations of such a work (and also of any exquisite single pieces that fit these program parameters).
J.-C. Coolen
Greater Toronto Area
Replies (8): Threaded | Chronological
on June 4, 2013 8:10am
You might try this
You can buy it from . We love singing it!
on June 4, 2013 9:24am
There's a nice Mass for women by Poulenc, if I recall correctly.

Also, a great French Christmas piece for SSAA (if you don't already know it) is Noel des Marins by Cecile Chaminade. Powerful with moments of great sweetness. (TCMP)
on June 4, 2013 11:40am
I really, really REALLY  love Andre Caplet's "Messe a trois voix"---beautiful.  Mulit-movement and just exquisite....the Gloria movement is probably my most favorite of any music for women's voices.
I think the Poulenc SSA  is an Ave Verum, and not a mass, though.
on June 5, 2013 12:56pm
Here is a secular winter song about children singing in the snow.   It is Impressionistic in style.
You can listen to it in the music section of my website.
Je Vois la Neige Qui Danse      poem and translation by Marilyn Bentov
            music by Nick Page  SA/Piano, Published by Boosey & Hawkes
Je vois la neige qui danse pendant l'orage.
J'ecoute! Ou sont les voix de les enfants?
            Ou sont les voix de les enfants
Qui, joyeux, dansants, embracent la neige si blanche.
J'ecoute!  Doucement des voix heureuses s'approchent.
Je vois des milles d'etoiles glissants, jouants,
Et ces etoiles qui jouents ce sont
Des milles d'enfants qui chantent:  "Sommes le printemps!"
I see the snow that dances during the storm.
I listen! Where are the voices of the children?
            Where are the voices of the children?
Who, joyously dancing, welcome the white snow?
I listen!  Softly, happy voices draw near.
I see thousands of stars sliding (skating) playing,
            And these stars at play
Are thousands of children singing:  "We are the spring!"
on June 11, 2013 1:14pm
Thanks, each one of you, for your suggestions--they all look very exciting, and I'll pursue, and peruse, them further!
on June 12, 2013 9:41am
I recommend that you do some Charpentier.  He wrote exquisite music for women's voices.  One particular multi-movement Christmas work (with some solo sections) is In Nativitate Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum (Song of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ), H.421, for SSA, organ.  Text in Latin.  Lovely edition by Carus (Germany) available here     You can listen to a performance here
I'd also like to point you to my arrangement of the French Christmas carol Entre le Boeuf et L'Ane Gris, for SA piano.  You'll receive both an English language version and a French langauge version if you order the piece.
Best wishes

Sheena Phillips
on June 13, 2013 7:04am
Thanks so much, Sheena!
on June 13, 2013 5:14am
Faure's Messe Basse is one of the most beautiful pieces I've had the pleasure of singing - check it out:
should take you there - and the score scrolls with the singers.
Have a great concert - and have fun checking out these wonderful works!!!
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