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"Visionary" repertory?

Hi there: I'm assembling a program for next spring to feature the Faure Requiem, and thought it would be interesting to include other music (a cappella or with organ or piano; other small accompaniment is also possible) that hints at what's beyond our earthly existence. I'm planning on RVW's Toward The Unknown Region as well as some shape-note/spiritual/gospel-type material (Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal, In The Sweet By and By, Steal Away, etc.) but would be glad to have any suggestions for other repertory with texts that express that sense of "what's next." It would be good to have enough of a mix of styles that the whole thing doesn't become terribly funereal. The group is SATB although (as usual) somewhat light in the T and B departments, and has done Haydn masses, Messiah, Carmina Burana, etc., with quite respectable results. Thanks! Bill
on June 20, 2013 1:29pm
I have been 'mentioning'  a new arrangement of O Danny Boy, because it illustrates where all my choral and orchestral music is heading: music written to be sung and played perfectly in tune.   While Faure didn't do it, with all those untuned bass notes, at least the key, Eb, of my O Danny Boy is nicely compatible with the mostly d minor Requiem.  And, though the text might be considered ambiguous, it also fits quite well with your theme; it's the theme of my unfinished requiem.   I hope to find some musical group or conductor who will suddenly see a light and champion this music.   Tentatively it, the style, is called intonalism, and even in a relatively simple piece I can assure you it is not easy to maintain perfect relationships both harmonically and melodically.   But it is a productive way to write music, giving many valuable clues to the music of the spheres, thanks Pythagoras, in the unknown region, lost in western music since Padre Martini tried to teach it to young Mozart.   Wolfgang got it, naturally, but failed to pass it on.
A cappella, 3 1/2 minutes, SATB.
Information, including pitch analysis:
William Copper
on June 21, 2013 8:58am
Hi, William,
I have an SATB capella piece that might work. "The grass dies, the flowers fade away, but the Word of God will stand forever.." is the main body of text.
Here's a link to the composer showcase where you can view both score and hear the current recording:
or here if you just want to hear it, it's entitled "The Word of Our God."
There's also a setting of Eichendorff's German poem "Mondnacht" on the same page, as sung by the Cascadian Chorale-- a secular poem about the soul taking flight.
Best of hunting to you!
on June 21, 2013 9:52am
Hi William,
What an interesting program concept!
If you are interested in doing something with just your women's voices, from my catalog I would offer you this work:
Do You Believe in Angels? 9'
brief S1 solo
6 vln, 2 vla (obbligato)--OR ORGAN
An ecstatic, transcendently beautiful, melodious and harmonically rich setting for older treble chorus and high strings (or organ). Tonal-modern style. Original non-sectarian, non-religious poem by the composer on the phenomenon of angelic encounters and the common images of both light and dark angels. Bright start, dark energetic middle, luminous ending. Colorful, evocative string scoring. Vocal score gives organ reduction.
Here is a link to a Youtube video of the premiere:
must be all one line in your browser address window
You can view a perusal score and listen to an MP3 of the premiere here
Let me know if this is of interest.
David Avshalomov
Composer, Singer, Conductor
Santa Monica, CA
Dual Finalist, American Prize 2013, Choral and Orchestral Composition (final results in July 2013)
Special Citation Winner, American Prize 2012/Orchestral Composition
ACDA Silver Platter Award 2012 for Choral Repertoire of Outstanding Quality
“Polifonija” sacred choral music competition 2013, Siauliai state chamber choir, Lithuania, second place
Project : Encore, Schola Cantorum/Hudson, recommended choral work of exceptional merit 2012
on June 21, 2013 11:10am
Please consider Three Gnostic Poems, my SATB setting of three poems by my father, particularly the second of the set, When I Land.  I will paste the text below.  You may hear excellent performances by the Cascadian Chorale, Portland Vocal Consort and the Orlande Chorale on my website where you may also download free perusal pdf scores: 
When I Land

I fly da Vinci's dream on wings of speed,
With effortless delight I cleave the air,
Free in the boundless realm of sky, I feed
My soul with wonder, questions seeming fair.
Why brought forth to wander on this earth?
Why given this brief breath of life,
To wonder at our enigmatic birth,
To reach for stars, want reason for the strife.
Yet, being here, why try to find a plan?
Why waste time in thought before we go?
Is not life enough for any man?
How many have, as theirs, my answer, “No.”
When I set foot again upon the land,
And darkness gains upon the setting of the sun,
I long to feel the welcome of your hand
In mine, to rest, let Time its silly cycles run,
Life's nights are all too few.
No other hand, no other's look, no other one,
Can bring that peace to mind or heart or soul, 
No peace. Although I know there's always fun
In life, to reach that sublime goal,
I must return to you.
on June 21, 2013 1:37pm
Though to me it's a horrible sound, "Past Life Melodies" by Sarah Hopkins would also fit your bill, and audiences do respond to the unexpectedly new sound (as long as it's the first time they've heard it).
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