For the last four weeks I have been counting down some the choral pieces that have been the most influential to me. To recap the top 4 have been:
5. Bogoroditse Devo Sergei Rachmaninoff
4. There is No Rose Robert Young
3. Blest Pair of Sirens C. H. H. Parry
2. Kyrie from the Cantus Missa Josef Rheinberger
In trying to put this list together, I found that some pieces that would make it on other days were left off this time around. If you ask me to go through this exercise in a year this list could look completely different. So, I thought before I announced my favorite, I would add a list of honorable mentions.
Super Flumina Babylonis and Sicut Cervus Palestrina
Gospel Magnificat Robert Ray
Geistliches Lied Johannes Brahms
Make a Way Byron Smith
Cantique de Jean Racine Gabriel Faure
Some of these might be familiar, some might not. You can google all of them and find decent recordings of all of these except the Ray Gospel Magnificat. Maybe West End should make a recording of it.
My number one most influential piece is. (Drum roll...)
1. Alleluia Randall Thompson
This piece is the base line at which all American choral music is compared. Thompson was a masterful composer who directed the shape of American music and its education for the first half of the 20th century. For the past couple of weeks I have tried to give background on the pieces I've chosen. For the Thompson Alleluia there are no words. Just sit back and listen.