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WPC choir members share their favorite pieces and notes about the music in this growing playlist. Click to play the entire playlist or select links below for individual pieces. We will add to this over time!
Entire Playlist on YouTube
Two pieces I love that have meaning for me are:
Thompson's "Alleluia" which was performed perfectly by the Yale Glee Club in Battell Chapel at my daughter's Yale graduation. Kit and I were both weeping by the end of the piece.
"Va Pensiero" from Verdi's "Nabucco." This was a regular part of the repertoire on a singing tour of Scandinavia with a church choir we sang with in Connecticut. When I hear it I recall the wonderful places we visited and performed.
Here are some of my favorites:
Cantique de Jean Racine—our choir at First Pres Ann Arbor sang this at the funeral of a church employee, and the resident Sexton played the harp (none of us knew he played the harp).
[Chris’s note: I picked the video, and everything about it is a little weird, but the performance is absolutely sublime.]
Ave Maria—Farnz Biebl
Pilgrims’ Hymn—Stephen Paulus
How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place (in English)
Comfort Ye My People—because I have a recording of my dad singing this in 1960, a year before he died.
A Wedding Prayer—Ruth Bloomquist (a Michigan artist who sounds sort of like Anne Murray)
When we lived in St. Paul MN, in the 90s, Bobby McFerrin conducted the St. Paul Symphony orchestra. Heard some Fabulous concerts in crazy settings.
One of my favorites: Baby from Vocabularies
Can I make two suggestions for your play list?
John Stainer's "God so Loved the World” and Thomas Tallis's "If Ye Love Me".
[Chris' Note: Now that’s how you do a virtual choir!]
“Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners”. Back in the 1980s I sang in a choir that did this piece with timpani, trumpet, and organ (I believe...could have been other instruments too).
“Prayer of St. Patrick” by Ross Bernhardt - About 10 years ago, I was teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi, and the university’s flagship choir sang this as their opener at their concerts, surrounding the audience. After the first time I heard it, I looked forward to every concert for another chance to hear this piece, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s modern, 21st-century music in the best sense.
“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ before me, Christ behind me…”
“Vox Populi” by Gielrius Svilainis - Another example of great contemporary choral music, this setting of the text “vox populi, vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God) is almost like a pop song, with ostinatos and catchy tunes. And I love the message: “where there is unity, there is victory.”
Bach’s Cello Suite no. 1, Prelude, played by Yo-Yo Ma. I wanted to include a video of the artist talking about how this piece represents rebuilding after a tragedy, but that’s not on YouTube, so I can’t put it in the playlist directly. You can see that on Facebook, though, at the link below. It’s a video and some thoughts that have brought me great comfort.
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