Masterwork Editions for Choir

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

I love finding well-edited versions of masterwork compositions for Middle School and High School choirs – it’s a perfect way to introduce major composers from different historical periods to your ensembles! Here are a few of our favorites this season:

RENAISSANCE
Tanzen und Springen by Hans Leo Hassler/arr. Russell Robinson
Hassler’s lively and dance-like madrigal, originally written for five voices a cappella, is re-voiced here for 3-part mixed and optional accompaniment. Both English and German are included and can be sung in either language or a combination. A smart choice for young singers beginning their exploration into Renaissance music.

Matona Mia Cara by Orlando diLasso/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Orlando di Lasso’s tuneful villanelle is set here for TBB voices with details that suit the young male voice. The Italian text is accompanied by an optional English text, it is shorter in length than the original SATB score, contains an optional piano accompaniment, and is written in a style that is rustic and light with the energized syllables of “dire, dire, don, don, don.”

Cantate Domino by Claudio Monteverdi/arr. Jill Gallina
One of a number of short motets written by Italian composer, Claudio Monteverdi, this madrigal style for six voices has been set for SSA, carefully weaving selected vocal lines from the original to create this stylistically authentic edition using both energized and legato singing.

This Is Our Time for Singing by Orazio Vecchi/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Lilting and light, the contrasting sections of this 16th century Italian madrigal provide an ideal introduction to this important musical style. Whether you enjoy singing a cappella or with piano, consider adding the optional flute and hand drum parts. Ideal for concert or adjudication.

BAROQUE
Dixit Dominus by Antonio Vivaldi/arr. Jacob Narverud
Arranged for SATB voices, harpsichord or piano, and string quartet, Vivaldi is celebrated by or perhaps even introduced to your singers in this smart edition. Optional children’s choir or ensemble is included, helping create a terrific opening masterwork for choirs of all ages.

Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi by Baldassare Galuppi/arr. Jill Friedersdorf & Melissa Malvar-Keylock
Introduce your treble choirs to the Baroque/Classical style of the Italian composer Baldassare Galuppi with this adagio movement filled with sorrowful descending lines and ardent suspensions. An excellent work for developing clarity of line and musicianship.

If Music Be the Food of Love by Henry Purcell/arr. Russell Robinson
Russell Robinson presents this choral masterwork by Henry Purcell in a well-constructed arrangement for middle school mixed choirs. The music for the first and second verses are identical to aid in quick learning of this especially fine contest selection that also offers an option to perform a cappella.

CLASSICAL
Alleluia, to Thee We Sing by W.A. Mozart/arr. Jacob Narverud
Mozart’s delightful melody is paired with an original text by the arranger suitable as an opening number for concert choir. The musical theme and accessible vocal writing will appeal to both high school and advanced middle school singers, too. The piano accompaniment is pure Mozart and a wonderful showcase for your pianist.

Benedictus (from Missa Sancti Hieronymi MH 254) by Johann Michael Haydn/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Composed by the younger brother of composer Joseph Haydn, this classical work features brilliant melismatic lines and a well-crafted piano reduction of the original orchestral score. An opening triadic motive in the sopranos is repeated and developed through the lower voices in imitative fashion, before coming to a homophonic section, then a stately close.

ROMANTIC
Abschiedslied by Johannes Brahms/arr. Gerald Custer
Gerald Custer presents one of the most well-known Brahms love songs in this sensitive scoring that retains the harmonic richness of the original. The strophic setting takes voice leading into careful consideration and highlights men and women separately and together.

Find more options in the Stanton’s Signature Selections area of our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations at 1.800.42.MUSIC. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

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Categories: New Publications, School Choral, Staff Picks

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