Let’s have a choral non-Christmas

Let’s have a choral non-Christmas


norman lebrecht

November 29, 2019

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Such a relief at this time of year to receive a choral record that is not about Christmas. The Purcell Singers have selected ‘English and American Choral Masterpieces of the 20th Century’ and it’s hard to fault their choices, or not to thrill at the unfamiliar….

Read on here.

And here.


  • Bone says:

    Very excited to hear this! “When David Heard” has been my favorite Whitacre piece for a while now so every new version is a real treat for my ears.

  • Christopher Davis says:

    Lauridsen is NOT undersung in the US. In fact, his music surplants far superior efforts in most choral concerts. I find his and Whitacre’s campy music sharing a disc with Howells and Leighton to be laughable.

    • MWnyc says:

      I wasn’t going to put it quite so uncharitably (I like a good bit of Lauridsen’s music, though I wouldn’t rank him alongside, say, David Lang), but yes, Lauridsen is sung quite widely in the States, especially by high school and college choirs.

    • Whitacre all but owns the choral world. It’s interesting that you describe his work as camp, defined as something amusing because it is obviously intended to be strange or shocking and seems to be ridiculing itself. Puccini and Mahler are also camp to a degree, but there’s an irony that none of these composers were trying to be.

      Whitacre’s weaknesses aside, I enjoy watching the indignation directed toward him by the arty pomo populists of the Northeastern new music establishment. In some respects, it’s like they got a taste of their own medicine. Most amusing.