Some of My Favorite Choral Music

Do you have a favorite piece of music? Do you have a favorite composer? I have been asked these questions so many times, and it is always hard for me to come up with an answer! Maybe it’s because the genre is usually unspecified in the question. Maybe it’s because I like to reserve the right to change my mind. Mostly, though, I think it’s because it’s so hard for me to choose just one favorite piece of music. Without commenting on why these are my favorites—maybe I will write separate posts about that later—here is a list (with YouTube clips for you to enjoy) of my top ten choral favorites presented in alphabetical order. I’m focusing on this genre, because I write a lot of choral music. In some ways these pieces are always with me, circling in the back of my mind, when I write my own choral music, so they represent some of my key musical influences.

“Alleluia,” by Ralph Manuel (1987)

“Beati Quorum Via,” from Three Latin Motets, by Charles Villiers Stanford (1905)

“Cantique de Jean Racine” (Op. 11), by Gabriel Fauré (1864-65)

“Geistliches Lied,” Op. 30, by Johannes Brahms (1856)

“Gloria,” from Vespers, Op. 37, by Sergei Rachmaninov (1915)

“Nunc Dimittis,” by Arvo Pärt (2001)

“Only in Sleep,” by Ēriks Ešenvalds (2010)

“Sicut Cervus” (Psalm 42), G. Palestrina (1584)

“The Last Words of David,” by Randall Thompson (1949)

“Zadok the Priest,” Coronation Anthem no. 1, HWV 258, by G. F. Handel (1727)

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