I'd add the Mozart Requium,Bach Motets,Handel Messiah,Beethoven 9th, Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, some Palestrina,and some Schubert song cycles.
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Brahms - ein Deutsches Requiem on by Robert Shaw on Telarc, Brahms Alto Rhapsody by Shaw on Telarc.
Seven Days of Passion by Grechaninov on Chandos.
Strauss Orchestral Songs by Felicity Lott and Jarvi on Chandos.
These are three very different types of orchestral/choral from three different periods. All very assessible and enjoyable.
Here are some additional selections that I greatly enjoy, together with some suggested performances (on LP, not sure of availability on CD):
~Poulenc - Gloria, Pretre/FNRO/Carteri on EMI
~Allegri - Miserere, Tallis Scholars or Willcocks/King's College Choir
~Britten - Peter Grimes, Billy Budd, Rejoice in the Lamb (to limit myself to 3 works)
~Byrd - Mass in 3 Parts, Willcocks/King's College Choir
~Carissimi - Jephte (also Jefta), on Proprius label
~Worcester Fragments, Stevens/AccademiaMoteverdiana on Nonesuch
~Laudate! - (music of the Baroque) DrottingholmBarEns & UppsalaAcKammarkor on Proprius label
~Crumb - Ancient Voices of Children, ContempChmEns/ DeGaetani on Nonesuch
~Durufle - Requiem, Durufle/OrchLamoureu on Erato label
~Handel - Messiah, McGegan/PhilBarOrchestra
~Haydn - Harmoniemesse, Guest/ASMF/Choir StJohn's College Cambridge on Argo (Decca)
~Hildegard of Bingen - "Sequences and Hymns by..." Page/GothicVoices on Hyperion label
~Holst - Salvitri, I.Holst/ECO/Purcell Singers/J.Baker on Argo (Decca)
~Janacek - Glagolitic Mass, Ancerl/CzechPO or Kempe/RPO
~Josquin Des Pres - Missa Pange Lingua, Tallis Scholars
~Ockeghem - Requiem, Clemencic Consort, Harmonia Mundi label
~Orff - Carmina Burana, DeBurgos (EMI) or Kempe (Philips)
~Carmina Burana "original manuscript" performance - Clemencic Consort, Harmonia Mundi label
~Palestrina - Missa Papae Marcelli, Tallis Scholars
~Pizzetti - Messa di Requiem (20th Century), Mikaeli Kammarkor on Proprius label
~Roman - Swedish Mass, Ohrwall/DrottingholmBarEns, Proprius label
~Vaughan Williams - Five Mystical Songs, Mass in g, Sancta Civitas
~Victoria - O Magnum Mysterium, Guest/Choir StJohn's College Cambridge on Argo (Decca)
~Martin Best (artist: lute, guitar, vocal) - "The Dawn of Romance" (EMI), "The Dante Troubadours" (Nimbus), "The Testament of Tristan" (Hyperion)
~Bach - Coffee Cantata and Peasant Cantata (for a bit of fun), Harnoncourt on Telefunken (Teldec)
~Hillier - "Proensa" (based on songs of the troubadours), Paul Hillier on ECM label
- Veronique Gens: Nuit D'etoiles
- Monica Groop: Bach Alto Cantatas
- Susam Graham: C'est ca la vie
- Caldara: Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo
- Barbara Bonney: Diamonds in the Snow
- Andreas Scholl: Wayfaring Stranger
- Maria Bayo: Handel Opera Arias and Cantatas
- Regine Crespin: (Remastered) Berlioz' Les Nuits d'Ete and Ravel's Sheherazade
- Morten Lauridsen: Dirait-on
- JS Bach: Matthaus-Passion (Nikolaus Harnoncourt)
- Bernarda Fink: Canciones Amatorias
- Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben (Bernarda Fink)
- Terra Nova Consort: Renaissance en provence
- Mudejar by Begonia Olavide
- Ludus Danielis: The Play of Daniel (Harp Consort)
- Esther Lamandier: Chansons de Toile (extremely rare)
- Esther Lamandier: Decameron (again, extremely rare)
- Canto Mediterraneo: Guillemette Laurens ans Cappricio Stravagante
- Schubert: Schwanengesang; Brahms: Vier ernste Gesange by Thomas Quasthoff
More to come...
A new CD that is absolutely astounding--better than most listed already here that I have checked out; 'Sacred Feast--Gaudeamus'. Directed by Paul Halley on DMP records, available on Amazon. Tracts 7- O Sacrum Convivium and 11- Pater Noster, are an epiphany.
I implore you to check it out!
Note that it is a hybrid SACD, so it can be played on a regular CD player or an SACD player.
A choral work that would have your stereo gear hopping and also give you a thrill is Prokofiev's cantata, "Alexander Nevsky." It was composed for the Eisenstein film of the same name.
If possible, try to pick up a copy of a Russian chorus singing it. There is nothing quite like hearing the unique sound of Russian voices singing the Russian language. Valerie Gergiev and the Kirov orchestra and chorus, joined by contralto, Olga Borodina, released a recording of it on Philips about a year ago. There is also the old Reiner/Chicago recording which is damn good.
You won't need a diaper for this one but your speakers may need oxygen after "The Battle on the Ice" movement.
There are only a few composers whose works can't only be called "magnificent", "inspired" or "heavenly"...oh, yes, there is almost all of Rachmaninoff, the "Four Last Songs" of Richard Strauss, sung by the brilliant Renee Fleming, Cristoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony Orchestra (you'll need a diaper for THAT one, for sure--it should be illegal, it is so hedonstic, memorable...).
But what I will search for until the day I die is Regine Crespin singing the Poulenc Gloria with the Robert Shaw Chorale...I first heard this in the seventies, on vinyl (remember "vinyl"?), and it made me the ultimate Poulenc fan. Please, please, if anyone has any info on any recording of this piece...let me know, please--I guess I'd even take an old vinly copy, but if I could only find it on cd...hell, I'd take a cassete copy, if I had to. This is one of those pieces that, tragically (yeah, I'm dramatic, but then, so was Francis Poulenc) has not been transferred to disc. PLEASE, music fans, help me with this. I will kiss your feet (if they don't stink)if you can give me some information on this.
Please keep away from my smelly feet for this! Not too much help, but Shaw and his Chorale recorded for RCA in the old days, so you might start there. I just finished a concert recently where we sang that piece, and have sung it before, and have always been haunted by the soprano solos in it, which are just beautiful. Rushton's suggestion above is a good alternative for you if you can't find your favorite.
You might want to add the discs by the Voices of Ascension on Delos to your lists, particularly their Durufle album. I've heard them in concert (and, sadly, at funerals for some of my former partners) on a number of occasions, and they sing with a straight tone which is not easy but when done right, as they do it, is extraodinary on some pieces, particularly the Durufle Requiem.