CHORAL COMPOSITIONS SUITABLE FOR ADVENT
Compiled by Dr. Robert C. Mann
Resource Library Director
The purpose of this communication is to offer assistance in selecting anthems for worship during the Advent season beginning November 30, 2014. Use texts appropriate to Advent only, and if the process is not familiar, this list will be helpful. It’s not too soon to begin planning. Listed below are two possibilities for selecting Advent anthems: anthems available on the online source, CPDL; and a list of texts for which you will have musical settings in your own choral library.
I have searched the CPDL website (www.cpdl.org) and compiled a list of SATB Advent anthems. Several of the anthems are within reach of most choirs, but some will not be usable by choirs with limited resources. CPDL just does not have anthems suitable for groups of limited resources. Please look at each anthem to determine if it is within the ability of your choir to sing. Don’t assume they are all too difficult without examining them.
If you are not familiar with CPDL, you may download any composition without charge and make unlimited copies for your choir. Most of the anthems listed below have English texts, but a few have traditional Latin texts, for example, Magnificat and Benedictus. CPDL anthems can be searched by title, composer, and number.
(If you wish to see all Advent anthems listed on the CPDL website, enter ADVENT in the CPDL search box. Your result will bring up many anthems. The majority of these anthems do not have texts in English, however, and I have chosen not to include them. )
The list below includes two Introits, both by contemporary composers. Anthems are primarily by 19th-century composers, or earlier, and may be considered “classic” settings of these texts.
Don’t stop reading this if you think your choir won’t be able to sing any of this music. After the CPDL compositions, I have submitted titles of appropriate Advent texts for which you will have settings in your own choral library.
CPDL ANTHEMS [Title, Composer, Voicing, Accompaniment, Text/Sunday in Advent, CPDL #]
Advent Sentence Toby Wardman SATB Accompaniment Introit Isaiah 40:5 #05045
Let the Clouds Rain Down (2006) Charles H. Giffen SATB a Cappella Introit 4th Sunday #13137
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Gustav Holst SATB Soli S, B Accompaniment #24949
A Tender Shoot Otto Goldschmidt SATB a Cappella #10526
How Lovely are the Messengers (Saint Paul) Felix Mendelssohn SATB Organ Romans 10:15, 18 #21148
The Angel Gabriel Basque Carol arr. Rod Mather SATB Accompaniment #Use title
There Is No Rose Douglas Brooks-Davies SATB A Cappella #07003
Virga Jesse floruit (Latin text) Anton Bruckner SATB A Cappella #00077
This is the Record of John Orlando Gibbons SAATB Organ John 1:19-23 #18209
O Thou the Central Orb Charles Wood SATB Organ #01951
Creator of the Stars of Night Charles H. Giffen SATB A Cappella English/Latin #10056
Benedictus in B-flat, Op.10, No.3 Charles Villiers Stanford SATB Organ Luke 1:68-79 #Use title
Rejoice in the Lord, Alway Henry Purcell SATB Soli ATB Phil. 4:4-7 #03622
Magnificat in G Major Op.81 Charles Villiers Stanford SATB Soprano Solo Organ Luke 1:46-55 #06952
Magnificat in B-flat Op.10 Charles Villiers Stanford SATB Organ #18239
Magnificat in C Op.115 Charles Villiers Stanford SATB Organ #18240
The following texts are appropriate for Sundays in Advent. Check the Lectionary or eLibrary for specific Sundays they should be used. Search your own choral library to see what settings of these texts your choir sings. Search the database of the eLibrary for information relating to the texts and musical settings of your own compositions and settings by other composers.
Any setting of Ave Maria
Any setting of the Benedictus
Any setting of the Magnificat
Any setting of Adam lay ybounden
Any setting of A Spotless Rose
And the Glory of the Lord (Messiah) Handel
Any setting of Cherry Tree Carol
Any setting of Creator of the Stars of Night
E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come (Manz )
Any setting of Gabriel’s Message (The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came)
Any setting of Lift Up Your Heads (Messiah or other)
Any setting of Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
Any setting of Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming
Any setting of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Any setting of O Lord, How Shall I Meet You
Any setting of Pour Down, O Heavens, From Above (Rorate Caeli)
Any setting of Prepare the Way, O Zion
Any setting of Savior of the Nations, Come
Any setting of There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue
Plus settings of Hymns from the Advent Section of any Hymnal