"Disney" Cantata
  • JKWJKW
    Posts: 27
    I am singing in an interdenominational group who performs an annual Easter cantata. The director has chosen Come to the Cross and Remember by Pepper Choplin.

    Upon my first listen.... Disney music?? Anyone else? Any suggestions on how to take this work seriously? I'm more than a bit spoiled by the great J.S. Bach.

    (I mean no offense, but this really was my first impression)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B22vx3oPDVQ
  • It's the saccharine orchestration (almost sounds like bastardized Vaughan Williams) and the cheesy narration over the music that really hammers home that effect, I think.

    Unfortunate that this is what passes for modern large-scale composition nowadays. It seems like modern composers for orchestra are either hopelessly dense and unapproachable or 100% Disney, with very few exceptions.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 167
    "Disney" is an apt characterization of the musical style. Maybe think of a Disney character or movie to ascribe to each movement as a way of entertaining yourself through it? It's not bad music for what it aims to be. But I can't offer suggestions for taking it "seriously".
    Thanked by 2CharlesW a_f_hawkins
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,613
    The composition likely assumes an audience whose primary experience of a musical setting for a story is a musical. I hear ... aural footprints of Stephen Schwartz. Especially Prince of Egypt.

    Do you have an obligation to sing?
  • JKWJKW
    Posts: 27
    Prince of Egypt immediately came to mind for me as well.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,570
    Prince of Egypt

    The movie name alone immediately triggered this memory ..
    Land Of the Pharaohs (1955)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vjv69Qac2w
    and the amazing conclusion
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1E-nSNjzlY
    and score transcribed for organ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpF1hKDBpwU

    Somehow I completely missed the Disney movie reference.
    I had to google it and view the OP link to understand this Discussion.
  • Eft,

    You wanted an earworm?
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,570
    Chris,
    Nah, the OP link was enough.
    This was a word association thing which ended up with a music connection of my own.
  • JKWJKW
    Posts: 27
    eft - the organ transcription was what really did it for me...
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,069
    Ouch
  • mburrier
    Posts: 25
    Ms. Choplin does a nice job with many of her works.
    I wouldn't put it as narrowly as Disney film music, but it certainly fits with middle-class, white American preferences.
    Is there anything liturgically inappropriate, or is this merely a matter of taste?
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • JKWJKW
    Posts: 27
    mburrier -

    FYI, it's Mr. Choplin.
    http://www.pepperchoplin.com/bio-1/

    I think the piece is meant for a concert setting.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 994
    Is there anything liturgically inappropriate, or is this merely a matter of taste?


    Dictatorship of relativism, anyone?

    Look at a few of these, mburrier, and then come back to us:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmWs94KbiJQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe1c-4Tp2JE
    https://musicasacra.com/about-cmaa/faq/
  • An email I got from SheetMusicPlus on this very cantata informed me that it's intended for a "service", whatever that's supposed to mean. One suggestion given was to "serve communion during the [singing of the] work". Either way - definitely not for Catholic use.

    Interdenominationally? I think it's just poor music in that case, with no clear evidence of skill in writing for the voice.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • Our community choir sings a cantata or musical twice a year. Several of my choir members have participated consistently and I now encourage it. While the music they learn would never translate to our parish's liturgy, there have been major benefits. The director is classically trained and streses correct vocal technique. My men have become better singers because of the other men in community choir. It gives singers a chance to sing from a different genre (not a genre I adore).
    It has built more positive relationships between churches. Finally, my singers have never requested to sing any of the music at our church and told me how much more they appreciate the quality of music which we sing and how they loathe singing to a piano accompaniment or CD track in church and would never want it in our parish.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen irishtenor
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,570
    intended for a "service", whatever that's supposed to mean

    Perhaps a mega-church (Robert Schuller or ??) Sunrise Service
    event where you get all of Holy Week in an easy 40 min of audience
    instead of nine grueling days of cast.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,726
    SheetMusicPlus is an excellent company that gives great "service." They have never claimed to be a Catholic company and sell to many organizations including churches.

    As for EFT, Quit whining Latin. You folks do Lent like 90-year-old wimps in a nursing home. Try Eastern Lent for a change. LOL.
    Thanked by 1Carol