List of Standard Repertoire for SATB Choir
  • One of the music sellers has lists on their website of pieces that that consider the basic or standard repertoire for concert band, high school show choir, handbell choir, etc. etc.

    For example, there are a certain number of common pieces that my choir could (hopefully) pull together easily, just as I would expect other local choirs to likewise do. One piece that comes to mind is Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus.

    What choral arrangements should be essential for any self-respecting SATB choir to know for Mass? In Ordinary Form? In Extraordinary Form?
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,621
    It's an interesting question. Most of these lists are graded; these are the best pieces for beginning band, here is the basic repertoire for Grade 6 band. You wouldn't throw Husa's Music for Prague or the Schoenberg Theme and Variations at a high school band. Then there are lists of "the classics", the sort of pieces that end up getting mentioned in Grout or Taruskin. In between are "chestnuts": pieces that everyone knows. These are often interactions between quality and simplicity; their popularity is in part due to their ease.

    But for Extraordinary Form, here are I think the "gotta know" pieces:
    Chant: Masses VIII and XI, with I, XVII and IX close behind. Credo III (I will be next). The Asperges and Sursum. The 4 simple tone Marian antiphons. Veni creator. Of course some way of doing the Proper. The Missa pro Defunctis, if you do funerals.

    Polyphony: Mozart Ave Verum, "Arcadelt" Ave Maria, "Palestrina" Adoramus Te, whichever Tantum ergo is customarily sung in your parish (in parts of course), Lambilotte Panis, Victoria Vere Languares, Byrd Ave Verum

    Masses (if you're up to polyphonic Ordinaries): Byrd in 4 (and 3, not 5), Palestrina Aeterna Christi Munera (Pope Marcellus has too many parts), Lassus Venatorum/Octavi toni. If you have to have a Mass that sound Christmassy, Yon Missa Dei Pastori is a sturdy indefensible that many people do (including at St. John Cantius, so who am I to judge?) Maybe the Gounod Messe brève n° 7
    Thanked by 1Patricia Cecilia
  • RCS333
    Posts: 36
    Tallis If Ye Love Me
    Thanked by 1Patricia Cecilia
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,174
    Palestrina's Sicut Cervus
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,138
    Victoria Jesu Dulcis Memoria
  • redsox1
    Posts: 197
    Handl Ave Maria
    Anerio Christus factus est
    Aichinger Regina Coeli
    Palestrina Alma Redemptoris Mater a4
    Byrd Teach Me O Lord
    Ad Te Levavi Rheinberger
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,020
    Other common "chestnuts" that are relatively straightfoward, not particularly athletic or tricky and not previously mentioned but are, shall we say, high school level, off the top of my head, not exhaustive:

    The Ave Maria for 4 voices formerly widely attributed to T. Victoria. [For another attribution based on manuscripts rather than speculation, see http://www.avemariasongs.org/aves/G/Gallus_a4.htm]

    Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium

    Viadana's Exsultate justi in domino

    Palestrina's O Bone Jesu (very simple but for some reason somewhat treacherous unaccompanied for falling pitch potential)

    Somewhat more ambitious: Hassler's Cantate Domino

    and Stravinsky's Ave Maria (Latin text) is lovely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Luh-UlFvxEk

    Broader advice: Magnificats - you can't have too many of them, in Latin (and in OF, English). Simple chant tones to start on the Latin side of things.

    For the OF, any number of English anthems and choral hymn tunes by Orlando Gibbons are useful to have (O Lord Increase My Faith; Almighty and Everlasting God; et cet. at http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Orlando_Gibbons ). And things like Lord For Thy Tender Mercy's Sake (att Farrant or Hilton depending on the edition) and Rejoice In The Lord Alway (formerly att to Redford) - the classic Anglican polyphonic Amen is particularly shown off well in those two.


  • dad29
    Posts: 1,892
    If you can find one, get a McLaughlin & Reilly motet book. There are two volumes, each with about 15 (?) 4-part 'standard' motets. All in Latin, of course. Good for 'beginner' choirs. Also, ECSchirmer put out an excellent collection, "The Renaissance Singer" which has 'standards' for beginner choirs.

    If you can find it, add Flor Peeters' Mass in Honor of St Joseph to your list. Latin, modal, very well written. Easy. His Mass in Honor of St John the Baptist is another one, slightly more difficult.

  • Gounod and Elgar - Ave Verum (similar difficulty to the Mozart)
    SS Wesley - Lead Me Lord, Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace
    Byrd - Lord, Make Me to Know Thy Ways
    Faure - Cantique de Jean Racine
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,020
  • tandrews
    Posts: 72
    Pitoni Cantate Domino
    Attwood Turn Thy Face
    Remondi O Sacrum Convivium
  • Considering the original text to the Arcadelt, I find its Ave Maria contrafactum more than a little ironic.
    Thanked by 3tandrews CHGiffen JL
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 320
    Tye "Laudate Nomen Domini"
    For smaller choirs or those at a truly beginner level: Palestrina "Jesu Rex Admirabilis"
    Stainer "God So Loved the World"
    Ippolitov-Ivanov "Bless the Lord, O My Soul"
    Vaughan Williams "O Taste and See"
  • Liam- Thanks for the link! It is an excellent and useful thread. Perhaps I should have searched a little deeper before posting...
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,813
    Chant Propers sung in full.
    Chant Ordinaries Masses I, II, IV, IX, XI, XIV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, Requiem
    Credo I, IV, VI

    Polyphony,
    Byrd 3 part Mass, Missa super dixit Maria, Hasler ...

    Byrd Ave Verum, ...

    And the Isaac Propers particularly the Communions.