I love chorale music, and I especially liked attending chorale concerts by the Pacific Mozart Ensemble when I lived in San Francisco. I also sang in my church choir as a bass voice.
Now that I live in Ho Chi Minh City, I have been missing the opportunity to hear live chorale music, and haven't taken much time to search out chorale music otherwise. I am just in a very different place at this point in my life, and I am currently focused on Vietnamese music.
A posting today on the Daily Dish blog by Andrew Sullivan brought me back to chorale music. Andrew was pointing out the beauty the internet can produce in posting a YouTube video of Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir singing Mr. Whitacre's Lux Arumque.
Here are the basics of the Virtual Choir: Mr. Whitacre posts a video of himself conducting the piece (for the singers to follow). He also provides the sheet music online. Then singers around the world record videos on their own PCs of themselves singing their parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), following the beat of the conducting video. They post their individual videos on YouTube for Mr. Whitacre to select. The producer, Scott Haines, spliced all of the individual videos together from 185 singers around the world to produce the video of the combined choir. This process is explained in more detail on Mr. Whitacre's website.
Please watch the video below to see and hear the results of internet collaboration:
The music starts 34 seconds into the video. Since the video is produced in wide-screen, the right side gets cutoff on my blog, so click on the video to go directly to YouTube and see it in its entirety.
As an amateur choir singer, I know how hard it is to follow the conductor and make sure my voice is contributing to a coherent whole. It is the quality of individual singers, the conductor, and the producer who put the voices together that creates here a very polished performance that is beautiful.