Choral Music

The Chase (1972) - View discography entry

Text: J.L. Zaimont
For chorus SSATB and piano (6')
Publisher: Galaxy Music Corporation (E.C. Schirmer)
* Winner of Paul Revere Prize (Music Publishers Assn.) 1987
Commissioned by the Great Neck Choral Society
First Performance: May 1972
Other Performances: Eastman School of Music; Univ. of Wisconsin - Eau Claire


Friends (see Life Cycle) (1994)


Text: Doris Kosloff
For chorus SSAA and piano (4:00)
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commissioned by American Choral Directors Association and Minnesota Music Educators Association for the Minnesota All-State Women's Chorus


Housewife (see Life Cycle) (2009)


Text: Claudia Stanek
For two S soli, chorus SSAA and piano (5:20)
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commissioned by Howard Hanson Fund, Eastman School of Music
First performance: Eastman Women’s Chorus, March 2009.


Lamentation (1982)

Text: Bible
For double chorus, mezzo and baritone soli, piano, percussion (25')
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commissioned by the Gregg Smith Singers, Philadelphia Singers, Dale Warland Singers and I Cantori (Los Angeles), through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
First Performance: Gregg Smith Singers and Florilegium Chamber Choir, May 1985


"The most moving piece was an aria from 'Lamentation,' a large-scale oratorio dating from 1982. The aria's biblical text ['Ashes are the bread I eat'], which deals with the Jews' exile into Babylonia, was set in a straight forward, atmospheric, syllabic manner. Its stark piano accompaniment and long-breathed, darkly eloquent melodic line (adapted from fragments by the Renaissance madrigalist Carlo Gesualdo) proved extremely apposite."
-- The Atlanta Constitution


Life Cycle (1994-2001; 2009 and continuing)

An ongoing project for women’s voices and instruments to poems by women
"Friends" (Text: Doris Kosloff) - SSAA and piano [1994]
"Kneeling in the Big City [Demeter, Persephone]" (Text: Elizabeth Macklin) S and A soli, SSAA and piano [2001]
"The Habit of Anger" (Text: Elizabeth Macklin) SSAA and piano [2001]
"They Were Women Then" (Text: Alice Walker) SSAA, pno., maracas [1997]
"Housewife" (Text: Claudia Stanek) two S soli, SSAA and piano [2009]
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
* 2001 movements commissioned by New York Treble Singers, Virginia Davidson, director
First performance [current version]: May 2001, New York City, NY Treble Singers

"The featured work was Zaimont’s ambitious work-in-progress.... The contrasting parts of this music give it dimension and depth.... Ms. Zaimont handled her musical materials with ease and range."
-- New Music Connoisseur
MEDITATIONS at the Time of the New Year (1997) - View discography entry

I: Dawn
II: Hope


For SSATB choir, SA choral soli, glockenspiel and tubular bells (11:30)
Text: written and compiled by the composer from portions of "Gates of Awe", the Reform prayer book for Jewish High Holy Days.
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commissioned by Skidmore College (for appointment as Filene Artist in Residence)
First performance: Skidmore College Vocal Ensemble, David Janower, director - April 1997.
Other performances: Florilegium Chamber Choir, Concert Choir of Univ. of Wisconsin - River Falls, Choral Society of Southern California.

"Dawn  paints a quietly ecstatic picture of sunrise. The second movement, Hope, begins with a bell-type tune and ends in a quiet blessing.  The percussion, delicately used, accents the choral music.” 
-- ClassicalNet


Miracle of Light - A Festival Piece (1995)

For SATB choir, flute and harp (4:30)
Commissioned by the Dale Warland Singers
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
First performance: December 1995, Ted Mann Hall (MN)
Parable: A Tale of Abram and Isaac (1986) - View discography entry

Text: Brome Mystery Play, Wilfred Owen
For soprano, tenor and baritone soli, chorus SSATTB, organ (16:20)
(Also a version for strings and harpsichord)
Publisher: Hildegard Publishing Company
Large excerpt also in Contemporary Anthology of Music by Women  (University of Indiana Press, 1997).
Commissioned by Florilegium Chamber Choir
First Performance: Merkin Hall, NYC, June 1986
Other Performances: International Jewish Music Conference; Society of Composers, International; Louisiana State University; Madison Festival Choir (WI); New York Virtuoso Singers


"Judith Lang Zaimont's latest choral work is not only one of the finest works she has written, but it is also one of the strongest choral works I've heard for some time. It has all the elements one could wish for -- profound text, exciting and also beautiful music, and virtuoso instrumental and vocal writing that heightens the inherent drama wonderfully. A great work!"
-- Gregg Smith, Conductor, Gregg Smith Singers

“Beautiful and affecting ….  The music illuminates the text, and the juxtaposition of various texts deepen the meaning of the central image.”   
-- ClassicalNet

“A compelling piece, urgently dramatic; …distinctive and persuasive.”        
 -- MusicWeb  International


"A powerful meditation on the cycles of human destruction that yet raises the hope that the cycles may someday be suspended."
-- Fanfare

"Zaimont's 'Parable' told the story of Abraham and Isaac with a steamrolling rush of emotion. Miss Zaimont uses anything handy to propel the action -- dramatic unisons, sound effects, rushing scale passages and, at the end, a spoken kaddish to mourn Isaac's death. One admired the unflagging energy in her music."
-- The New York Times

"Zaimont has fashioned a powerfully theatrical work, heard here in the version for voices and organ. Solo voices are combined with the ensemble in varying textures, evoking vivid images which complement the strongly emotional story."
-- The NATS Journal

“Zaimont’s musical setting is entirely appropriate --  the unfolding is urgent and terrifying.”
-- Fanfare


REMEMBERANCE (2007)

Text: Shakespeare, Suckling, C. Rossetti, Gates of Repentance
For large chorus SSAATTBB, T, Mz asnd S soli, English horn, cello, organ and percussion [25:00 - four movements]
Publisher: Subito Music Corportaion
Commissioned by the Portland Symphonic Choir
First Performances: October 2007

"Zaimont's "Remembrance" was the central work, each of four movements intending to answer the question, "How are the ways in which we remember?" ... Zaimont speaks with a direct and powerful voice here, with imaginative choral effects accompanied by organ, oboe and English horn, cell) and percussion (Gordon Rencher). The choir gave a rousing performance,... and tenor and soprano soloists brought an exciting sound to their highflying solos."
-- David Stabler in The Oregonian, October 29, 2007


Sacred Service for the Sabbath Evening (1976) - View discography entry


Text: The Union Prayerbook
For baritone (or alto) solo, chorus SSATB, piano (72')
Publisher: Galaxy Music Corporation (E.C. Schirmer)
(See also: Orchestral Music)


Serenade: To Music (1981) - View discography entry


Text: W.H. Auden
For chorus SSATTB (8')
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commissioned by The Western Wind
First Performance: Florilegium Chamber Choir, June 1984
Other Performances: Great Neck Choral Society; Elmer Iseler Singers (Canada); American Music Theater Group

"A wonderful piece."
-- The Springfield (MA) Morning Union

"A serious, though nimble setting of an Auden text."
-- The Hartford Courant

"A shimmering filigree setting of W.H. Auden's 'The Composer,' with interpolated phrases by Zaimont."
-- NATS Journal

"Very refreshing music. The music effectively enhances the words' lyricism and drama."
-- American Music


Sunny Airs and Sober (1974) - View discography entry


For chorus SSATB (14'30")

"A Questioned Answered" (Shakespeare)
"Winter Mourning" (Shelley)
"Sigh No More, Ladies" (Shakespeare)
"Come Away, Death" (Shakespeare)
"Life is a Jest" (John Gay; Robert Herrick)

Publisher: Walton Music Corporation (Hinshaw Music, Inc.)
Commissioned by the Waldorf Singers
First Performance: Gregg Smith Singers, August 1976
Other Performances: Florilegium Chamber Choir; Canticum Novum; Early Music Ensemble of St. Paul; Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Gerogia State University; University of Alabama - Huntsville


The Spirit of the Lord (1992)


For double chorus SATB, choral soli, brass quintet and organ [or organ solo accompaniment] (9:00)
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for the Biennial National Convention
First Performance: Atlanta, Georgia, June 1992

"The Spirit of the Lord was the one work truly apart -- in complexity, insight, texture, and performance."
-- American Organist


The Spirit Moves In Me  ( 2008)
     1    How – The Ways of Nature
     2   When – It is a beauteous evening, calm and free  (Wordsworth)
     3 – To What Purpose – The Ways of God

         = All texts drawn from the literature of faiths around the world

For chamber choir ( SATB, choral soli, piano, perc., string quartet)  (c. 12:00)
       **Commissioned by the Universal Sacred Music Foundation
First Performance: New York, NY, April 26, 2008
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.


             “One Above,
                    Guide your people …
                         May Harmony dwell within us
                          And May Peace Abide!”
Three Ayres (1969) - View discography entry


For chorus S(S)ATB (6')

"O Mistress Mine" (Shakespeare)
"Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount" (Ben Johnson)
"How Sweet I Roam'd" (Blake)

Publisher: Broude Brothers, Inc.
Commissioned by the Great Neck Choral Society
First Performance: May 1969
Other Performances: Waldorf Singers; Gregg Smith Singers; Syracuse Choral Society; University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire; Dayton University (OH); University of Alabama - Huntsville;

"Delightfully different settings."
-- The Choral Journal

"Three Ayres are lovely settings of well-known texts and would be additions to libraries of choral groups."
-- The American Music Teacher


Three Choruses from The SACRED SERVICE (1976, revised 1980) - View discography entry
For baritone solo, chorus SSATB, piano (or organ) (16'30")

"Psalm 97: The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice"
"Why do we deal treacherously, brother against brother?"
"Thou shalt love the Lord"

Publisher: Galaxy Music Corporation (E.C. Schirmer)
Performed worldwide
(See also: Orchestral Music)

"Zaimont's new setting of 'Sacred Service' proved to be a beautiful, musically rewarding piece which held the audience's interest throughout and won an ovation at the finish. Her score is complex yet always accessible and expressive. The music invariably seemed to fit the words...which came alive in glowing or intensely moving fashion."
-- The Trenton Times

"Judith Lang Zaimont has brought a new and exciting voice to liturgical music. Her ideas are fresh; her combination of voice with text, added to her considerable skills in choral writing have created a memorable composition."
-- Cantor Paul Kwartin, Cantica Hebraica

“Zaimont finds gold. Though she, like Bloch, strikes an epic note, it's her own epic note. She builds firmly over larger spans. Nothing meanders. All her lines give you the feeling that they lead somewhere, and the destination, though unpredictable, seems right once you arrive. She's not afraid of dissonance, but she's also not shy about writing a good tune. Yet the tune is hardly ever the point of her work. All the compositional elements – melody, harmony, rhythm, color, and motific argument tend to find a hierarchical equilibrium
  The choral writing throughout cannily mixes declamatory, homophonic passages with simple, clear contrapuntal ones. Zaimont concerns herself with making the text intelligible, even through large orchestral and vocal resources.”    

 -- Classical Net
The Tragickal Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens (1980)


Text: Traditional Ballad
For chorus SSATB, choral soli, piano (10')
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.


VOICES (1996)


For chorus SATB, choral soli, 2 percussion, synthesizer and brass nonet: 3 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 trombones, 2 tubas (31:00)
Text: Compiled and written by the composer, using poetry from around the world
Publisher: Subito Music Corp.
Commmsioned by Fairfield University (Connecticut)
First Performance: Fairfield University


Moses Supposes (1975)


Text: Tongue Twister
Three-part canon for treble voices and percussion (flexible timing)
Publisher: Tetra Music Corporation [Alexander Broude]

 

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