20 Great A Capella Choral Works

The human voice remains one of the most directly affecting and expressive musical instruments. It is no wonder that composers have long used the human voice for some of their most profound musical statements. Composers from the middle ages through today have composed countless works for voices, leaving a vast history of choral music. I have selected 20 a capella choral works that I think represent some of the best choral works throughout history.

1. Perotin Sederunt principes 
  • This is a very early polyphonic choral work from the middle ages, but still is able to move us today.
2. Thomas Tallis – Spem in Alium
  • Tallis composed this Renaissance era motet for 40-part choir.  
3. Allegri – Miserere

4. Verdi – Ave Maria

5. Rachmaninoff – All-night Vigil (Vespers)

6. Frank Martin – Mass for Double Choir

7. Franz Biebl – Ave Maria

8. Olivier Messiaen O Sacrum Convivium

9. Gyorgy Ligeti – Lux Aeterna

10. Einojuhani Rautavaara Die erste Elegie

11. Einojuhani Rautavaara –  Nirvana Dharma

12. Henryk Gorecki Amen

13. Per Norgard – Flos ut rosa floruit

14. Per Norgard – Frostsalme

15. Per Norgard – I Hear the Rain

16. Alfred Schnittke – Choir Concerto

17. Eriks Esenvalds – Long Road

18. Eriks Esenvalds – Stars

19. Eriks Esenvalds – Evening

20. Eriks Esenvalds – Legend of the Walled-in Woman

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