Songs/Artists with choral grandeur?
October 30, 2004 3:47 PM   Subscribe

SongFilter: Songs/Artists with choral grandeur? Heard often in films at the pending apocalypse, judgement day, climax, etc. Like the one that goes di, di. da, da. di, di. da, da. di di da daaaa da di daaaaaah. :-P
posted by omidius to Media & Arts (28 answers total)
Surely you don't mean Apocalypse Now/ Ride of the Valkyries (Wagner)?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:54 PM on October 30, 2004

I think omidius is looking for Carmina Burana (specifically, O Fortuna) by Carl Orff (which I first heard and fell in love with in Excalibur).
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:58 PM on October 30, 2004

Said work ... in its entire! ... in MIDI!
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:00 PM on October 30, 2004

Thank you WolfDaddy that was one of them. Can anyone else think of works in a similar genre? Thanks a bunch!!
posted by omidius at 4:18 PM on October 30, 2004

on a side note, it took me FOREVER to find out who did that opera and what it was called. i finally found out when it was listed in the end credits on Detroit Rock City.
posted by Stynxno at 4:32 PM on October 30, 2004

Hmmmm, it's geeky to say this, but the original theme for The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, by Ron Jones, always scared the doo-wah-diddy out of me. Go here and listen to the sample of Track 4.

His theme for the Romulans was even cooler, but it didn't have a choir in it, and then an edict came down from on high that Star Trek shouldn't have identifiable thematic elements to its scores which was just steeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwpid)

I also can't believe there's a out there. Whatta bunch of geeks
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:37 PM on October 30, 2004

di, di. da, da. di, di. da, da. di di da daaaa da di daaaaaah.

Reminds me of the Beethoven piece (5th?) from Clockwork Orange.
posted by wackybrit at 5:02 PM on October 30, 2004

I read it as Beethoven's 9th symphony, specifically the Ode to Joy. I do seem to recall that bits of Beethoven's Ninth or Fifth symphonies were used in the score of the first Batman.
posted by stet at 5:37 PM on October 30, 2004

They like to use Mozart's Requiem in movies quite a bit, particularly the Lacrimosa (track eight here).
posted by epimorph at 5:51 PM on October 30, 2004

Of course, there is also Hallelujah from Handel's Messiah (disk 2, track 14).
posted by epimorph at 5:59 PM on October 30, 2004

let's try some less-usual sources:

'one winged angel' from final fantasy vii is fairly amazing. possibly definitive.

origa's 'inner universe' from ghost in the shell is also superb, variously latin russian and japanese.

'asu e no brilliant road' from stellvia of the universe is another good one.

dubstar's 'the view from here' has a completely subliminal choral factor that is very overwhelming. no, really.
posted by dorian at 5:59 PM on October 30, 2004

Ooooo, GREAT call on One Winged Angel from FF VII, dorian! Thanks for reminding me of it!

Also, the opening theme to FF VIII is pretty amazing, but I can't remember the name of it. Very dramatic.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:25 PM on October 30, 2004

Sepiroth (one winged angle) is right up that alley!! Bordering on apocolyptic/hellish and grand.

posted by omidius at 6:29 PM on October 30, 2004

"Liberi Fatali" is the name of the opening theme to FF8. I'm sure your friendly p2p client will help you find it. I couldn't find the original on a web page (though there's a midi of it here, but you don't get the chorus) but the original orchestrated version is definitely worth adding to your collection. It (and the accompanying stunning CGI movie) was what convinced me to buy the game...
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:38 PM on October 30, 2004

Also, I'm sure Yoko Kanno has composed something(s) you'd like. I know the umpteenmillion OST's to Cowboy Bebop had more than it's fair share of a capella music meant to cause apprehension/intimidation/fright.

Okay, that's it, I'm through.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:41 PM on October 30, 2004

The lyrics from "One Winged Angel" come from Carmina Burana, actually: "Estuans interius ira vehementi" is from one song in it, "sors immanis et inanis" is from another, "veni veni venias / ne me mori facias" is from a third.

I humbly submit: M A G M A! You want choral grandeur, you want Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandöh, or the three-disc live set Trilogie au Trianon (comprising Theusz Hamtaahk, Wurdah Itah, and aforementioned MDK).
posted by kenko at 6:46 PM on October 30, 2004

There are definitely some passages in the Lord of the Rings soundtrack that would qualify.
posted by zadcat at 8:18 PM on October 30, 2004

Now that Final Fantasy has come up, I can mention "Duel of the Fates" (the climactic music from Star Wars Episode I) while remaining completely confident that this will not be the nerdiest reference in the thread.
posted by jjg at 8:21 PM on October 30, 2004

Queen has done some songs like that: Prophet's Song and Bohemian Rhapsody immediately come to mind (both from the album "A Night at the Opera").
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:21 PM on October 30, 2004

The soundtrack music to Young Sherlock Holmes sounds enough like Carmina Burana that I confused the two for a while.

Check out a little Toby Twining, too. Not exactly that big choral sound, but definitely percussive and weird. Also, Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms.

I'd also recommend looking at Gabriel Faure's Requiem and maybe even some John Rutter. Both of these move towards melodic rather than melodramatic, but they're both highly accessible examples of a genre that's close to what you're looking for.
posted by weston at 12:53 AM on October 31, 2004

"dies irae" from verdi's requiem
"confutatis maledictus" from mozart's
posted by mr.marx at 3:03 AM on October 31, 2004

I second the Dies Irae from Verdi's Requiem. It is heard quite often; one of those things you know you've heard but would have trouble naming if you were asked.

Also, Mahler's 8th Symphony is to choral music what cotton candy is to sugar. A bit much for my taste, but definitely a place to go shopping if you are looking for grandiose choral performances.
posted by profwhat at 6:58 AM on October 31, 2004

What with it being Halloween and all, I would add Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Every crazed madman in the world plays this.
posted by SPrintF at 7:57 AM on October 31, 2004

Have you listened to Brian Wilson's "Smile" yet?
posted by chicobangs at 9:32 AM on October 31, 2004

If you want something chorally grand but less ominous, perhaps Thomas Tallis's "Spem in Alium".

Also there's a nifty little track called "Dicant Nunc" by this Irish choral group called Anuna. There's a sample on their site, it's on the album "Deep Dead Blue."
posted by dnash at 9:59 AM on October 31, 2004

I also reccommend Mozart's Requiem K626. Specifically: dies irae, confutatis, and lacrimosa all have that 'big' sound you're going after. The best recording I've heard so far is a Decca recording from 1984. Directed by Christopher Hogwood, with the Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir.

Also, another Mozart Mass (with that 'big' voice sound) is his Great Mass in C Minor KV 427. Specifically: qui tollis. The best recording is a Philips from 1994. Directed by Sir Neville Marriener, St. Martin in the Fields Chorus, and solos by Kiri te Kanawa and Anne Sofie von Otter.
posted by naxosaxur at 9:26 PM on October 31, 2004

Very cool band called "Era" that pretty much only does this kind of music. Some of their songs go a bit new-agish more than classical, but that should be up that alley. I have never been able to tell whether they're actually singing in Latin in those choruses or in something that sounds rather like it...

Yoko Kanno is a good suggestion but she's all over the map stylistically, even in each album. Your best bet would probably be material from the Escaflowne soundtrack, specifically "Chain" and "Black Escaflowne." One of my favorite songs of all time is "Shadow of Doubt" -- do not miss this one. Do not look to Bebop for choral stuffs (though it is good music.)

Nobuo Uematsu is the composer responsible for the Final Fantasy music, and damn near every Final Fantasy soundtrack has at least one song like that on it. One Winged Angel and Liberi Fatali are good choices. JENOVA is also good, if you can find an orchestrated version.

The Medieaval Babes is a band that re-interprets old old style poetry and song fragments, often very hypnotic music with big choruses in ancient tongues.

For some great cello work check out Apocalyptica -- they've covered many many Metallica songs... classical style. Strings. Still pretty damn badass too. They've done covers of other metal/hard bands as well, including a couple with lovely female vocals over top; try "Seeman" and "Path."

A band called "E Nomine" did a very interesting techno song "Vater Unser" with the Lord's Prayer in German... sounds way scary.

From the anime "Noir," try "Canta per Me" and "Salva Nos".

I like this kind of music too, obviously.
posted by e^2 at 3:31 PM on November 1, 2004

Am I officially the nerdiest poster?
posted by e^2 at 3:34 PM on November 1, 2004

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