Classics of the Phonograph

Choruses in Symphonic Music

Claude Debussy in 1908

Claude Debussy in 1908 By Nadar, Public Domain

A chorus in a symphonic work is usually singing a text. But some composers, such as Debussy in the Nocturne "Sirens," wanted the sounds of women's voices alone, without a text. And Debussy was not alone. Ravel in "Daphnis and Chloe" and Holst in "The Planets" also wanted voices, but voices as if purified of the tyranny of words. On this week's Classics of the Phonograph, Saturday at 11 am on WILL-FM, we will hear from these composers, and others, who wrote wordless choruses.