classical music programme notes by Mike Wheeler

Programme Note Library

List of Programme Notes by Mike Wheeler

Orchestral notesChoral/vocal/stage
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Contact Mike WheelerOpera synopses

Choral, vocal and stage

Allegri, Gregorio



Advent antiphons (plainsong)

'In Dulci Jubilo'
'Noel Nouvelet'
'Past Three O'Clock'
'The Angel Gabriel' (arr Pettman)


Archer, Malcolm

My song is love unknown

Bach, JS

4 'Christ lag in Todesbanden'
61 'Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland'
82 'Ich habe genug'
140 'Wachet auf!'
147 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben'
170 'Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust'
202 'Weichet nur, betrübte schatten' (Wedding Cantata)
210 'O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit' (Wedding Cantata)
211 'Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht' (Coffee Cantata)

Christmas Oratorio


Mass in B Minor

Jesu, meine Freude

St John Passion

St Mark Passion (reconstructed)

Barber, Samuel

Four Songs, Op 13
Nuvoletta, Op 25

Battishill, Jonathan

O Lord, look down from heaven

Beach, Amy


Beethoven, Ludwig van

Missa Solemnis

Bennet, John


Bennett, Sir Richard Rodney

A History of the Thé Dansant

All the King's men

Berio, Luciano

Opus number zoo

Berlin, Irving

'I Left my Heart at the Stage Door Canteen'

Berlioz, Hector

Nuits d'été

Bernstein, Leonard

Chichester Psalms

On the town

West Side story

Bizet, Georges

Carmen: Seguidilla

Adieu de l'hotesse arabe
Ouvre ton coeur

Te Deum


Carmen Jones

Blow, John

Salvator mundi

Boito, Arrigo

Mefistofele: Prologue in Heaven

Borodin, Alexander

Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor

Boyce, William

O where shall wisdom be found?

Brown, Nacio Herb

Singin' in the rain

Boulanger, Lili

Pour les Funérailles d’un Soldat

Brahms, Johannes

4 Gesänge, Op 17

Ein deutsches Requiem

Four serious songs

Geistliches Lied


Two songs for contralto, viola and piano, Op 91

Britten, Benjamin

A birthday hansel

A ceremony of carols

A charm of lullabies

A hymn to the virgin

Ballad of Heroes

Canticles 1 & 2

Five flower songs

Folk song arrangements

Les illuminations

Hymn to St Cecilia

Hymn to St Peter

Jubilate Deo

Missa brevis


Noye's fludde

Saint Nicolas


Spring symphony

Te Deum in C

War requiem

Winter words

Bruckner, Anton

Mass no 2, E minor


Butterworth, George

Six songs from 'A Shropshire Lad'

Byrd, William

Haec dies

Ne irascaris/Civitas sancti tui

O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen

Sing joyfully

Teach me, o Lord, the way of thy statutes

Chaminade, Cécile


Campion, Thomas

Lute songs

Canteloube, Joseph

Songs of the Auvergne

Vocalise étude en forme de bourée

Carter, Andrew

Te Deum

Charpentier, Marc-Antoine

Messe de minuit

Chausson, Ernest

Chanson perpétuelle

Chansons de Shakespeare

Chopin, Fryderyck

Songs, op 74

Clarke, Jeremiah

Blest be those sweet regions

Copland, Aaron

Twelve poems of Emily Dickinson

Cowell, Henry


Crawford Seeger, Ruth

Five songs

Cutts, Peter (arr)

Christ is alive!

Debussy, Claude

Fêtes galantes, bk 1

Proses lyriques

Three songs, texts by Paul Bourget

Trois chansons de Charles d'Orléans

Delius, Frederick

To be sung of a summer night on the water

Dell'Aqua, Eva


Dowland, John

Songes or ayres (1597)

Doyle, Patrick

Henry V

Dring, Madeleine

Five Betjeman Songs

Duparc, Henri


Duruflé, Maurice


Dvorák, Antonín

Biblical songs

Mass in D

Stabat mater

Te Deum

Dyson, Sir George

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in D

Eisler, Hanns

Lied einer deutschen Mutter

Über den Selbstmord

Elgar, Sir Edward

Ave Maria

Ave maris stella

Ave verum corpus

Four choral songs, Op 53

From the Bavarian highlands

Give unto the Lord

How calmly the evening

The music makers

O hearken Thou

O salutaris hostia

Part-songs, Op 18

Sea pictures

Te Deum and Benedictus

They are at rest

Falla, Manuel de

Seven Spanish folksongs

Fauré, Gabriel

Cantique de Jean Racine

Maria Mater gratiae


La bonne chanson
Cinq mélodies de Venise
Opp 7, 23, 27, 83

Finzi, Gerald

Dies natalis

For St Cecilia

Let us garlands bring

Lo, the full, final sacrifice

Seven unaccompanied part songs, op 17

Till earth outwears

Franck, César

Panis angelicus

Gabrieli, Giovanni

In ecclesiis

O magnum mysterium

Gerhard, Roberto


Gershwin, George


Gibbons, Orlando

Hosanna to the son of David


O clap your hands

This is the record of John

Glanert, Detlev

4 Präludien und Ernste Gesange
(after Brahms Op 121)

Goss, Sir John

If we believe that Jesus died

Grainger, Percy

Brigg fair (arr.)

Granados, Enrique

Elegía Eterna
La maja dolorosa 1-3

Greene, Maurice

Lord, let me know mine end

Grieg, Edvard

Ave maris stella

Songs: Opp 5, 33

Gurney, Ivor

Ludlow and Teme

Hahn, Reynaldo

songs (various)

Handel, George Frederick

Acis and Galatea

Coronation anthems

Dettingen Te Deum

Dixit Dominus

Jephtha: 'Waft her, angels, through the skies'


Harris, Sir William

Bring us, O Lord God

Faire is the heaven

Haydn, Joseph

The Creation

Insanae et vanae curae


Missa brevis Sancti Johannes de Deo ('Little organ mass')

Six original canzonettas

The seasons

Te Deum (1800)

Head, Michael


Heath-Gracie, George

I sing of a maiden

Heuberger, Richard

Der opernball - 'Geh'n wir in’s Chambre séparée'; Mazurka

Hilton, John (or Farrant, Richard)

Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake

Holst, Gustav

choral folksong arrangements

The hymn of Jesus

Honegger, Arthur

A Christmas cantata

Howells, Herbert

A hymn for St Cecilia

Hymnus paradisi

'King David'

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor

The scribe

Humfrey, Pelham

'Where the Bee Sucks'

Ireland, John

Ex ore innocentium

'Sea Fever'

These Things Shall Be

Ives, Charles

Psalm 150


Janácek, Leos

The cunning little vixen - suite, arr Talich/Mackerras

Jannequin, Clément


Kander, John and Ebb, Fred


Kern, Jerome


Khachaturian, Aram



Kodály, Zoltan

Jesus and the traders

Lanier, Nicholas


Laserna Blas de

Tirana del Trípili

Lassus, Orlande de


Super flumina Babylonis

Lawes, Henry


Lawes, William


Lehár, Franz

Giuditta: 'Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss'

Leighton, Kenneth

Solus ad victimam

Lennon, John and McCartney, Paul

song arrangements

Liszt, Franz

songs: Du bist wie eine Blume; Im Rhein, In Schönen Strom

Literes, Antonio

Confiado Jilguerillo

Loesser, Frank

The most happy fella

Loewe, Frederick and Lowe, Alan

My fair lady

Lotti, Antonio

Crucifixus à 8

Machaut, Guillaume de

Messe de Nostre Dame

Mahler, Gustav

early songs


Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen


Mancini, Henry

'Moon River'

Massenet, Jules

Nuit d'Espagne

Mathias, William

Missa Aedis Christi

McDowall, Cecilia

Radnor Songs

Mendelssohn, Felix

Hear my prayer

Lobgesang (Symphony No 2)

songs (various)

Messiaen, Olivier


Monteverdi, Claudio

Beatus vir


Moeran, EJ

Songs of springtime

Moore, Philip

It is a thing most wonderful

Morley, Thomas


Mozart, Wolfgang

Ave verum corpus

Concert arias:

Chi sà, chi sà qual sia

Exsultate, jubilate

Il sogno di Scipione


Missa Brevis, D, K194
Missa Brevis, C, K258
'Coronation' Mass, K317


'Abendempfindung an Laura'
'An Chloë'
'Dans un bois solitaire'
'Das Lied der Trennung'
'Sehnsucht nach dem Frühlinge'

Vesperae solennes de confessore

Mundy, William

O Lord, the maker of all thing

Musorgsky, Modest

Boris Godunov: Coronation scene

Khovanshchina: Prelude; Dance of the Persian Slaves

Myslivecek, Josef

Ridente la calma (arr ?Mozart)

Nordheim, Arne

Music to two fragments to music by Shelley

Novello, Ivor

King's Rhapsody: 'Some day my heart will awake'

Nystedt, Knut

O crux

Obradors, Fernando

Del cabello más sutil
El vito
Tres Morillas

Offenbach, Jacques

La belle Hélène

La grande-duchesse de Gérolstein

La Périchole

Robinson Crusoe

Orff, Carl

Carmina burana

Ouseley, Sir Frederick

O Saviour of the world

Palestrina, Pierluigi da

Missa Papae Marcelli

Parisotti, Alessandro (ed)

Arie antiche

Parry, Sir Hubert

Blest pair of sirens

Hear my words, ye people

I was glad


Songs of farewell

Pitoni, Giuseppe

Cantate Domino


The Advent antiphons

Poulenc, Francis


Four Christmas motets


'Les chemins de l'amour'



Porter, Cole

50 million Frenchmen

Anything goes

Kiss me, Kate


Praetorius, Hieronymus

In dulci jubilo

Puccini, Giacomo

Messa di Gloria

Purcell, Henry

The fairy queen

Funeral sentences/Queen Mary's funeral music

Hear my prayer

I was glad (2nd setting)

In guilty night (Saul and the Witch of Endor)

King Arthur

O God, thou art my God

Rejoice in the Lord alway ('Bell anthem')

'The fatal hour comes on apace'
'I attempt from love's sickness to fly'
'If music be the food of love' (3 settings)
'Music for a while'
'Sweeter than roses'
'Tell me, some pitying angel'
'When first Amintas sued for a kiss'

They that go down to the sea in ships

Quilter, Roger

Go, Lovely Rose

To Julia, Op 8

Rakhmaninov, Sergey

songs (various)

Vocalise, Op 34/14

Ravel, Maurice

Five Greek folksongs

Trois poèmes de Stephane Mallarmé

Ravenscroft, Thomas


Respighi, Ottorino

Il tramonto

Rodgers, Richard


On your toes

South Pacific

The king and I

Rodrigo, Joaquín

Doce Canciones populares españolas

Folias Canarias

Tres Villancicos

Rose, Barry

Psalm 121

Rossini, Gioacchino
(see also overtures, under 'Orchestral')

Stabat mater

Tancredi: 'O patria!...Di tanti palpiti'

Roth, Alec

Chinese gardens

Rutter, John


Praise the Lord, o my soul


The Lord bless you and keep you

What sweeter music?

Scarlatti, Alessandro

Nel silenzio comune di notte

Schoenberg, Arnold

Ode to Napoleon

Schubert, Franz

Die schöne Müllerin

Mass no 2, G, D167

The shepherd on the rock

Abendstern, D806
Adelaide, D95
An die Musik, D547
An die Nachtigall, D196 and D497
An den Mond, D193, D259, D296 and D468
Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D774
Auflösung, D807
Der Musensohn, D764
Der Tod und das Mädchen, D531
Der Wanderer an den Mond, D870
Die Schatten, D50
Die Sterne, D939
Du bist die Ruh, D776
Erlkönig, D328
Frühlingsglaube, D686
Ganymed D544
Geheimes, D719
Gretchen am Spinnrade, D118
Heidenröslein, D257
Im Abendrot, D799
Im Frühling, D882
Iphigenia, D573
Mignon, D321
Nachtstück, D672
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, D 359
Nacht und Traüme, D827
Rastlose Liebe, D138
Sehnsucht, D123
Trost in Tränen, D120
Wandrers Nachtlied 2, D768


Schumann, Robert


Frauenliebe und -leben

Liederkreis, Op 39

Nachtlied, Op 108

Schütz, Heinrich

Alleluja, lobet den Herren

Es gingen zweene Menschen hinauf

Shostakovich, Dmitri

Seven romances on poems by Alexander Blok

Shephard, Richard

And when the builders

Sherwin, Manning, and Maschwitz, Eric

'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square'

Smith, John Christopher

Paradise Lost

Sondheim, Stephen

Anyone can whistle

A little night music


Stainer, Sir John

The crucifixion

Stanford, Sir Charles

For lo, I raise up

How beauteous are their feet

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis, A

Morning, Communion and Evening Services in G

Songs of the fleet

Te Deum, B flat

Statham, Heathcote

Te Deum (1931)

Stolz, Robert

Der Favorit

Straus, Oscar

The Chocolate Soldier

Richard Strauss

Four Last Songs

Stravinsky, Igor

Ave Maria

Symphony of psalms

The soldier's tale

Sumsion, Herbert

They that go down to the sea in ships

Sweelinck, Jan Pieterzoon

Hodie Christus natus est

Tallis, Thomas

If ye love me

Lamentations of Jeremiah

Mass for four voices

O salutaris hostia

Salvator mundi

Spem in alium nunquam habui

Tunes for Archbishop Parker's psalter

Tavener, John

God is with us

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, 'Collegium Regale'

Song for Athene

Songs of the sky

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr

Eugene Onegin: Waltz, Polonaise, Lensky's aria

Tippett, Sir Michael

A child of our time (separate note on the Five Negro Spirituals)

The heart's assurance

Four songs from the British Isles

Songs for Ariel

Tomkins, Thomas

When David heard

Trenet, Charles

'La mer'

Turina, Joaquín

Poema en forma de canciónes

Vaughan Williams, Ralph

Along the field

choral folk song arrangements

Fantasia on Christmas carols

Five mystical songs

Lord, thou hast been our refuge

Mass in G minor

O clap your hands

O how amiable

O taste and see

On Wenlock Edge

The Old Hundredth psalm tune

A sea symphony

Songs of travel

Three Elizabethan Part Songs

Three Shakespeare songs

Ten Blake songs

Toward the unknown region


Villa-Lobos, Heitor

Bachianas brasileiras No 5

Vivaldi, Antonio

Gloria, RV589

Wagner, Richard


Walton, Sir William

Coronation Te Deum


A song for the Lord Mayor's table

Set me as a seal upon thine heart

Warlock, Peter

The curlew

Weelkes, Thomas

Gloria in excelsis Deo

Weill, Kurt

Lady in the dark

Love life


Es Regnet
Nannas Lied

Wesley, Samuel

In exitu Israel

Wesley, Samuel Sebastian

Blessed be the God and Father

Cast me not away

I am thine, o save me

The wilderness

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace

Wash me throughly

Wilbye, John


Wood, Charles

Oculi omnium

St Mark passion

Wood, Haydn

'A brown bird singing'

Woolrich, John

A singing sky
Orchestral notesChoral/vocal/stage
Sample noteTranslations
Contact Mike WheelerOpera synopses


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