Please Don’t Make Me Sing This!

The BBC Music Magazine has recently been soliciting nominations via Twitter for the most boring classical music.  It has resulted in some interesting, and sometimes surprising, suggestions.   It made me wonder what pieces we choral musicians most prefer NOT to sing.   I’m not offering any titles because I don’t want to color the discussion in any way.  So let’s hear from you.   What is it that you really can’t stand to sing or hear?  This could be fun!

Showing 15 comments
  • Tim

    The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah – people over sing and scream which makes it even more painful!

  • Joe Winter

    That’s a really good question. I wish I had a specific piece in mind. But what I do think about are those times when a choral director inserts a piece of music for the wrong reasons.

    I’m not sure how to put it, exactly, to explain what I mean. But you know it when you see it. Something is added into the repertoire as a contrasting piece, or just because it fits into the theme, or (my favorite) because it was highly recommended by some other, highly respected choral director.

    In the end, the director says this is a great work, but everyone knows that the director’s heart isn’t in the piece. And, as a result, no one’s heart is in the piece.

    That is my least favorite piece to sing.

    Well, that… and medleys.

  • Sallie Honeychurch

    agree on the Hallelujah chorus. I am so tired of that and also the Vivaldi Gloria seems more trite every time I sing it.

  • Allen Baston

    Messiah (ESPECIALLY in Sing-a-long format), Seven Last Words, Vivaldi Gloria, Do You Hear The People Sing, Battle of Jericho, … and the other Moses Hogan piece we sang so many times. I’m sure there are others. I’ll let you know when they’re programmed again! 😉

  • Anne Beach

    Throw the yule log on, Uncle John

  • Carol Wyatt

    If you’re a second alto, then the Shaw-Parker arrangement of “Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal” is the bane of your existence. TWO NOTES (F and D) for the entire piece!

  • Sally

    I love Moses Hogan! Then again, I’ve never had to sing any one piece of his over and over. I suppose anything can be done to death.

    A chorus I was in years ago sang the choruses from “Gloriana,” and I thought they were bo-ring! Pretty bad when even the singers struggle to keep it alive. I don’t care if I never see those again.

    I’m tired of “The Messiah,” too – especially the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

  • Dorothy Clark

    The Schubert Mass in G is one that I used to love, but after doing it a gazillion times … and hearing it even more … I just don’t wanna!

    And a gal in my choir would vote for the Stainer “God So Loved the World.” Noooo, not again!

    It is a shame that we overdo such beautiful pieces of music to the point of never wanting to do or hear them again.

  • Thomas Guffin

    I have never been able to abide Orff’s Carmina Burana. But it seems that all choruses HAVE to sing it. A couple of years ago three groups did it and I HAD TO GO TO ALL OF THEM. Sheer torture!! In college someone was always pulling out the Michael Tilson Thomas recording and everyone oohed and aahed over it. Once when I was doing Stravinsky’s Les Noces people kept saying “That’s just like Carmina!” I begged to differ–Les Noces didn’t make my stomach turn.

  • Dennis Love

    What people call 7 Eleven music….same seven words sung 11 times, as in some contemporary religious music. Hate it where the melody is so simple that you are supposed to sing along to the words on a screen when you have no music to sing the correct notes….and it doesn’t seem to matter! 🙂

  • Barbara McClellan

    The “Vivat”s section in “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me.” It can’t be that I’m the only one who believes that noone would care if that section came up missing, especially since the piece is lyrically complete without it. Am I??

  • Suzanne CLose

    Sorry Michael….I have to say this year it’s the piece from Man of La Mancha…dare I say it…even the practice piece on the CD sounds like the first time they ever went through it..just unharmonic…is that a word? I just laugh when I am listening to the practice CD…hope we don’t sound like that..

  • Marty Harvey

    That damn christmas carol about the bells…

    Dah da-da-da, Dah da-da-da, Dah da-da-da, Dah da-da-da

    AAAACCCKK!! The inhumanity!

  • Heather Drew

    I have sung Messiah a thousand times, and it NEVER gets old for me. I love (almost!) every bit of it.

    What I do hate to sing, though, are popular songs that have been arranged for a chorus. I still cringe on hearing “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Croft because we sang an “chorus-ized” version of it in high school so long ago. If we ever have to sing “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, I will call in sick!

  • Sherry

    I know many love it but I have to say I hate it…Carol of the Bells. It is like some sort of medieval head banging music to me! Ugh! So sick of singing it and yet, crowds seem to love it. Maybe we should get them up on stage to sing it and the rest of us can sit it out.

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