Why is the greatest choral music frequently the most difficult to sing?

'The composers who break new choral ground are often those who are not so familiar with the medium'

Everyone in our business can identify the composers who ‘write well for voices’ - those who understand the singers’ need for breath, for movement between registers, and for periods of rest. Conventional wisdom maintains that the human voice has rhetorical limitations, and since our moving parts are more difficult to reach and tweak than, say, a piano’s damper assembly or a violin’s bass bar, it’s understandable that many composers play it safe and keep it simple. Who wants to risk failure by asking unrealistic questions of singers? There seems to be an entirely .....

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