Past perfect or perfect infinitive?

Hello,

I’d like to know which of the past perfect and the perfect infinitive I should use when something like my wish, hope, intention, or expectation of the past wasn’t realized?

For instance, I intended to join a chorus group a few years ago, but I couldn’t. Can I simply say,

  1. I had intened to join a chorus group,
    or
  2. I intended to have joined a chorus group?

Thank you.

In the given example, ‘I had intended to join a choral group’ will suffice.

(2) as written needs recasting so that it does not sound as if the first part is at odds with the second part. If the context indicates that this more complex form is needed (which does not appear to be the case in your example), then the correct form would be:
It was my intention to have joined a choral group.

Your second sentence -

is acceptable but strikes me as a bit odd probably because the perfect infinitive often suggests that something has been completed in contrast to the present infinitive which points to the future. You would say: I intended to reach the end of the book by the following week or I intended to have reached the end of the book by the following week. The idea of ‘joining’ doesn’t really give the idea of ‘completing an action.’ An interesting point, though.