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For the past half century the music of Randall Thompson has remained a staple in the choral repertoire. These delightful works are marked by skilful craftsmanship, a pervasive singability and uncommon beauty. This new recording features Thompson’s The Peaceable Kingdom, based upon texts from the book of Isaiah, as well as his Mass, The Last Invocation and Fare Well. Also included is one of Thompson’s most popular works, his Alleluia, written at the request of Serge Koussevitsky and premiered in July 1940, and today a beloved and time-honoured contribution to the choral repertoire.
The informative booklet notes are by one of Thompson’s most constant admirers, the fellow-American composer Morten Lauridsen.
Awards Issue 2008
“The ever-popular but subdued Alleluia was the best-selling choral piece in the US in 1968 and it now resonates with a type of sacred minimalism. The half-hour Mass of the Holy Spirit is more elaborate, with impressive moments like the soft start of the Sanctus... The Schola Cantorum under James Burton radiates in performances that could not be bettered.”
“This superb recording … the performances are first rate, Thompson’s lucid yet never naïve word-painting realised with great sensitivity to both the musical and verbal fabrics … the overall blend and balance of voices … is also a great source of pleasure, adding much to Thompson’s sweet and subtle yet wholly persuasive
rhetoric. The recording … is as luminous and attractive as Thompson’s music, while composer Morten Lauridsen’s expert booklet notes provide much useful biographical and technical information. Thompson may have been writing for his own day, but with advocates of the calibre of the present
performers it’s a safe bet that his musical legacy will continue to reach and move the hearts of a wide audience for some time to come”
“James Burton inspires Oxford’s classy intercollegiate choir to realise a masterpiece in Randall Thompson’s The Peaceable Kingdom … the bright, lithe sopranos are absolutely together … the stimulating rhythms, exquisite tuning, rich word painting and constant attention to imaginative
dynamics make this an outstanding performance”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.