RANDALL THOMPSON (1899-1984): Requiem.
Catalogue Number: 05R080
Description: This is Thompson's choral masterpiece, an hour-long personal statement on life and death, masterfully composed for double choir with all the textural and dramatic possibilities that this implies fully exploited. The work takes the form of a dramatic dialogue between a 'chorus of mourners' and a 'chorus of the faithful', and uses exclusively Biblical texts, selected, edited and combined with great skill. The work's dramatic arc passes from the lamentations of the bereaved and the efforts of the souls of the departed to convince them of the reality of eternal life to a combined paean of praise to God for bringing comfort to the bereaved by promising eternity to the dead. Thompson's contrasting textures and degree of harmonic richness from sparse homophony to sumptuous harmony, all within a conservative but freshly applied tonal language, illustrate the narrative vividly. His models may have been Renaissance madrigals and Bach (who is quoted in the final fugal section) but he forged his own idiom which could never be mistaken for a product of English or European choral traditions. Texts included. The Philadelphia Singers; David Hayes.