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Randall Thompson

Composer

Randall Thompson

Born: 1899 Died: 1984

Ira Randall Thompson was born in New York City, April 21, 1899, and died in Boston, July 9, 1984. The son of an English teacher, Randall never strayed far from the academic environment. His early musical pursuits began at an old reed organ on the family summer farm in Vienna, Maine. His first attempts at composition began around 1915 with a piano sonata and a Christmas partsong. In 1916 he entered Harvard University he auditioned for the chorus but was turned down by its conductor, Archibald T. Davison, who eventually became his mentor. Thompson later mused, "My life has been an attempt to strike back."

His early works, including several songs, varied considerably in style. But in 1922 he began studies at the American Academy in Rome where, inspired by the master composers of the Renaissance, he developed the musical style which led him to the forefront of American choral composers. During his career he intermingled both teaching and composing, having been director of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music as well as a professor at his alma mater, Harvard University. Though he composed symphonies, songs, operas and instrumental works, he is best known for his choral compositions.

Discography (See list of Compositions.)

Displaying 1-9 of 9 items.


American Repertory Singers : Ye Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson

Review: Since Randall Thompson (1899-1984), perhaps America's most famous composer of choral music, it is significant that at last a retrospective selection of this music has been recorded. "Ye Shall Have A Song" is a collection of works dating from 1922 to 1970, when the bulk of his choruses had already been written. Starting with his early masterpiece, the 8 movements of "The Peaceable Kingdom," ("Say Ye to the Righteous," "Woe Unto Them," "'The Noise of a Multitude," "Howl Ye," "The Paper Reeds by the Brooks," "But These Are They," "Have Ye Not Known" and the title tune), the CD progresses to "Bittersweet" of 1970, representing his last style. "The Best of Rooms," "Alleluia," and four "Odes of Horace" are followed by the oldest composition, 1922's "The Last Invocation." The Singers make these difficult-to-perform, eclectic and sublimely beautiful pieces sound effortless. A worthy retrospective of the works of an American master!

Songlist: The Peaceable Kingdom, Say Ye to the Righteous, Woe Unto Them, The Noise of a Multitude, Howl Ye, The Paper Reeds by the Brooks, But These Are They, Have Ye Not Known?, Ye Shall have a Song, Bitter-Sweet, The Best of Rooms, Alleluia, Odes of Horace, O fons Bandusiae, Vitas hinnuleo, Montium Custos, Felices ter, The Last Invocation

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7516c | 00 1 CD | $15.98 | Primarily a cappella


Camerata Singers : Works of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen

Review: The Stony Brook (NY) Camerata Singers have sung at prestigious music festivals such as the Utrecht Early Music Festival and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival in California. Their 30 mixed voices represent a cross-section of Stony Brook University, and they sing music from all periods, early to modern. While the major works of Randall Thompson (1899-1984) and Libby Larsen (b. 1950) are well-known, this CD offers a unique opportunity to hear some of their smaller works for unaccompanied chorus, and to compare these two American composers separated by half a century. 16 songs: first Thompson's "Antiphon" (1970), then 7 movements of "Mass of the Holy Spirit" (1955), followed by three striking "Sweet and Sour Nursery Rhymes" by Larsen, "There Was a Little Girl", "Little Boy Blue" and "Try, Try Again" (all 3 accompanied by French Horn). Then two by Thompson, "Glory to God in the Highest" (1958) and "Fare Well" (1973) are followed by the complex, dissonant "Bind Me, I Can Still Sing" and "Adrift! A Little Boat Adrift!" by Larsen, and the final cut is Thompson's "The Lark in the Morn" (1938). An interesting contrast of two composers, both brilliant, each with a totally different focus.

Songlist: Mass of the Holy Spirit:, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Hosanna, Agnus Dei , Sweet and Sour Nursery Rhymes:, There Was A Little Girl, Little Boy Blue, Try, Try Again, Glory to God in the Highest, Fare Well, Bind Me, Adrift! A Little Boat Adrift!, The lark in the Morn

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7532c | 00 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella


Choral Arts Northwest : The Light Of Stars - Randall Thompson

Review: 30-strong, mixed-voice, Seattle-based Choral Arts (formerly Choral Arts Northwest), founded by artistic director Richard Sparks, is one of the outstanding chamber choirs in the United States. Focusing primarily on romantic and contemporary music, the choir's repertoire has ranged from Renaissance music to contemporary Swedish works. Randall Thompson achieved iconic status for choral works like "Frostiana" and the hugely popular anthem "Alleluia" in the middle part of the 20th century. Included here are 14 pieces, some favorites: the world premiere recordings of "Antiphon" and "Five Love Songs," "The Last Invocation" (based on words by Walt Whitman), the previously mentioned "Alleluia," "Vitas hinnuleo," and the title tune (based on words by Longfellow). Some light accompaniment. Beautiful, romantic music performed by one of America's finest choirs!

Songlist: The Best of Rooms (Robert Herrick), Two Herbert Settings (George Herbert):, - Antiphon, - Bitter-sweet, The Last Invocation (Walk Whitman), Odes of Horace:, - Montium custos (book 3, 22), - Vitas hinnuleo (book 1, 23), - O fons Bandusiae (book 3, 13), - Felices ter (final verse of book 1, 13), Alleluia, Five Love Songs:, - The Light of the Stars (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), - The Passenger (Mark Anthony DeWolfse Howe), - Two Worlds (Edmund Waller), - Siciliano (Philip H. Rhinelander), - The Happy Shore (Edmund Spenser)

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7039c | 00 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella


Randall Thompson : A Cappella Compositions for Mixed Voices

Review: Since that day in 1940, 'Alleluia' this classic of classics has become one of the nation's most-often performed choral works. Rare is the church, school, community, or professional choir that has not sung it. The masterful construction and simplicity of text (Alleluia, Amen) make the Alleluia suitable for almost any choir for almost any occasion. 'The Gate of Heaven' Composed for the dedication of the Jessie Ball duPont Chapel, Hollins College, Virginia, 1959. It is particularly suitable for the dedication of religious buildings. The Eternal Dove was composed in 1968 to honor Harvard University Professor G. Wallace Woodworth. It is closely related to the composer's Mass of the Holy Spirit of which Dr. Woodworth gave the first complete performance. 'Fare Well' was written for performance by the combined high scholl choirs of Calhoun, Kennedy, and Mepham, New York, in 1973. The three-stanza poem by Walter De La Mare (1873-1956) closes with, "Look thy last on all things lovely, / Every hour. Let no night / Seal thy sense in deathly slumber / Till to delight / Thou have paid thy utmost blessing; Since that all things wouldst praise / Beauty took from those who loved them / In other days." 'Bitter Sweet' was first performed by the choir of the Church of the Incarnation, New York City, on Oct. 25, 1970, under the direction of Thomas Dunn, who first called Thompson's attention to George Herbert's poignant and profoundly religious poem.

Songlist: The Eternal Dove, Fare Well, The Gate Of Heaven, Bitter - Sweet , Alleluia

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9245b | Sheet Music | $12.95 | SATB | A CappellaAmerican Choral Music Arrangements


Randall Thompson : A Cappella Compositions for Women's Voices

Review: Five choral works by one of the master's of 20th century American choral music. Randall Thompson's Alleluia. Since 1940, this classic of classics has become one of the nation's most-often performed choral works. Rare is the church, school, community, or professional choir that has not sung it. The masterful construction and simplicity of text (Alleluia, Amen) make the Alleluia suitable for almost any choir for almost any occasion. "The Gate of Heaven" was composed for the dedication of the Jessie Ball duPont Chapel, Hollins College, Virginia, 1959. It is particularly suitable for the dedication of religious buildings. "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" In response to a complaint from his students about having to use Latin texts, Dr. Thompson composed this motet at the blackboard for his class in modal counterpoint. The text is the familiar bedtime prayer from The New England Primer. "Pueri Hebraeorum" was composed in 1928 for the Wellesley College Choir, when the enrollment grew to twice the size the chancel could accommodate. The choirs sang back and forth from opposite ends of the chapel. Jacob Handl's Haec Dies had suggested the pattern for eight-part chorus. The voice parts may be doubled by two quartets of similar instruments. The text is in Latin. Particularly suitable for Palm Sunday. "Rosemary", the name of Thampson's daughter, was commission by the Women's University Glee Club of New York and is based on a cycle of American verse. Any one of these compositions would make an interesting and rewarding addition to a women's choir repertoire.

Songlist: Alleluia, The Gate of Heaven, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Pueri Hebraeorum, Rosemary

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9163b | Sheet Music | $14.98 | SSAA | A CappellaAmerican Choral Music Arrangements


Randall Thompson : A Choral Legacy

Review: Reprinted from the American Choral Review, this special issue was compiled to honor the composer on his 75th birthday. Contains critical essays by James Haar, Elliot Forbes, and Alfred Mann, and extended notes by Dr. Thompson. Dates of composition and first performances also included. A rich source for studies of his music and for the writing of program notes.

Songlist: Preface, Writing For Amateur Chorus, On Contrapuntal Technique, The Story Of Alleluia, Notes On A Requiem, Randall Thompson and The Music Of The Past, Psalm And Gospel Settings, Americana, Five Love Songs, List Of Choral Works, Index Of Choral Works

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9139b | 01 Songbook | $16.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts | A CappellaAmerican Choral Music Arrangements


Randall Thompson : Mass of the Holy Spirit

Review: This communion service, though appropriate for any season of the Church year, was designed especially for use at Whitsuntide. It can also serve very effectively as concert repertoire, either in its entirety or excerpted. The movements are in English (except for the Kyrie).

Songlist: Kyrie , Gloria , Credo, Sanctus , Benedictus , Hosanna , Agnus Dei

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9244b | Sheet Music | $17.95 | SATB | A CappellaSacred Choral Arrangements


Randall Thompson : Peaceable Kingdom

Review: A sequence of sacred choruses on texts from the prophecy of Isaiah. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Douglas Moore (Chairman of the Music Department of Columbia University) wrote to Thompson in 1936, saying, "...I want to go on record in writing' as believing that you have written the best modern choral work I have heard. It is good from every point of view. Technical treatment of the voices, understanding and expression of the text, and actual musical content which is fresh and beautiful." His sentiments have been echoed by choral conductors ever since. The Peaceable Kingdom has become established as a masterpiece of unaccompanied choral writing.

Songlist: Say ye to the righteous, Woe unto them, The noise of the multitude, Howl ye, The paper reeds by the brook, But these are they that forsake the Lord, Have ye not known?, Ye shall have a song

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9138b | 01 Songbook | $10.95 | Mixed 5-8 Parts | A CappellaAmerican Choral Music Arrangements


Schola Cantorum of Oxford : Randall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom

Review: For the past half century, the music of Randall Thompson has remained a staple in the choral repertoire. These delightful works are marked by skillful 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-honored contribution to the choral repertoire. The informative booklet notes are by one of Thompson's most constant admirers, the fellow-American composer Morten Lauridsen.

Songlist: Say Ye To The Righteous, Woe Unto Them, The Noise Of A Multitude, Howl Ye, The Paper Reeds By The Brooks, But These Are They That Forsake The Lord, Have Ye Not Known?, Ye Shall Have A Song, Alleluia, The Last Invocation, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus & Hosanna, Agnus Dei, Fare Well

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8951c | 00 1 CD | $19.95 English Choral CDs

Compositions ( See Discography.)

Displaying 1-50 of 101 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistRecording TitleFormat
II. We Have Counted the CostRandall ThompsonSinging StatesmenA Testament 1 CDMORE DETAILS
III. We Fight Not For GloryRandall ThompsonSinging StatesmenA Testament 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Felices terRandall ThompsonAmerican Repertory SingersYe Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson 1 CDMORE DETAILS
IV. I Shall Not Die Without A HopeRandall ThompsonSinging StatesmenA Testament 1 CDMORE DETAILS
-AlleliuiaRandall ThompsonPeninsula Women's ChorusCarols and Lullabies 1 CDMORE DETAILS
-The Carol of the RoseRandall ThompsonPeninsula Women's ChorusCarols and Lullabies 1 CDMORE DETAILS
A Girl's GardenRandall ThompsonNew Orleans Children's ChorusLooking Back and Looking Up 2 CDsMORE DETAILS
Agnus DeiRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Agnus Dei Randall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonRandall ThompsonRandall ThompsonA Cappella Compositions for Women's VoicesSheet MusicMORE DETAILS
Alleluia Randall ThompsonCantusAgainst The Dying Of The Light 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonKansas City ChoraleAlleluia - An American Hymnal 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonRobert Shaw Chamber SingersAngels On High 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Alleluia Randall ThompsonConcordia ChoirF. Melius Christiansen 135th Anniversary Concert 2 CDsMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonLuther College Pike KorFinding A Voice 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonRobert ShawGloria: Music of Praise & Inspiration 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonVocalessenceGratitude, Gravy and Garrison 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonSanta Fe Desert ChoraleHarmony of the Heavens 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Alleluia Randall ThompsonVoices of AscensionHear My Prayer 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Alleluia Randall ThompsonCantusLive Vol. 2 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonLatvian Radio ChoirMagnificat 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Alleluia Randall ThompsonHandel and Haydn SocietyPeace 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Alleluia Randall ThompsonSt. Olaf ChoirSeoul Olympic Arts Festival 2 CDsMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonAmbassadors of HarmonySounds of the SeasonsDVDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonCantusTidings 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AlleluiaRandall ThompsonAmerican Repertory SingersYe Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson 1 CDMORE DETAILS
BenedictusRandall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Benedictus & HosannaRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Bitter-SweetRandall ThompsonAmerican Repertory SingersYe Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson 1 CDMORE DETAILS
But These Are TheyRandall ThompsonAmerican Repertory SingersYe Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson 1 CDMORE DETAILS
But These Are They That Forsake The LordRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Choose Something Like A Star Randall ThompsonSeattle Girls' ChoirMosaic 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Choose Something Like A StarRandall ThompsonManitou Singers of St. Olaf CollegeRepertoire For Women's Voices Vol 5 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Choose Something Like a Star (from Frostiana)Randall ThompsonChor LeoniCircle of Compassion 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Come InRandall ThompsonWomen's Chorus of DallasAmerican Rhapsody 1 CDMORE DETAILS
CredoRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
CredoRandall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Fare WellRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Fare WellRandall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
GloriaRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
GloriaRandall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Glory To God In The HighestRandallThompsonSan Francisco Choral ArtistsSo Gracious Is The Time - An American Christmas 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Glory to God in the HighestRandall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Have Ye Not Known?Randall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Have Ye Not Known?Randall ThompsonAmerican Repertory SingersYe Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson 1 CDMORE DETAILS
HosannaRandall ThompsonCamerata SingersWorks of Randall Thompson and Libby Larsen 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Howl YeRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Howl YeRandall ThompsonAmerican Repertory SingersYe Shall Have Song - Music of Randall Thompson 1 CDMORE DETAILS
KyrieRandall ThompsonSchola Cantorum of OxfordRandall Thompson - The Peaceable Kingdom 1 CDMORE DETAILS
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Composers