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The simple, exquisite craft of Randall Thompson (here in Alleluia and Fare Well) is still little known this side of the Atlantic. Some pieces (Barber’s Agnus Dei, Bernstein’s Missa Brevis) will be obvious attractions, but it is the rest here that are the valuable discoveries. Barber’s three Reincarnations possess the brilliance of Britten’s choral writing; Copland’s Four Motets exhibit a piquant impressionism that seems to channel the language of Duruflé and Poulenc through a New England modality. There are helpful sleeve notes from Meurig Bowen. Recorded in sessions two years apart, the voices of Polyphony, perfectly honed by Stephen Layton, are at the top of their game conveying this luminous repertoire.

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