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Randall Thompson’s hour-long Requiem for unaccompanied mixed double chorus takes its text not from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass but rather an assemblage of biblical verses shaped across a five-movement sequence. Thompson’s ability to select and set contrasting texts is revealed in this work, generally regarded as his most significant composition. It is full of nuanced, emotional and dramatic musical responses from Thompson. The Requiem’s technical difficulty and duration make considerable demands on the chorus, but in this, the work’s first complete recording, the professional Philadephia Singers under their conductor David Hayes are equal to the task in hand. With their superb blend and impeccable intonation, The Philadelphia Singers deliver a committed and wholly engaging reading of this 20th-century American choral masterpiece that ought to win it many new admirers.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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