Randall Thompson was famous, and wrote in a medium that was his specialty. Yet now his 1958 masterpiece Requiem is having to be saved from decades of obscurity by The Philadelphia Singers. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found out why such a resurrection was necessary.
Randall Thompson's Requiem is a choral triathlon: One hour and 245 pages of hard singing, with two choirs arguing back and forth about some heady to-be-or-not-to-be issues without the anchor of instrumental accompaniment. At one point, the writing splits into 14 parts. This, from a composer whose feet normally didn't leave the ground.
Philadelphia Singers Music Director David Hayes, who conducts the January 19th, 3:30 pm performance of the Requiem at the Church of The Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, says there's nothing like it in choral music.