The Place of the Blest is considered one of the cornerstones of the Treble Voice Cantata repertoire.
Randall Thompson (1899-1984) is distinguished as one of America’s most beloved composers. His choral music is considered timeless: music that is well crafted with harmonic freedom and beautiful melodic lines.
This four-movement work uses texts that were apparently favourites of Thomson’s: poetry by Robert Herrick (movements 1 and 3) and the final movement, which is an extended meditation on his favourite work, “Alleluia”.
The second movement is an excerpt from a 12th century bestiary based on the ancient myth of a pelican: an allegory on the victory of restorative love, which is the foundation of the Christmas message. It is unabashedly rich in drama and metrical sophistication. The unusual text of the Pelican hardly seems appropriate for the Christmas season, yet its urgency gives way to the joy and beauty of the final Alleluia.
The Alleluia concludes this outstanding work with beautifully crafted polyphonic melodic lines that display Thompson’s exemplary writing for treble voices.
- The Place of the Blest (Randall Thompson)
- Part 1: Carol of the Rose [5:45]
- Part 2: The Pelican [6:55]
- Part 3: The Place of the Blest [4:41]
- Part 4: Alleluia, Amen [6:01]
- Elizabeth’s Ave: Lana Walter [2:12]
- Frobisher Bay, James Gordon*, arr. Tamarack* [4:14]
- There is no Rose, Z. Randall Stroope [5:49]
- Hodie Christus natus est, Giovanni Pierfuigi da Palestrina [2:05]
- Jesus Child: John Rutter [2:34]
- Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening, Vera Kistler [2:47]
- Quittez Pasteurs (Come, Shepherds, Come), French Carol, arr. Derek Holman* [3:36]
- The Friendly Beasts, Traditional Carol, arr. Lee R. Kesselman [3:42]
- Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow! Spiritual, arr. Joan Whittemore [2:17]
- Nuttin’ For Christmas, R. Bennet*, S. Tepper, arr. Carl Stommen [1:38]
- Somewhere in My Memory, John Williams, arr. Terre McPheeters [3:04]
- Carol, Singers, Carol! Linda Spevacek-Avery [1:48]
Total Playing Time: 59:32
* Canadian composer, arranger