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Track(s) taken from CDA67679

The last invocation

First line:
At the last, tenderly
composer
1922; 6vv
author of text

Schola Cantorum of Oxford, James Burton (conductor)
Recording details: March 2008
Exeter College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Andrew Mellor
Release date: October 2008
Total duration: 6 minutes 0 seconds

Cover artwork: The Peaceable Kingdom (c1833) by Edward Hicks (1780-1849)
Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
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Reviews

'A vivid response to words is paramount in the 1936 sacred motet sequence The Peacable Kingdom … the performances do full justice to this little-known repertoire' (Choir & Organ)
The Last Invocation was composed in 1922 during Thompson’s student days, prior to his sojourn to the American Academy in Rome. Based on a text by Walt Whitman, the six-part a cappella setting displays many of the stylistic features that would continue throughout Thompson’s work over his entire career—predominantly tertial harmonies, imitative counterpoint, a fondness for suspensions and suspension chains, conjunct vocal lines and careful text underlay. The quiet, contemplative setting builds to a majestic, fortissimo climax for Whitman’s line ‘Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh!’ before closing pianissimo at ‘Strong is your hold, O love’. Renaissance modal counterpoint and Baroque polyphony clearly serve as models even at this very early stage in Thompson’s development as a composer.

from notes by Morten Lauridsen 2008