Thompson’s setting of Walter De La Mare’s poem Fare Well, written in the twilight of his life as he entered his seventh decade, concludes this lovely recording by Schola Cantorum of Oxford. The work clearly demonstrates that Thompson continued to hold steadfastly to those tenets of choral writing that marked his compositional style for over fifty years. Composed a half-century later than The Last Invocation, Fare Well shows little stylistic change but a surer hand in creating more elegant vocal lines and a wider and more colourful harmonic vocabulary. The dark, minor-chord opening sets the tone for Thompson’s musical rumination on the theme of death, and melodic and harmonic sequences, trademark Thompson devices so expertly displayed in earlier works, are abundant in this sensitive setting of De La Mare’s poem.
from notes by Morten Lauridsen © 2008