Classical 101 By Request: Alleluia

Randall Thompson (1899-1984)(Photo: classical net)
Randall Thompson (1899-1984)(Photo: classical net)

What a lovely request: the brief Alleluia by Randall Thompson. This magical setting of the happiest of words is a favorite with high school choruses and church choirs.  I remember hearing it during visits to Tanglewood. That summer’s Tanglewood students would take leave of the Berkshires by singing this at Koussevitzky’s grave. A nice Irish touch for a Russian composer who commissioned this work, if I do say so myself.


Randall Thompson (1899-1984) taught at Wellesley College, the Curtis Institute, and Harvard. His choral music is singer-friendly for all ages. If you’ve ever been in a chorus, hopefully you’ll have sung Frostiana or The Testament of Freedom.

Alleluia  was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the opening of the  Berkshire Music Center in 1940. The maestro wanted a brief opening for the BMS inaugural concerts that everyone could sing. Everyone is still singing Thompson’s Alleluia-and …By Request…we can all hear it again.

Classical 101 By Request, Fridays 1-3 PM.

Let me know what you’d like to hear: