April 21, 2017
The name of American composer Randall Thompson (1899-1984) is familiar to anyone who has spent much time singing in choirs. “Alleluia,” composed in 1940, is one of his most familiar and best-loved choral compositions, sung by choirs around the world.
March 26, 2017
In celebration of the birthday of American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963), here is a choral setting by Randall Thompson of one of Frost’s best loved poems.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
December 21, 2016
Randall Thompson’s hauntingly beautiful choral setting of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
March 26, 2013
Robert Frost, born March 26, 1874, was a college dropout, an unsuccessful farmer, and the finest poet the United States has ever produced. He won four Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry back when the Pulitzer still meant something, and he’s one of the most-quoted and most-anthologized poets who has ever lived. One reason for his enduring popularity is the fact that he continued to employ traditional poetic forms at a time when many of his contemporaries were abandoning them for more experimental forms. Frost once said that he would as soon play tennis with the net down as write in free verse.
Here is a choral setting by Randall Thompson of one of Frost’s best-loved poems.