Testament of Freedom, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Randall Thompson

Randall Thompson (arr. Corley)

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Subtitle: A Setting of Four Passages from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson

General Info

Year: 1942
Duration: c. 23:50
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


1. The God Who Gave Us Life – 3:30
2. We Have Counted the Cost – 6:10
3. We Fight Not for Glory or for Conquest – 5:30
4. I Shall Not Die Without a Hope – 8:45


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Randall Thompson became Chairman of the Music Department at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville in 1941. In 1942, the University asked him to compose a work for its April 13, 1943 “Founders Day,” which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson, who founded the university in 1819.

Thompson chose texts from Jefferson’s writings for his work. The opening, The God Who Gave Us Life in from his 1774 pamphlet A Summary View of the Rights of British America. The second and third parts are set to lengthy passages from his Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, written two days after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence to convince the last holdouts that war with England was inevitable. The final section quotes a letter written by Jefferson to John Adams, and concludes with repetition of the opening statement.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Randall Thompson." Accessed 25 February 2016
  • Thompson, R.; Jefferson, T. (1944). The Testament of Freedom : A Setting of Four Passages from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson : For Men's Voices with Piano, Band or Orchestral Accompaniment [score]. E.C. Schirmer Music Co.: Boston.