Oddly enough, after the mystical effusion that led him to compose his Requiem and Don Juan de Mañara, Tomasi lost his faith. A requiem, yes; a requiem for peace, yes; but first and foremost a great musical composition where theater is in the spotlight, and the passion and voluptuousness of sound continuously contradict the austerity of the Death Mass.
France-Musique, 15 June 1997, René Koering
For Tomasi, the use of the tonal system was a natural means of expression where his spontaneous, sensorial lyricism, his feel for drama, and his affinity for choral chants and popular music – so candid and prevalent in the land of his Corsican ancestors – could flow freely. His orchestral skill, love of theater and choice of fine texts made him an operatic composer whose talents are finally coming to light. (…) A terribly captivating album!
Répertoire des disques compacts, June 1997, Jean Hamon
This gripping CD pays homage to a French composer who has been unjustly swept aside. The Requiem often resorts to modal composition, and it is not adverse to jazz overtones, notably in the Sanctus movement. There is a simple, intense luminosity to the score, giving us a hint of what a Mediterranean Honegger might sound like. A veritable osmosis between music and those who perform it, this commendable album is a true pleasure.
International Opera, July 1997, Serge Coste
Powerful and sincere, the Requiem is the work of a painfully sensitive man. Sometimes violent and pessimistic, sometimes tender and lyrical, it is remarkably well assembled and splendidly orchestrated. From beginning to end, we sense the presence of a true master.
Crescendo, Summer 1997, Bernard Postiau
This music strikes the auditor with great force through its epic inspiration and expressive sincerity, and the impressive humanity that emanates from them. With its timeless music unfettered by stylistic modes, this requiem perfectly showcases the talent of a fiercely independent composer.
L’Enseignant, 30 August 1997, Pierre Boitet
The powerful notes of the Dies Irae, of the Agnus Dei (…) A superb, grandiose recording, admirably interpreted, that makes a deep impression through its beauty and uncertain, arguable faith.
Les Petites Affiches, 31 October 1997, Jean Gallois
One does not understand Tomasi, even through listening or reflecting; one receives him as a revelation. Of course, investigation reveals a prodigious orchestrator gifted with an outstanding feel for color and sound. There are no weak spots, no conventions or facile notes – and absolutely no concessions to modes or schools. Far from the ethereal spheres of spirituality, his requiem is indissolubly linked with the tragedy of human existence. Only a musician of his radical conviction could be capable of giving it such a poignant cosmic dimension.
La Montagne , 16 November 1997, Roland Duclos
Requiem for Peace is among the most original compositions to have been inspired by the Second World War. This moving piece has a theatrical flair that may well give new life to the old liturgical forms. An opus born under the Mediterranean sun, it draws on its radiant luminosity and rich coppery nuances, using dense, colorful language that showcases the work’s vocal opulence.
The flawlessly controlled vehemence, radiant modal notes enhanced by impressionistic finery, subtle references to the blues, and stylistic echoes of a faraway trumpeter’s last post all bear witness to the skill of this sophisticated composer as he conveys his profoundly sincere inspiration.
Diapason, January 1998, Michel Fleury