By Roy Hemming
Updated October 07, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Thirteen-time Grammy award winner Robert Shaw has spent his life elevating an America unevenly dotted with local church and school choruses into a nation now second to none in professional choral-concert quality. How he achieves his results is fascinatingly documented in this lively 90-minute tape leading up to an actual performance last year of Benjamin Britten’s monumental War Requiem at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Shaw coaches his performers with a tart sense of humor, tough technical demands, and, most of all, musical and textual insights into pacifist Britten’s moving antiwar composition. Anyone who cares about the whys and wherefores of great singing should pounce. A-

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