Challenge
Vespers
Sergei Rachmaninov
Netherlands Radio Choir

Vespers

SACD | Bis | 7318599920399 | BIS 2039 | 03-14

About the album

The rituals and traditions of the Orthodox Church formed an essential part of Sergei Rachmaninov 's musical and cultural background. As a young boy in St Petersburg he'd accompany his grandmother to the city’s churches, later remarking: 'I took less interest in God and religious worship than in the singing, which was of unrivalled beauty, especially in the cathedrals.' Phrases reminiscent of
liturgical chant appear in Rachmaninov's music from the First Symphony of 1895 to the Symphonic Dances of 1940, and from the time of its first performance in 1915, his All-Night Vigil has been recognised as a supreme achievement in the music of the Russian Orthodox Church. Together with the choral symphony The Bells, it was also the composer’s own favourite among all his works. Often referred to as ‘ Rachmaninov’s Vespers ’, its fifteen movements in fact make up an All-night Vigil service, consisting of not only the Vespers, but also the liturgical offices of Matins, Lauds and Prime. When composing it, Rachmaninov carefully observed the general principles of Orthodox church music, but seems to have realised that the practical difficulties of his Vigil made liturgical performances unlikely. The choral writing makes huge demands on even the most skilled choirs: in the course of the work Rachmaninov shows astonishing resource in exploiting every possibility offered by changes of texture, timbre, register and weight. It is here performed by the highly regarded Netherlands Radio Choir , one of the largest and most versatile professional choirs in the world, conducted by
Kaspars Putni !" . As a coupling they have chosen to record one of Rachmaninov's earliest works, composed in 1893 and unpublished in his lifetime. The Theotokos, Ever-Vigilant in Prayer is a hymn to the Virgin – ‘the one who gives birth to God’ – and clearly aims to exploit the skill of a first-class choir, with its varied textures, tempos and wide range of dynamics.

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A wonderful recording with a direct and agile sound
Plato mania
Tracklisting
    • 1
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      O come, let us worship
       
      02:40
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 2
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Praise the Lord, O my soul
       
      04:05
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 3
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Blessed is the man
       
      04:09
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 4
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      O gentle radiance
       
      02:45
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 5
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Lord, now lettest Thou
       
      03:23
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 6
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      O Virgin Mother of God, rejoice!
       
      02:55
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 7
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Hexapsalmos: Glory be to God on high
       
      02:09
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 8
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Praise ye the name of the Lord
       
      02:07
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 9
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Blessed art Thou, O Lord
       
      05:56
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 10
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Having beheld the Resurrection
       
      02:31
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 11
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      My soul magnifies the Lord
       
      06:21
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 12
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      The Great Doxology: Glory be to God on high
       
      06:18
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 13
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Troparion: Today is salvation come
       
      01:38
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 14
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      Troparion: Thou didst rise again
       
      02:48
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 15
      All-Night Vigil (Vespers) , Op. 37
      O queen victorious
       
      01:25
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
    • 16
      The Theotokos, Ever-Vigilant in Prayer
      Sacred Concerto
       
      07:52
      Composer: Rachmaninov, Sergei
30-04-2014 BIS 2039 - Vespers - Netherlands Radio Choir - Platomania
22-04-2014 BIS 2039 - Vespers - Netherlands Radio Choir - Luister
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