Kansas City Chorale, Phoenix Chorale & Charles Bruffy - Rachmaninoff: All-night Vigil (2015)
Title: Rachmaninoff: All-night Vigil
Year Of Release: 2015
Total Time: 1:15:26
Total Size: 291 MB
WebSite: Album Preview
The recording follows live performances of the work by the combined ensembles in April and May 2014, respectively in Phoenix and Kansas City. The Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale are regarded as among the finest professional choral ensembles in the world. Their recordings have earned a combined total of ten Grammy-Award-nominations and four wins. Building on the success of previous collaborations, the performances marked the seventh time that the two choirs have performed together. Of their 2009 performance at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times wrote that the choirs 'performed with a buoyant pulse and energetic finesse', and praised 'the choirs' refined sound and elegant phrasing'.
Serge Rachmaninoff's All-night Vigil stands as the crowning achievement of the 'Golden Age' of Russian Orthodox sacred choral music. The texts are drawn from the Russian Orthodox liturgy and the music goes beyond the strict requirements of the liturgical ritual, making it better suited for concert presentations of sacred choral music than for worship services.
I very much hope this first-rate recording will do more to bring this masterpiece to a wider listening public-it certainly deserves to. --IRR, Mar'15
The eastern Orthodox vigil is the equivalent of western Christianity's matins and vespers, combining the two into a single service, usually held on a Saturday night, in which the congregation is asked to contemplate the light of the coming dawn as emblematic of Christ's resurrection. Rachmaninov's setting, sometimes erroneously referred to as simply his Vespers, remains the most familiar outside eastern Europe, and was written in 1915, not for liturgical use but for a benefit concert in aid of the Russian war effort. Among the most beautiful of all works for unaccompanied chorus, it turns away from temporal conflict and gazes calmly into eternity, and its sincerity seems all the more remarkable when we remember that Rachmaninov wrote it long after he had ceased to be a churchgoer. The US conductor Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix and Kansas City Chorales have long been outstanding interpreters of this repertory and their performance has a devotional intensity that is often overwhelming. The recording itself is on the reverberant side. But by the end, you know exactly why it one of Rachmaninov's favourites among his own works, and why many consider it his greatest.***** --Guardian, 13/3/15
No doubt about it, these are two very fine professional choirs, unique in an unparalleled lower register smokiness and resonance. Performance *** Recording **** BBC Music Magazine,June'15 /// the Americans(bring)weight and beauty; you must hear. RECORDING OF THE MONTH --MusicWeb, Feb'16
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