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Rachmaninov: Vespers / Kaspars Putnins, Netherlands Radio Choir

Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2039   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Kaspars Putnins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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SuperAudio CD:  $21.49
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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
Read more 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?š. As a coupling they have chosen to record one of Rachmaninov's earliest works, composed in 1893 and unpublished in his lifetime.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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Works on This Recording

Vespers, Op. 37 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Kaspars Putnins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Russia 
O mother of God vigilantly praying by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Kaspars Putnins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 

Sound Samples

All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Beginning song: Come let us worship
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Psalm 103 (104), "O praise the Lord"
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Blessed is the man
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": O Joyful Light
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Song of Simeon: Lord, now let your servant depart
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Hail, O Virgin Mother (Ave Maria)
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Hexapsalms: Glory to God on high
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Psalm 134-135 (135-136), "O praise the name of the Lord"
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Glorifying song of the Resurrection: Teach me O lord in the way of truth
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Hymn of Resurrection: We have seen the resurrection
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Magnificat: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Great Doxology: Glory be to God on high
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Resurrection hymn (Troparion): This day of salvation has come to the world
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Resurrection hymn (Troparion): When you had risen
All-night Vigil, Op. 37, "Vespers": Thanksgiving hymn of Virgin Mary: O victorious leader
V molitvakh neusipayushchuyu bogoroditsu (In our Prayers, Ever-vigilant Mother of God)

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