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Rachmaninov: Vespers Import


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Audio CD, Import, February 10, 1998
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$24.90

Product Details

  • Performer: St. Petersburg Chamber Choir
  • Conductor: Vladislav Chernushenko
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (February 10, 1998)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Russian Season Fr.
  • ASIN: B00000652Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,773 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Vespers: Come, Let Us Bow Before The Lord
2. Vespers: Bless The Lord, O My Soul
3. Vespers: Blessed Is The Man
4. Vespers: Peaceful Light
5. Vespers: Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart (Nunc Dimittis)
6. Vespers: Rejoice, Virgin (Ave Maria)
7. Vespers: Hexapsalm
8. Vespers: Praise The Name Of The Lord
9. Vespers: Blessed Art Thou, Lord
10. Vespers: Having Beheld Christ's Resurrection
11. Vespers: My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord (Magnificat)
12. Vespers: The Greater Doxology (Gloria In Excelsis)
13. Vespers: Trope: The Day Of Our Salvation
14. Vespers: Risen From The Dead
15. Vespers: Praise To The Mother of God

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
A good, clear, crisp recording.
Michael Moore
I will just say that this music has twice now been nearly the only music that could give me some peace during periods of chaos and grief.
M. Mueller
Make sure to add this to your library.
127

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By 127 on September 8, 2000
There have been numerous recordings made of this work, but THIS one stands out over the others. I previously enjoyed Robert Shaw's recording, but after hearing this, there was no longer a need to even open the Shaw CD's case.
The intonation and vocal blend in this ensemble are seemless and perfect. The soloists are beautiful and yet still part of the ensemble. Russian Orthodox music, after all, has a purpose: to be used in a service. Services are not known for operatic soloists (e.g. Shaw and Robev), no matter how talented the soloist might be. Some Russian composers did turn Orthodox music into more of a concert appropriate affair, but this piece is a case where either scenario, secular or sacred, is possible. Furthermore, this recording includes additional liturgical chant, so the listener gets even more of a sense of this as a true church performance.
Finally, no performance of Russian choral music, and especially Rachmaninoff's Vespers, is complete without several strong low basses. Shaw simply doesn't have them, no matter how much one's steereo is able to augment the CD. Chernushenko has them and they are awe-inspiring. From the chant that opens the CD to the famous descending scale at the end of the fifth segment, these basses are a treasure to hear and should be the envy of any other choral ensemble.
If I were to be limited to one CD recording to listen to from now on, this might very well be it. Rachmaninoff's Vespers are a gift to the world, and this CD allows the world to enjoy them in their full majesty. Make sure to add this to your library.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1999
Much Russian liturgical music was, historically, corrupted by the Western influences brought in by the likes of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. The tradition of ancient Russian liturgical chant, such as Znamen and Kievan, was consequently almost lost altogether. Rachmaninov was one of the few composers to explore the history of true Russian chant, and to incorporate it into his Vespers. The result is a work with the true soul of Russia written into every note.
I first heard this piece in the Robert Shaw recording, shortly after becoming aware of my own Russian heritage. At the time, I didn't know whether it was Rachmaninov or Vaughan Williams! Then I heard this recording. Due to the stylistic differences of English and Russian choirs, there is no doubt that THIS is Russian music, and Russian music at its best. The singers have a fire and passion that would be out of place in English music, but is totally suited to the fervor of the Russian soul. Listening to this recording has become, for me, a truly religious experience, that eventually led to my adopting the Russian Orthodox faith.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M on September 13, 2002
Ah, here you get the the soul, the chernozem in true Slavic church music. This rendition takes on a depth missing from the technically more accurate singing of Western choirs; but it does not POSSESS that depth all the time. For a recording that does, try and get your hands on a copy of the Melodiya label performance conducted by Aleksandr Sveshnikov back in the old Soviet days. It will leave you in a tingling sweat.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Enders on January 21, 2001
Not very many people know that Rachmaninov, besides his career as a pianist and a composer of symphonic music, was also perhaps _the_ outstanding inspiration for Russian Orthodox sacred music. The most famous works are of course the Easter Vespers (great evening and morning laud) op. 37 presented here, and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, op. 31.
The very special in these settings is that Rachmaninov writes choral music in graet complexity with rich harmonic structures, thereby always keeping touch with the "folk" type original unison choral tunes (taken from the liturgic tradition or being original compositions).
The St. Petersburg Cappella is outstanding in the performance of this recording, combining the skills of an technically well-trained choir (just listen at the dynamical range in the fourth piece) with something that makes the music still sound "natural". In addition, the sung invocations at the beginning of some of the pieces represent an impressive introduction and raise the performance from "concert" to the "liturgy" feeling.
Don't miss this!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Mueller on January 6, 2009
Verified Purchase
Rachmaninov's Vespers, and this recording specifically, is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music I have heard in my life. I cannot speak to the musical merits of this particular recording, and others here have done a nice job of that anyway. I will just say that this music has twice now been nearly the only music that could give me some peace during periods of chaos and grief. It is soothing but not sentimental. It is dramatic without being nerve-wracking. It gives me the sense of a reality beyond the here and now that speaks of hope as few other things have. This music is a gift and it is to be received with the heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel on September 19, 2010
There are so many versions of Vespers that it makes choice difficult, to say the least. Ironic then, that one of the best, most thrilling performances, is so difficult/expensive to obtain. This is a truly passionate and committed performance by the St Petersburg Male choir, driven along by the deepest, richest bassists I've ever heard, yet at other moments the melody appears to hang weightless in the air. This is music to make the hair on the nape of your neck rise, music so rich and profound that you can only be in awe (which was exactly Rachmaninov's purpose, and its use in church settings). It doesn't matter whether you believe or not, this is music and a performance to move you to the depth of your soul. Experience this, and enrich your life.
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