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Rachmaninov: Vespers - All Night Vigil Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import, August 12, 2008
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Vespers, Op. 37: no 1, Come let us worship
  2. Vespers, Op. 37: no 2, Bless the Lord, o my soul
  3. Vespers, Op. 37: no 3, Blessed is the man
  4. Vespers, Op. 37: no 4, Peaceful light
  5. Vespers, Op. 37: no 5, Now lettest thou thy servant
  6. Vespers, Op. 37: no 6, Hail, Virgin, Mother of God
  7. Vespers, Op. 37: no 7, Glory be to God on high 'Hexapsalm'
  8. Vespers, Op. 37: no 8, Praise the name of the Lord
  9. Vespers, Op. 37: no 9, Blessed are Thou, O Lord
  10. Vespers, Op. 37: no 10, Having beheld the Resurrection
  11. Vespers, Op. 37: no 11, My soul magnifies the Lord
  12. Vespers, Op. 37: no 12, Glory to God in the highest
  13. Vespers, Op. 37: no 13, Today salvation is come
  14. Vespers, Op. 37: no 14, Thou didst rise from the thomb
  15. Vespers, Op. 37: no 15, Hymn to the Mother of God


Product Details

  • Composer: Rachmaninoff
  • Audio CD (August 12, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import
  • Label: HARMONIA MUNDI
  • ASIN: B001716ISY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This offering by Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is the most beautiful interpretation of Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vigil" I have ever heard. Indeed, this work, also known as "Vespers", was one of Rachmaninoff's two favorite works, along with "The Bells", and it was the fifth movement of "All-Night Vigil" Rachmaninoff requested to have sung at his funeral. Up until I heard this recording, the version performed by Robert Shaw and his Festival Singers had been the one I always went back to when wanting to listen to this profound work by Rachmaninoff. This recording is more luminous, brighter, and flowing than is Shaw's interpretation. In addition, the soloists are noticeably in better voice. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir plumb the depths of "All-Night Vigil" and I highly recommend sending this recording as a gift to your Russian Orthodox and all music-loving friends. Rachmaninoff exploited the depths of the dark Russian basses, and in the fifth movement, you are treated to one of the most magnificent magical deep sounds in vocal music. I suggest finding a quiet time, lying back in a dark room, and allow the sounds of "All-Night Vigil" to fill the air -- I guarantee you will feel closer to the soul of our world.
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Format: Audio CD
The job performed by Paul Hiller is both stunning and excellent! The Estonian Phillarmonic Choir from my own perception is unique in this recording especially because it has within its basses Vladimir Miller whom I myself admire and does great job in the bass section but lets not forget the other voices, the alto soloist was wonderfull when I first heard it. Her control and sound was excellent and the tenor well he is good but I didn't like his solo as much as I liked the solo that Konstantin Ognevoy made in the Vespers recording of 1965 but but above all this he made a good job.
I have listen to most recordings of the All Night Vigil, the version under Alexander Sveshnikov with the State Russian Choir(1965), under Valery Polianski with Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir(1986, you can here a young but still resonant Yuri Wichniakov), Robert Shaw Festival Singers version and this one are by far my favorite recordings of this well speechless work.
If happen to buy this recording do not hesitate and share it. As the last reviewer said. Listen to it so you can be more close to soul of the world!
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By DAH on September 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard a recording of Vespers on my local classical radio station. Loved it...it was by the Robert Shaw. Then I read Amazon reviews of three different recordings; this recording was the most highly rated. Reviewers were right, thank you amazon, the recording is fabulous. Perhaps it is due to a musical tradition of harmony in Estonia and that area, but it is a better recording, imo.
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This is an amazing recording of Rachmaninov's choral work. I have The Robert Shaw Chorale recoring as well, and they are as different as chalk and cheese (I like both).

The Shaw treatment is ethereal, otherworldly and gorgeous. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Chorale's approach is electrifying and powerful.

The EPCC recording captures the movement of the different voices in the ensemble, whereas in the Robert Shaw version, the blending of the parts results in a sweet, rich timbre.

EPCC varies the rhythms and attack so one can hear the beauty and passion inherent in the language. The Robert shaw version draws out each phrase and seems to focus on each note in the piece.

I have listened to this SACD countless times and it always gives me joy.
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Having reviewed several recordings of this work in careful meditation, I too find this work to be among the best; it has now found favor as my personal favorite. I have had Robert Shaw's recording for some time, but I find this to be a much better recording in terms of audio quality, being much more recent, but I also find the interpretation to be much more dynamic which really grabs your emotion into a deep meaningful understanding of the fullness of this sacred music and the very presence of God. It is truly a testament to the glory of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the bride of Christ, His Church, His Body. It is very hard to keep a dry eye, impossible in fact. In comparison, others like Nikolai Korniev's St. Petersburg Chamber Choir, like Shaw's, are older recordings. Korniev is closer to this interpretation, and is to the purist, a true Russian choir, but does not match the recording quality here. I also prefer the female vocalist Iris Oja here (alto solo featured on track 2, "Praise the Lord, O my soul"), and find her voice much easier to listen to, being less harsh, tempered and more beautiful than other alto soloists. Concerning Shaw, personally I do not care for a French choir performing Russian works, while Estonian is the language of Estonia, the Russian language is very much a part of the culture and history of Estonia and therefore bodes high in terms of purity for me. The 1965 Alexander Sveshnikov recording, while perhaps, is the purest for those who prefer this, all round, Hillier's is absolutely my favorite, and I will cherish this disc as long as I am able, God willing. God Bless His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church (aka, The Eastern Orthodox [Catholic] Church)! Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!
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