London Concert Choir’s season continues with one of Rachmaninov’s own favourite compositions. In words from the Russian Orthodox All-Night Vigil, the Vespers explores the ideas of Christ in divine and human form, climaxing in the dramatic recounting of the Resurrection and a magnificent hymn to the Mother of God.
Rachmaninov’s transcendent music incorporates religious chants (some are ancient and some are his original compositions), using the unaccompanied choir to create exquisite harmonies with colour and precision.
The Vespers is enchanting and uplifting, with extremely low bass parts and rich vocal lines inviting meditative contemplation. It is now regarded as the culminating achievement of Russian Orthodox choral music, and indeed one of the composer’s greatest masterpieces
The work was originally scheduled for performance in March 2020, but the concert had to be cancelled at the start of the pandemic.