Singers rise to challenge of Rachmaninoff

Singers rise to challenge of Rachmaninoff

Salisbury Singers mastered old Orthodox Russian text and difficult a cappella music to deliver a powerful and well-received performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s The All-Night Vigil (Vespers) on Nov.17, 2006. Salisbury Singers aptly chose to set the music in the magnificent St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester.

Following the performance, Worcester Telegram & Gazette reviewer John Zeugner wrote, “The Salisbury Singers were technically spot on; the solo work by tenor Richard Monroe was fluid, powerful, convincing; the bass section handled the No. 5 offering with accurate dynamics and range.”

Perhaps Rachmaninoff’s greatest work, The All-Night Vigil is a haunting and mystical work from the Golden Age of Russian church choral art. While in exile from his beloved Russia during World War I, Rachmaninoff intended the composition as a reflection on the power of liturgy to overcome violence and political unrest, Zeugner explained.

He wrote, “The Singers provided technical sheen, attention to detail, precision of balance, section against section when called for….”

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