Welcome to The Sprout! Please sign up or login

Review: Cardiff University Symphony Chorus - Rachmaninov's All Night Vigil (Vespers) @ National Museum

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 13/04/2015 at 17:11
0 comments » - Tagged as Culture, History, Music, People, Sport & Leisure

  • Rachmaninov's All Night Vigil (Vespers) @ National Museum Cardiff

Cardiff University Symphony Chorus
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
Thursday 26th March 2015

With all the French musical fancies abound at Cardiff University, it was sacrilege to forget this concert parked between all the big events.

Rachmaninov's All Night Vigil is the stuff of angels. A warm blanket of Russian love, oozing in its ornamental, Orthodox resplendence. Even through the brutality of Soviet religious repression, the work is a crowning achievement of 20th century choral writing. Its popularity is unbounded (said to be the composer's favourite work by himself), with four separate recordings alone in the year 2000. John Tavener would write (Greek) Orthodox-inspired music as well. How come there aren't more composers keen on these remarkable voices from the past?

The incorporation of both Greek and Russian chants makes it a double joy. The polyphony of the university's chorus, in their huge numbers, was mesmerising. The voices were pulled away and apart with the SATB singers, going into teams of six or seven parts in the singing (the bass singers also stand alone). Kate Woolveridge sang my favourite part, the brief, yet utterly exquisite Blagoslovi, dushe moya (Bless the lord, O my soul). Feeling like a massive lament, it wouldn't feel out of place at a funeral (Rachmaninov would use the fifth vesper for his own funeral).

The museum was a perfect choice, as the acoustics lifted the music into a higher realm of bliss and serenity.

Rating: 4 Stars

Related:

ArticlesReview: Cardiff Uni Symphony Orchestra @ St David's Hall

Articles » Filter Articles » Reviews

Articles » Categories » Music

Info/Advice » Sport & Leisure » Performing Arts » Music

Want to win a Sprout T-shirt? Fill in theSprout Satisfaction Survey!

Image Source: Cardiff University website

*Submit your stuff for publication here*

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post comments on this website.

Login or Register.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. It will help us find out how you use the website so we can keep improving it for you. Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50.