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Vespers (Op. 37 from All night vigil) Rachmaninov
April 8 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
After twice postponing our original plans to perform this choral tour de force from the great Russian master composer Serge Rachmaninov, we sincerely hope to be able to bring this wonderful music to you this April.
Full of rich, sonorous harmony, searing and soaring melody, rhythmic drive and thrilling climax, the Vespers is one of the all-time classics of the a cappella choral repertoire. Sung in the original church Slavonic language and with additional guest profundo basses to add the required depth of vocal texture, our organist David Cowen will also display his mastery of improvisation as an occasional interlude to our vocal tapestry. Set in the sacred surroundings of St Andrew’s, Jarrom Street, this programme will hopefully captivate and offer appropriate reflection for the season.
The work was composed and premiered in 1915, at a time when the world was in turmoil with more to come shortly after, in terms of the denouement of the first world war and a devastating influenza pandemic. We find ourselves performing this work a little over a hundred years later when the world seems to be on the threshold of yet more war and strife. All art is political to some extent or other, and we have thought long and hard about whether we should perform Russian repertoire. We have decided to go ahead- this performance is a call for peace, dedicated to the Ukrainian people and all those in Russia who are opposed to the invasion of Ukraine.
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