Rachmaninov: Vespers (Simon Halsey)

Release Date: May 22, 2017

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In their first LSO Live spotlight release, the London Symphony Chorus deliver a passionate performance of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, under the baton of acclaimed LSO Choral Director Simon Halsey.

Composed in 1915, against a backdrop of political turmoil in Russia and the early throes of The First World War, the sense of spiritual transcendence in the work may be interpreted as the composer’s response to the chaos and suffering around him. While Rachmaninov was no conventional believer, the rituals and traditions of the Orthodox Church were an essential part of his cultural background, evident in his use of chants from the Russian Church as the basis for ten of the work’s fifteen sections. For the remaining five, Rachmaninov composed entirely new music, though these are so heavily influenced by tradition that it is near impossible to tell the difference.

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