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July 2013
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Rachmaninoff Takes an Otherworldly Turn at Ravinia

Sergei Rachmaninoff, Library of Congress

Sergei Rachmaninoff, Library of Congress

Hear the broadcast Monday evening at 8:00 PM

In a blog for Chicago Classical Review, Kyle MacMillan mused on Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, sometimes known as Vespers, the work “finds power in its inward profundity, hushed intimacy, and otherworldly beauty.” He goes on: “It offers Rachmaninoff’s updated yet tradition-minded take on the Russian Orthodox vigil, which dates to the 14th century and combines the monastic services of Vespers, Matins, and Prime. It draws on three types of ancient chants for nine of the sections, with the composer seamlessly supplying his own chant-like writing – what he called ‘conscious counterfeits’ – for the other six. The All-Night Vigil offers a side of the famed 20th-century Russian composer that seems far away from the showy romanticism that is associated with his more famous works, such as the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Yet it is obviously the one he preferred, because he named this piece his favorite, along with another of his choral compositions, The Bells.”

Matthew Culloton leads the Minneapolis-based group “The Singers.” They performed the All-Night Vigil in Ravinia’s Martin Theatre on June 19. Kerry Frumkin hosts the broadcast.


  • rentagoodbook

    I was at the 6/18 concert at Trinity Episcopal, and it was fabulous! Unfortunately, I was not able to hear the broadcast last night–any chance of a rebroadcast?