Sergei Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil, Op. 37 (1915) 60'
Latvian Radio Choir
All-Night Vigil is one of the great choral compositions of Orthodox liturgical music. It took Rachmaninoff less than two weeks to compose. The work premiered in March 1915, in the midst of World War I. Unlike The Bells, The Vigil is a cappella work, which moves away from symphony music that characterises the composer so much. When creating the melodies, Rachmaninoff started mainly from old monodic Russian songs. Dedicated to the night vigil, an all-night Orthodox ceremony, the work covers three canonical hours: evenings, dawn, and sunset. The first six movements correspond to evening time, which give the work its name; the next eight - dawn, and the last - sunset. In line with Orthodox doctrine, Rachmaninoff strongly believed in the resurrection of Jesus and approached it with moving serenity. The composer had a special fondness for the fifth movement of the work, the "Nunc dimittis", requesting that it be played at his funeral.
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