Magazine article Gramophone

Rachmaninov

Magazine article Gramophone

Rachmaninov

Article excerpt

Rachmaninov

Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Op 37

Catherine Wyn-Rogers mez Adam Tunnidiffe ten Vasari Singers / Jeremy Backhouse

Vasari Media (F) VIMACD003 (58' * DDD * T/t)

The Vasari Singers join an ever-expanding field with this new recording of a work that was once considered very exotic by most Western choirs. Competition is consequently intense but the Vasaris acquit themselves very well indeed in this recording made to celebrate the 60th birthday of the conductor, Jeremy Backhouse.

They begin with the opening blessing, which is always much better than starting out of the blue with 'Priidite poklonimsya', and this is followed by a fine rendition of 'Blagoslovi, dushe moya' with Catherine Wyn-Rogers on outstanding form. Jeremy Backhouse is not afraid of relatively slow speeds--this section lasts a full five minutes--and this can pay dividends; but there is the corresponding challenge of maintaining the tension of the musical line, and this is not always entirely successfully achieved in the following 'Blazhen muzh'. No such problems affect 'Svete tikhi' or 'Nyne otpuschaeshi', with its famous low bass B flats, however, and both benefit from the excellent solo contributions of Adam Tunnidiffe. …

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