Kansas City Chorale to Record Rachmaninoff's ALL NIGHT VIGIL, with 2015 Release Eyed
GRAMMY-winning conductor Charles Bruffy brings his two professional choirs, the Kansas City Chorale and the Phoenix Chorale, together to record an album of Sergei Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil. The anticipated release date is the spring of 2015, to mark the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of the All-Night Vigil, which was performed by the Moscow Synodal Choir on March 10, 1915.
The two GRAMMY-winning ensembles are each conducted by Charles Bruffy; he has been the Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and of the Phoenix Chorale since 1999. This new recording project will follow live performances of the All-Night Vigil by the two combined ensembles in April in Phoenix and in May in Kansas City. It has been five years since the two ensembles have performed together; the most recent appearance was in 2009 in concerts at Lincoln Center in New York. This is the first collaborative recording between the two choirs since their 2008 release, Rheinberger: Sacred Works.
"It's such a wonderful experience working with the two choirs and I am thrilled that we are recording together again," said Charles Bruffy. "Our live performances of All-Night Vigil should prove to be a remarkable concert-going experience, and one of the great things about making this recording is that we'll be able to bring our interpretation of this renowned masterwork to so many listeners worldwide."
Sergei Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil, sometimes referred to as the "Vespers," is considered the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church and was written over the period of less than two weeks in 1915.
"Among the works of the new Russian choral school, Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil, op. 37 (Vespers) is recognized as the pinnacle of achievement-a work that emanates from a thousand-year-old spiritual tradition of Russian Orthodoxy, yet speaks to listeners of all eras because of its surpassing beauty and universality of expression," said Dr. Vladamir Morosan, President and Founder of Musica Russica, the largest publisher of Russian choral music outside of Russia. "Now the musical world can look forward with great anticipation to hearing it recorded by two choral ensembles that have shown themselves to be the finest of what American choral artistry has to offer."
Recorded by numerous choirs over the last fifty years, this is the first time in nearly a decade that an American choir has recorded the entire work and released it on a major record label. Like other collaborative albums in the past, this recording will be released by renowned British classical music label Chandos Records, and recorded and produced by Soundmirror of Boston.
"Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil is one of the pinnacles of the choral repertoire; many musicians consider it to be Rachmaninoff's finest work," says Soundmirror producer Blanton Alspaugh. "In discussing what to record next after the commercial and critical success of their previous recordings, we all felt that it was time to bring the Kansas City and Phoenix choirs together again. Charles and the singers are particularly well-suited to communicate the work's musical and devotional depth. I expect the recording sessions, coming as they do after a series of performances in both cities, to be a demanding and rewarding experience for us all."
The Kansas City Chorale and the Phoenix Chorale are regarded as two of the finest professional choral ensembles in the world. Their recordings have earned a combined total of ten Grammy Award nominations and four wins. The Kansas City Chorale was founded in 1982 and the Phoenix Chorale was founded in 1958. Building on the success of previous collaborations, these performances mark the seventh time the two choirs have performed together. Of their performance at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times wrote that the choirs "performed with a buoyant pulse and energetic finesse," and she praised "the choirs' refined sound and elegant phrasing."