Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Rachmaninov - Vespers - King's, Cambridge/Cleobury

Rating: 5/5

A fabulous disc

I love this recording of the Vespers, of one of Rachmaninov's greatest works. The music is a powerful spiritual statement, full of deeply-felt emotion expressed through some of the 20th century's most beautiful choral music.

I know that some have questioned whether a non-Russian choir can do justice to this very Russian work. I think King's choir most certainly do. They are technically flawless with impeccable intonation and a fine blend of voices. The basses have a marvellously rich, resonant depth and the acoustic of King's Chapel brings out fabulous sonorities of this music perfectly. The choir may not be Russian, but their daily lives revolve around singing sacred music in divine services so they have a real engagement with the text and bring a genuine sense of spirituality to the whole work. This, combined with the fine musicianship and the sheer beauty of sound, makes this disc something really special.

In short, this is a disc of fabulously beautiful music, sung magnificently. It has given me enormous pleasure for many years and I recommend it very warmly indeed.

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