Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Rachmaninov - All-Night Vigil

Rating: 5/5


I think this is a fabulous recording.  Rachmaninov's music is, of course, utterly beautiful and Paul Hillier and the Estonian Chamber Choir do it proud.

This is a deep expression of faith and spirituality and is some of the loveliest, most affecting choral music of the 20th Century in my view.  Rachmaninov employs the full depth of the traditional Russian bass which adds genuine profundity both literally and metaphorically and can be a technical challenge for some choirs.  Not here; these singers are excellent and sound as though they have been singing in this register all their lives – which they may well have been, of course.  The effect is stunning and Paul Hillier's experience, intelligence and scholarship makes this something really special, I think.  It is technically excellent, expressive and beautifully balanced, and the effect is quite spellbinding.

The recorded sound is excellent.  It is sufficiently resonant to bring out the wonderful sonorities in the music but never blurs into an over-echoey mush.  The presentation is very attractive and the notes are good.  This is an all-round excellent disc and I can recommend it very warmly indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment