Rachmaninov Vespers

Rachmaninov Vespers

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple and the Virgin of the Burning Bush, Russian anon, c. 1598, via Wikimedia Commons
Join us for an afternoon exploring Rachmaninov’s seminal choral masterpiece, The All-Night Vigil, commonly known as the Vespers.

This workshop will be lead by Neil Ferris, Chorus Director of the BBC Symphony Chorus and Artistic Director of the professional chamber choir, Sonoro. Neil will bring his considerable expertise, vocal knowledge and flair to work on music that is as rich as it is rewarding, not to mention in Russian! After working through a varied selection of movements, the afternoon will culminate in an informal concert at 5:30 pm. Singers are very welcome to invite their friends and family to listen, seated in the gallery at St Peter’s Church.

By way of background, it took Rachmaninov less than two weeks in January and February of 1915 to compose the All-Night Vigil, and its first performance was given in Moscow on March 10th the same year. It was received warmly by both critics and audiences; indeed, it was so successful that it was performed five more times within a month. However, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rise of the Soviet Union led to the government condemnation of religious music. Of the All-Night Vigil, it has been written that “no composition represents the end of an era so clearly as this liturgical work”.

Tickets: £20 | £15 concessions/under 28s (includes loan scores and refreshments).

The workshop will run from 2:00–6:00 pm, with registration taking place from 1:30pm.