add to wish list | library

2 of 3 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the paid links below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Ondine -
  ODE 1206-5
  Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil - Klava
  Sergei Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil Op. 37

Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Klava
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 1

Reviews: 2

Site review by Geohominid December 25, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by audiovictim December 28, 2012 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I've not written a review before, generally preferring to listen and enjoy the music, rather than analyse why I am enjoying it (or not as the case may be). However, my view of this performance is so different to that of the previous reviewer and I love this piece so much that I felt compelled to put forward my personal opinion. Be gentle with me therefore, dear reader.
In terms of sound quality I have to agree that this is a pretty good choral recording, though it is not always crystal clear in stereo, and I have no multi-channel equipment. It is distant but with plenty of impact and you do feel like you are in a large church, not that I have any idea how big St John's in Riga is.
No, my problem with this release is the performance. It has intensely beautiful singing, but as a performance it lacks any dramatic intensity. I suppose it strikes me as a performance to meditate with in your home, rather than to be caught up in and transported to the gates of heaven. Picking one movement is perhaps unfair, but it is a good illustration of the qualities of the performance. Track 9, Blagosloven Yesi, Gospodi tells the story of the resurrection of Christ so in my view some storytelling is required. We need to feel an identification with the characters in the story, whether it be the angel announcing the resurrection, or the disciples hearing the message and praising God. Klava begins slowly and beautifully, but at no point did I feel a story was being told, let alone the most important story ever. Also the tenor solo singing the words of the angel should stand out, here it is given to the full tenor section and blends into the overall sound. Towards the end of this number Rachmaninov introduces the znamenny chant which appears again in the third of his symphonic dances. You wonder whi he bothered in this performance which is so slow and lacking in fervour. The final 'Alliluiya' section does not sound like anyone really cares about praising God.
For me then this is a beautidul dud, a performance that seems all about beauty and nothing about the message of the words and music.
Sadly neither of the other two SACDs I have are up to much either. Paul Hillier on Harmonia Mundi can conversely be too rushed and his basses can't plumb the depths like Klava's can. Korniev on Pentatone rules himself out by missing out one number and having the worst sounding soloist ever in the second number, amongst many other faults. If I want a recording that really carries me to the centre of this magnificent work then for me the only choice is the National Academic Choir of Ukraine, conducted by Yevhen Savchuk and recorded in Kiev cathedral in 2000. RBCD I'm afraid so the sound is nowhere near SACD standard, but it's on Regis, so is at bargain price, and here is a choir and conductor who actually know how to praise God and bring the full emotional range out of Rachmaninov's stunning writing.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 1  

Sergei Rachmaninov - Vespers, Op. 37