Portsmouth Choral Union with The Renaissance Choir: Rachmaninov Vespers

Conductor: Peter Gambie

Rachmaninov’s ‘All Night Vigil’ (more commonly known as his Vespers) is rightly regarded by many musicians as being the finest example of Russian sacred music. Written against a backdrop of political uncertainty in his homeland as the Bolshevik revolution was in its infancy and when World War 1 was at its most destructive. It contains an astonishing serenity, tranquillity and peacefulness.

Rachmaninov’s sacred choral masterpiece was composed in under two weeks in 1915 to benefit the Russian war effort. It is the setting for the important rite of the Orthodox Church, the office of vespers, the sunset evening prayer service (also known as Evensong). It is hugely loved by singers: it uses a joyful arrangement of Slavonic vowels and clusters of consonants that convey the meaning of the words. It is a challenge to sing!

Tickets: Full price £15. Children/students £2.

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