Podcast: Rachmaninov Vespers, Academy of Choral Arts, Moscow

RACHMANINOV, S.: All-night Vigil album coverAn introduction to a new recording of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, one of his finest choral pieces.

Rachmaninoff composed this music in 1915, on the eve of the Russian Revolution, and political events that would lead to a decades-long ban on playing any kind of religious music in concert. This music was finally heard again in churches in the 1960’s and in concert halls in the 1970’s.


Album details…
Catalogue No.: Delos DE3388



  • Is this going to be back in print soon? We were listening to the podcast on the way to school this morning, and my daughter asked me to buy her a copy…

    • Hi David, Glad both you and your daughter enjoyed the podcast. This CD is already available. If it isn't in a store near you, I know it is available through the online CD store http://www.arkivmusic.com I just checked there, and they have it in stock. They promise to get it shipped within 24 hours. In my experience with these folks, they usually deliver.

  • HI David, This CD is already available. It may be available at a local CD store, but if not, it’s definitely available at http://www.arkivmusic.com. Look up the Delos label, then look up Rachmaninoff. They say they’ll ship within 24 hours, so your daughter can have her copy right away.

  • Thanks, back in stock now! I guess there must have been a temporary stocking glitch.

    Love the podcast, by the way. And it must be quite effective for Naxos: I probably buy one out of every 5-10 CDs that you cover, and this is the second CD that my daughter has asked me to buy. (She seems to like Russian Music, the other was the Artyom Dervoed CD.) A great way to learn about music I largely wouldn't hear of otherwise.

    • I can definitely identify with a fondness for Russian music. In addition to the musical quality, Russian composers and music are often closely tangled with Russian history and polictics. This isn't surprising considering how completely the state controlled cultural activity for decades. This meant that composers like Prokofiev or especially Shostakovich were forever dealing with all kinds of political issues before they could even consider writing music the music they wanted to. In many cases they simply couldn't compose the music they wanted.

      I will remember your daughter's interest next time I look at some Russian music.

  • frc says:

    Thank you for the beautiful podcast! I am, of course, partial, being an Orthodox Priest. In any event, I have one comment for your in that the Sunday Vigil does not take place on Sunday night, but Saturday night. The Church retained the Hebrew reckoning of the day, as it is found in the creation accounts. Specifically, “there was night and there was day, the first day.”

    So, vigils begin with the setting of the sun the evening of a feast. For most of the history of the Orthodox church and as is continued even today in most monasteries throughout the world, since the third century, as the day of the Resurrection, Sunday is always celebrated with a vigil beginning on Saturday night.

    Thanks again!

    • Thank you very much for your email, and for the explanation of when the Sunday Vigil takes place. With your eloquent explanation, it makes perfect sense. I'm glad you enjoyed the podcast, it was a most enjoyable podcast for me to prepare, mainly because of the depth of the music. Thank you for taking the time to listen.


  • Raymond, I can't believe that as someone who owns well over 350 Naxos titles, it took me until last night to discover your podcast series and download the 46 that are currently available. I listened to three or four of them until quite late, the last one being this one on Rachmaninov's All-night Vigil – my favourite work in all classical music.

    Thanks to your podcast, I've been able to add this Delos release (as a download from Classics Online) to the 22 other recordings I have of this work. And while it doesn't knock Sveshnikov's incredible 1965 premiere recording on Melodiya off of my top spot, it's certainly up there among the first five I'd recommend to anyone.

    Keep up the great work, and I'll keep listening. I'm now subscribed to the Enhanced Shows, so I won't miss them as they're released.


    • Friedrich, Thanks for your wonderful email, I'm honoured to have someone with such extensive classical music knowledge enjoying my podcasts. The Rachmaninov Vespers have been a favourite of mine for a long, long time. After a few seconds of the piece, I find myself transported to another place and time.

      Thanks again for the note, I look forward to sharing my upcoming podcasts with you.