Bucks County Choral Society - Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil
Date: September 28, 2012
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Bucks County Choral Society Opens 40th Season with Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil
The Bucks County Choral Society marks the beginning of their 40th Anniversary season, with a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil on Sunday afternoon, October 28, at the Choral Society’s 2012-2013 home – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Rt. 413 & Cold Spring Creamery Rd. in Doylestown.
BCCS artistic director Thomas Lloyd will be taking a somewhat unique approach to the All-Night Vigil, beginning the program by providing some history and context, as well as instruction and tips on what to listen for in the piece. The choir will be utilized to illustrate and illuminate particular passages or sections of the music. Following a short break, the All-Night Vigil will then be presented in its entirety.
Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil has been called an “extraordinary choral music composition”, the “crowning achievement of Russian choral music”, “a symphony for a cappella voices”, and “a tapestry of pure vocal harmony.” The All-Night Vigil consists of settings of texts taken from the Russian Orthodox All-night vigil ceremony. The complete work was composed by Rachmaninoff in less than two weeks in January and February 1915. It was received warmly by critics and audiences alike, and was so successful that it was performed five more times within a month. However, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent rise of the Soviet Union led to an almost total ban on the performance of all religious music throughout the country. It has been written that "no composition represents the end of an era so clearly as does this liturgical work".
"This is an inspired work that can be appreciated on so many levels, even by listeners who have never heard Eastern Orthodox singing before,” notes Lloyd. “Since it is only a little over an hour long, we have time to give the whole audience a 20-minute introduction that will allow listeners to become more familiar with the distinctive and deeply moving music of the ancient chant melodies, and the way Rachmaninoff infuses them with his rich and luxurious modern harmonic language."
Recognized throughout the region as Bucks County’s best large choral ensemble, the Bucks County Choral Society is an auditioned choir of one hundred voices, led by an outstanding artistic director. Singers come from all walks of life and with a range of musical skills, united in a dedication to providing a high quality choral music experience for the community.
To purchase tickets for Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, or for more information about BCCS, please contact the Bucks County Choral Society at 215.598.6142, or online at www.buckschoral.org.