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All-Night Vigil, Op. 59

All-Night Vigil, Op. 59

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With this new album the award-winning Latvian Radio Choir conducted by Sigvards Kļava is turning its attention to the music of Alexander Grechaninov (1864–1956), one of the masters of Russian liturgic music. Grechaninov’s All-Night Vigil is a fitting continuation to the choir’s albums of sacred music by Sergey Rachmaninov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Together with the two latter names, Grechaninov’s All-Night Vigil, completed in 1912, belongs to the central repertoire of Russian liturgic music. Unlike the Vigils by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, Grechaninov’s work was written primarily for concert use. Grechaninov’s All-Night Vigilis a bright, optimistic work full of light. Grechaninov used old traditional Slavic chants as the basis of this work and selected the uplifting, solemnly glorious chants to emphasize the character of joy, exultation and jubilance.

The Latvian Radio Choir (LRC) ranks among the top professional chamber choirs in Europe and its refined taste for musical material, fineness of expression and vocal of unbelievably immense compass have charted it as a noted brand on the world map. The repertoire of LRC ranges from the Renaissance music to the most sophisticated scores by modern composers; and it could be described as a sound laboratory –the singers explore their skills by turning to the mysteries of traditional singing, as well as to the art of quartertone and overtone singing and other sound production techniques.


While there is no mistaking the urgency of the composer’s calls for mercy in his ‘Great Doxology’, or the joy unleashed in the final hymn to the “Victorious Leader”, the overall tone of the work is gentle, soothing, and altogether loving. As the composer told us, his aim was “to create a harmonic dress for our simple church songs”. For Slavic fire and brimstone, then, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The Latvian Radio is one of the world’s finest choirs and sounds it here. Informative notes, texts, and an English translation round out an offering that any choral aficionado would be proud to claim.

-- American Record Guide

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Ondine
    • UPC/Barcode: 0761195139721
    • Item Number: ODE 1397-2