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Ikon: Gretchaninov's Vespers
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1. Now the Powers of Heaven
2. In Thy Kingdom
3. Lord, now lettest Thou Thy Servant
4. All-Night Vigil
A recording by the Holst Singers of Gretchaninov's contemporary arrangement for "Vespers." Gretchaninov was born in the late 1800s and became increasingly uneasy in Soviet Russia, and in 1925 left forever. In 1946 he took American citizenship. An unusually versatile and prolific composer, he wrote operas, symphonies, chamber music, more than 250 songs, and a great deal of music for children. He has been described as the most representative composer of his generation writing for the Orthodox service. Vespers is part of the All-Night Vigil service, and Gretchaninov's setting was composed, premiered, and published in 1912. This precedes Rachmaninov's setting by three years. It appears to have lain dormant for some eighty years until it was revived in America for its first performance of modern times in 1995.
This recording was made in The Temple Church, London, in 1998, and is the second high quality recording of Russian Liturgical music this ensemble has made on the Hyperion label. This CD, which focuses on Gretchaninov's compositions, captures the essence thereof, and was praised by Choir & Organ magazine as containing "...numerous delights. The performance by the Holst Singers is stunningly good. This serene, delectable music is irresistible and so is its performance."
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