The 'Vespers' is often considered Rachmaninoff's greatest choral work, and the composer requested that part of the piece be performed at his own funeral. Following the release of The Clarion Choir's recording of the work on January 27, 2023, the Choir performs it on the stage where the composer himself performed as a pianist and conductor more than 80 times and at Dartmouth College's newly renovated Rollins Chapel on Wednesday, May 3rd.
Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil ('Vespers'), op. 37 Mikki Sodergren, mezzo-soprano John Ramseyer, tenor Steven Fox, conductor
'The superb 28-member Clarion Choir was a revelation: Full-voiced, with rhythmic precision and articulation as clear as the orchestra’s, the ensemble easily switched gears from the sensual languor of “Endless pleasure, endless love” to the moving, oratorical statement of the opera’s dark lesson: “Nature to each allots his proper sphere / But that forsaken we like meteors err: / Toss’d through the void, by some rude shock we’re broke, / And all our boasted fire is lost in smoke.” ' Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal