The November/December 2023 issue of Choral Journal is online and features an article titled “Performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil: An Interview with Conductors and Singers” by Vladimir Morosan. Following is a portion from the article.
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was a Russian composer and conductor considered to be “the last great figure of the tradition of Russian Romanticism and a leading piano virtuoso of his time.” Although he is perhaps most famous for his piano concerti, he composed two major religious works, including the All-Night Vigil, which has recently found a position of prominence in the choral canon. With its roots in Eastern Orthodoxy, the oldest continuous tradition of Christian worship, it is a work that attracts performers and audiences alike, inviting all who come in contact with it into an experience of a profound and seemingly timeless spiritual depth.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s birth, this article interviews conductors and singers associated with the All-Night Vigil to further illuminate the relevance of this sacred choral masterwork. As several of the respondents mention, to approach the performance and interpretation of the composition in an authentic and ultimately satisfying manner, conductors and singers can benefit greatly by gaining an understanding of the composer’s inner world and the cultural and religious milieu that shaped him.2 The contributors and this author trust that sharing these insights and experiences will inspire readers to become more thoroughly acquainted with Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil.
Read the full article in the November/December 2023 issue of Choral Journal. acda.org/choraljournal