Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil

San Francisco Choral Society

San Francisco Choral Society Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil


The San Francisco Choral Society
Will Perform Rachmaninoff’s Brilliant
Joined by Special Guests, The Golden Gate Men’s Chorus
[email protected] 415-221-5590 www.sfchoral.org

San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Choral Society, under the artistic direction of Robert Geary, will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s brilliant All Night Vigil on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 in 8pm performances at the acoustically rich St. Ignatius Church, Parker at Fulton, at the University of San Francisco.

The Choral Society will be joined by the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, under the musical direction of Joseph Piazza, for the Rachmaninoff. The GGMC will also perform on the first half of the program work from their vast repertoire.

For tickets to see and hear this outstanding concert contact City Box Office at 415-392-4400 or online at cityboxoffice.com.

More than 200 singers will grace the St. Ignatius chancel to sing this masterpiece, a monument of Russian sacred music. Unaccompanied, the blending of human voices will bring this stunning work to life in this beautiful setting.

The soloists for Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil are tenor Kirill Dushechkin and alto Katherine McKee.

Rachmaninoff wrote All Night Vigil in 1915. The fifteen anthems within the piece are expressing a plea for peace at a time of war. Of the fifteen, ten are based on the chants of the Russian Church. Rachmaninoff wrote completely new music for the remaining five
sections. His deeply affecting and moving music is characterized by melodies of powerful emotion, supported by rich and lush harmonies.

The All Night Vigil (Vespers), is a service of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The piece consists of three canonical hours of Vespers, Matins and the First Hour.

Rachmaninoff set this to music and it is considered by many to be his finest accomplishment. During the war, Rachmaninoff had spent a year touring cities in support of Russian troops. His writing of this piece was the composer’s response to all of the chaos and mayhem that was all around his country. He later stated that he composed music to give expression to his feelings, just as he talked to give utterance to his thoughts.

The All Night Vigil was among Rachmaninoff’s favorite compositions. So close to his heart, that he requested that portions be performed at his own memorial.

The Russian Revolution, in 1917, wiped out Rachmaninoff’s estate. It was then he decided to immigrate to the United States and finally left his homeland in December of that same year. When he left Russia he had with him only a few books of sheet music

Years after Rachmaninoff left his homeland he signed a letter condemning the Soviet regime, that was later published in the New York Times. The Soviets responded immediately, and his music was condemned as being “representative of decadent art.”
Although this act was a crushing blow to the composer, the censorship in the Soviet Union did not stop the rest of the world from embracing this artist making him one of the higher paid concert performers.

During Rachmaninoff’s lifetime he was as famous for being a pianist, as he was as a composer. Many consider him to be the finest pianist of the 20th century. He was the first composer to make recordings of all of his piano concerts, with himself as the soloist. There are those who believe that Rachmaninoff began composing at the point where Tchaikovsky left off. High praise for Rachmaninoff, who held Tchaikovsky in high regard.

Front Orchestra Center Reserved: $33
Back Orchestra Center Reserved: $30
General Admission: $27
($2 discount for students and seniors)

415-392-4400 www.cityboxoffice.com

City Box Office
180 Redwood, Suite 100
S.F., CA 94102

Additional Dates:
Sat November 16, 2013 8:00pm
St. Ignatius Church

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All NIght Vigil (Vespers)


Robert Geary