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Gloriae Dei Cantores releases All-Night Vigil, Op. 37 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, conducted by Peter Jermihov (internationally recognized specialist in Russian and Orthodox liturgical music) and produced by Richard K. Pugsley, director of Gloriae Dei Cantores. Expressing their ongoing vision of unity through music, Gloriae Dei Cantores is joined by members of the St. Romanos Cappella, The Patriarch Tikhon Choir, and The Washington Master Chorale. Soloists Dmitry Ivanchenko and Mariya Berezovska, of the National Opera of Ukraine in Kiev join the seventy-seven singers for this landmark collaboration. Vadim Gan, protodeacon under the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church sings the clergy exclamations with Dmitry Ivanchenko. All-Night Vigil was recorded by legendary sound engineer, Keith O. Johnson from Reference Recordings.
"Rachmaninoff submitted the newly-composed score of the All-Night Vigil, Op. 37 for evaluation and correction to his former composition teacher, Sergei Taneev (1856-1915). The esteemed master, known for his critiques and detailed insights, complimented the younger composer and returned the score without a single correction. . . He may have recognized the coming into the world of an extraordinary composition."— From the Program Notes by Peter Jermihov
Beginning in 2014, Richard K. Pugsley, the Gloriae Dei Cantores choir and conductor Peter Jermihov began studying and preparing extensively to record this masterpiece. Gloriae Dei Cantores' is known for their extensive commitment to the vision of the composer and the expression of the text through the music. The search for authenticity, direct empathy with each word and phrase, and the premise of a religious approach were aspirations that prompted and sustained the vision for this project. Rachmaninoff, although not an avid church goer, was, unquestionably, a pious Orthodox Christian. The spiritual and cultural roots of sacred music were ingrained into his consciousness. This recording, and accompanying fifty-two page booklet, explores Rachmaninoff's vision and intention in a work that has become known as the crowning achievement of the Golden age of Russian Orthodox sacred choral music.
"As an exchange student in Europe, my first time away from home, I was introduced to a memorable choral experience at St. Petersburg. The voices were around me, powerful, immersive, and the performance deeply moving. The music and its Russian passion has stuck with me. For years, I've designed and built recording equipment to capture the "you are there experience" so important for this musical performance. We recorded this album at The Church of the Transfiguration, in Orleans, MA. This outstanding acoustic space, constructed of solid block materials and designed by one of our very great acousticians helped create the visual acoustic staging and perceptual reality needed for serious involved listening. During the recording and production, everyone was very understanding and supportive and the spiritual connection created by this great choir is memorable." — Keith O. Johnson, Reference Recordings
" ....for this new recording has the essential sound of the Russian choirs, with their bass-centered sonority, and tempos which allow the music to unfold in the measured pace of a devotional service. Better yet, the text-based spiritual approach to the music...stirs at least as deeply as [the] ...Russian recordings. While referring to the texts, you will have the pleasure of seeing the gorgeously illustrated booklet, with a background on each hymn and photographs of Russian churches, countryside and icons. The result is one of the very finest recordings this work has ever received."
Ronald E. Grames Fanfare July/August 2017
"...a landmark recording, one that is destined to become the new standard for this work. And if you don't know the Rachmaninoff "All-Night Vigil " yet, THIS is the recording you should get to begin your acquaintance. You will have to wait a long time before something better comes along!"
Vladimir Morosan Musica Russica
"This new version of the much-recorded work combines a superb conductor of Russian liturgical music with a choir that has toured Russia several times since its early days. The surround-sound ...makes a stunning effect. The conductor's note is the most detailed annotation that this work has ever been given for a recording. ...this splendid performance in outstanding surround sound can be recommended to anyone who wants to acquire the work today. ...a triumph. "
J.F. Weber Fanfare July/August 2017
"As I listened, I was again and again reminded of Sveshnikov's benchmark recording . The musical virtuosity never overshadows the worship conveyed in the text, but rather augments it. The quality of the recording itself is luxuriant . . . a bass section that is virtually unmatched . . . I should add that the fifty-two page booklet that comes with the recording is delightful. To me Jermihov's recording now stands alongside Sveshnikov's as its equal."
Oktavism.com April 2017
Recording of the Month . . . "The sound produced by Jermihov's choir is marvelous. Peter Jermihov and his distinguished combined choir offer a very fine performance indeed and the excellent sound...suits the performance very well indeed. This new disc is a splendid achievement and I've found listening to it an uplifting and rewarding experience."
John Quinn Music Web International May 2017
"For those who have never heard Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vigil in an exemplary performance, this is a superlative recording of the some of the superlative music in the entire history of the art. It is beyond glorious."
Jeff Simon The Buffalo News March 31, 2017
"We are invited to lift our spirits through a deeply inspired performance of Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil. This performance rings with devotional majesty . . . The stunning surround sound comes to us through the combined efforts of Keith O. Johnson and Sean Royce Martin."
Gary Lemco Audiophile Audition March 2017
Unearthly serenity and intensely devotional . . . deep exaltation that is unequaled in my experience . . . a strong candidate for my 2017 Want List. —Daniel Morrison, Fanfare
"Such a superlative performance requires an equally brilliant recording Listening to the 5.1 tracks . . . I was thrilled about their clarity, transparency and wide dynamics...The sheer beauty . . . is breathtaking, you feel surrounded by the glory of the chorus."
John Miller HRAudio.net March 23, 2017
"The present recording takes its place near the top of the list. The chorus here sings with impeccable intonation, a richly blended sound that never turns muddy,,,The recorded sound captures the space of the church realistically... retaining clarity of lines and voicing . . . found the listening experience thrilling . . . Very highly recommended."
Henry Fogel Fanfare July/August 2017
"The combined choirs attain a sound that is rare outside of Russia, a rich bass-centered sonority. The choir's blend and pitch are outstanding. ...an authentic Russian sound . . . ...it would be hard to beat the current recording. Recommended!"
Richard A. Kaplan Fanfare July/August
Gloriae Dei Cantores (Singers to the Glory of God) holds a passionate dedication to the faithful representation of spiritual and musical authenticity in the choral arts. Sharing its vision of inspiration and hope, the choir has touched the hearts of audiences in twenty-four countries in Europe and Asia, as well as extensive tours and concert series in the United States. The choir's catalog of more than fifty recordings showcases an expansive repertoire, encompassing both masterworks and rarely performed musical treasures from Gregorian chant to the twenty-first century. Richard K. Pugsley and Gloriae Dei Cantores have garnered high praise for bringing lesser- known, yet fully deserving composers and their works to light. The choir makes its home at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts, where it sings worship services throughout the year.