Rachmaninov: Vespers CD review – intense drama and fervour

Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Fifth Av, NY/John Scott
(Resonus)

The untimely death last year of the celebrated organist and conductor John Scott robbed the choral world of a major figure. Now, in his memory, Resonus Classics is releasing a series of six recordings made over his 11-year tenure as director of music at St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, beginning with an intensely dramatic reading of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Op 37 Vespers from 1915, a piece that is as much an affirmation of Russian nationalism as a work of devotion. Scott and his magnificent choir capture the fervent writing in all its rich variety, with the basses plunging to the depth of their register in true Orthodox style. Recommended.

Contributor

Stephen Pritchard

The GuardianTramp

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