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The Clarion Choir Announces the Release of Rachmaninoff's The All-Night Vigil ('Vespers') on PENTATONE

August 9, 2022 | By Matt Herman
Managing Director, 8VA Music Consultancy

Artistic Director Steven Fox also conducts Rachmaninoff's large-scale choral works in 2023 in honor of the composer's 150th birthday with The Clarion Choir, Cathedral Choral Society, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra


The Clarion Choir announces the upcoming release of their fourth recording, Rachmaninoff's the All-Night Vigil, on January 27, 2023 on PENTATONE. Over the past decade, The Clarion Choir's exploration and recordings of Slavonic choral repertoire have garnered international attention and acclaim. While numerous orchestras and pianists will celebrate Rachmaninoff’s anniversary year, Steven Fox and The Clarion Choir look after the beloved composer’s choral works following a lifelong dedication to the repertoire.

Looking back at The Clarion Choir’s history of Slavonic repertoire, in 2016, the ensemble released Maximilian Steinberg’s Passion Week as their debut recording, which was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Choral Performance, as well as for the BBC Music Magazine Choral Award. In 2017, the Clarion Choir made the world premiere recording of Alexander Kastalsky's Requiem, which was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Choral Performance. Two years later, the Clarion Choir combined with Cathedral Choral Society, Kansas City Chorale and conductor Leonard Slatkin for the world premiere performance and recording of Kastalsky's Requiem for Fallen Brothers. Kastalsky wrote Requiem for Fallen Brother in 1918 as a tribute to those who had lost their lives in the 'Great War.' This work was lost after the Bolshevik Revolution and the score was re-assembled from different archival sources. The recording was awarded Critic's Choice in Gramophone in 2020 and nominated for two GRAMMY awards. 

Kastalsky was Rachmaninoff's mentor in choral music and The Clarion Choir’s in-depth knowledge with Katalasky’s works deeply inform their upcoming recording and performances of Rachmaninoff's the All-Night Vigil. The Clarion Choir first performed the All-Night Vigil in 2012 and 2013 at Trinity Wall Street followed by performances at the Festival of Sacred Music in Quebec City in 2013 and the University of Toronto in 2020. 

The two works that Rachmaninoff was most proud of were The Bells and the All-Night Vigil, both large-scale choral works. In upcoming concerts with The Clarion Choir, Cathedral Choral Society, and the Baltimore Symphony, Steven Fox leads a deep exploration of this magical, and underperformed, corner of Rachmaninoff's repertoire in the Russian language.

The year-long project begins with performances of Rachmaninoff's first large-scale choral work, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, on New Year's Eve and Day, and leads to performances of The Bells in Washington National Cathedral in March 2023 followed by the All-Night Vigil in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium on May 5. Steven Fox first conducted Rachmaninoff's the All-Night Vigil as an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College in the year 2000. On May 3, two days before the Carnegie Hall performance, he returns to Dartmouth for an encore performance of the work in Rollins Chapel. The project continues in November 2023 with performances of Rachmaninoff's Spring Cantata and Folk Songs with The Clarion Choir, Cathedral Choral Society, and the Orchestra Modern.

For the latest news and information on The Clarion Choir & The Clarion Orchestra’s 2022-2023 season visit their website at clarionsociety.org.

The Clarion Choir & The Clarion Orchestra’s 2022-2023 Rachmaninoff Highlights

Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
December 31, 2022 & January 1, 2023, 5:00 PM
Church of the Resurrection (119 E. 74th Street, New York, NY 10021)
The Clarion Choir
Steven Fox, conductor

The Clarion Choir and conductor Steven Fox kick off a year-long exploration of Rachmaninoff's complete choral works with a performance of Rachmaninoff's first major choral work, the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, written in 1911 and a work of great beauty and epic scale.

Rachmaninoff’s The Bells
March 19, 2023, 4 PM
Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016)
Cathedral Choral Society & Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 
Steven Fox, conductor

Rachmaninoff: Isle of the Dead
Augusta Read Thomas: Ring Out, Wild Bells
Rachmaninoff: The Bells 

Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil (‘Vespers’)
May 5, 2023, 8 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019)
The Clarion Choir
Steven Fox, conductor

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.

About The Clarion Choir & Orchestra
Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “a revelation,” The Clarion Choir is one of the country’s leading professional vocal ensembles. Their recent recording of Kastalsky's Requiem reached #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Charts and was nominated for a GRAMMY® for Best Choral Performance. The Clarion Choir has performed regularly in recent years as part of the MetLiveArts series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; including performances of large-scale Renaissance works by Victoria, Palestrina, Taverner, and Guerrero in the Medieval Sculpture Hall and the Met Cloisters. The Choir, and artistic director Steven Fox, have collaborated in recent years with renowned artists such as Harry Bicket and The English Concert at Carnegie Hall, Eric Jacobsen and The Knights, Susan Graham, Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Madonna at the 2018 Met Gala.



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