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Rachmaninoff's Vespers (All-Night Vigil) | Crouch End Festival Chorus

Saturday March 25, 2023 at 19:30
St Jude-on-the-Hill, London
£20 (reserved); £10 (unreserved); full time students half price
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Vespers, 'All-Night Vigil' Op 37 - Sergey Rachmaninoff
  2. Sing to the Moon, arranged for a cappella choir - Laura Mvula
  3. Crossing the Bar - Rani Arbo

The theme of Crouch End Festival Chorus's latest concert is the night - not a night of darkness but one lit by the lamps of the Orthodox church, by the moon and the stars, and the lights of a ship at sea.

Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil is more commonly known as his Vespers. Written in 1915 and in contrast to his romantic orchestral music, the Vespers bring to life the ancient chant of the Eastern Orthodox Church. With an extraordinary variety of styles, colours and drama, it brings together the orders for the evening service of Vespers with the morning service of Matins and First Hour. Although he was not the first composer to make a setting of the All-Night Vigil, Rachmaninoff's deeply complex work has long held its place in the international choral repertoire.

The concert will begin with two short works. Crossing the Bar by Rani Arbo is based on the Tennyson poem and depicts, at one level, the start of a sea voyage but also the transition from life to death, and the future of the soul in eternity.

The arrangement of Laura Mvula's Sing to the Moon was made for the Eric Whitacre singers, by Laura Mvula, and was subsequently performed by the BBC Singers at the Last Night of the Proms in 2019. "Sing to the moon, and the stars will shine" was something said to the Harlem jazz-singer, Adelaide Hall, by Laura's father and provided the inspiration for this beautifully affecting piece.

St Jude-on-the-Hill
Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb
NW11 7AH

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