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Gretchaninov Vespers
[Hyperion CDA67080]


Gretchaninov was initially taught by Anton Arensky in Moscow, and then later, in 1890, he went to St Petersburg to study with Rimsky-Korsakov. It was he who influenced his style and helped him launch his professional career. After the Revolution, Gretchaninov became increasingly uneasy in Soviet Russia, and in 1925 left forever. In 1946 he took American citizenship.

An unusually versatile and prolific composer, he wrote operas, symphonies, chamber music, over 250 songs, and a great deal of music for children. He has been described as the most representative composer of his generation writing for the Orthodox service.

Vespers is part of the All-Night Vigil service, and Gretchaninov's setting was composed, premiered, and published in 1912. This precedes Rachmaninov's setting by three years. It appears to have lain dormant for some eighty years until it was revived in America for its first performance of modern times in 1995.

'Great blocks of beautifully contructed sound are stunning in their apparent simplicity' (The Scotsman)

'Two highly attractive and unstuffy Russian liturgical works in attractive performances' (Classic CD)

'This recording brings a sense of deep spiritual peace and will especially appeal to those who already know the beauties of the Russian liturgical tradition' (Contemporary Review)

Now the Powers of Heaven, Op 58 No 6 [5'20]
In Thy Kingdom, Op 58 No 3 [7.29]
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy Servant, Op 34 No 1 [2'32]
All-Night Vigil, Op 59
Vsenoshchnoye bdeniye [47'12]

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