The Grammy-Award-winning conductor Charles Bruffy brings together his two professional choirs, the Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale, for this recording of Serge Rachmaninoff's All-night Vigil. The scheduled release date marks the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of the work, which was given by the Moscow Synodal Choir on 10 March 1915.
The recording follows live performances of the work by the combined ensembles in April and May 2014, respectively in Phoenix and Kansas City. The Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale are regarded as among the finest professional choral ensembles in the world. Their recordings have earned a combined total of ten Grammy-Award-nominations and four wins. Building on the success of previous collaborations, the performances marked the seventh time that the two choirs have performed together. Of their 2009 performance at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times wrote that the choirs 'performed with a buoyant pulse and energetic finesse', and praised 'the choirs' refined sound and elegant phrasing'.
Serge Rachmaninoff's All-night Vigil stands as the crowning achievement of the 'Golden Age' of Russian Orthodox sacred choral music. The texts are drawn from the Russian Orthodox liturgy and the music goes beyond the strict requirements of the liturgical ritual, making it better suited for concert presentations of sacred choral music than for worship services.