“Reverent, Transcendent Rachmaninov All-night Vigil”

Anyone familiar with this repertoire, so intimately associated with Russian culture and religious tradition, who happened to be looking for an exemplary recording, might understandably assume that the ideal performance would be owned by a Russian church or concert choir; after all, these groups, theoretically at least, possess both the singular vocal quality and practiced technique, along with the inherent interpretive understanding, to set the standard for all others. This new recording from Charles Bruffy and his combined Phoenix and Kansas City Chorales not only destroys any such notion, but stands both as the All-night Vigil’s reference–a stunning rendition a world apart from any other recording of the work–and as a major achievement in the history of choral recordings.

Artistic Quality: 10, Sound Quality: 10

Review by: David Vernier

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