The Clarion Choir announces the release of Rachmaninoff’s The All-Night Vigil on PENTATONE
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 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 Slavic choral repertoire have garnered international attention and acclaim. While many orchestras and pianists will be celebrating Rachmaninoff’s anniversary year, Steven Fox and The Clarion Choir are caring for the beloved composer’s choral works after a lifelong dedication to repertoire.
Looking back on the history of the Clarion Choir’s Slavic 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 BBC Music Magazine Chorale Award. In 2017, the Clarion Choir recorded the world premiere of Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem, which was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Choral Performance. Two years later, the Clarion Choir teamed up with the Cathedral Choral Society, the Kansas City Chorale and conductor Leonard Slatkin for the world premiere 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 reassembled from different archival sources. The recording received the 2020 Critic’s Choice in Gramophone award and was nominated for two GRAMMY awards.
Kastalsky was Rachmaninoff’s mentor in choral music and the Clarion Choir’s extensive knowledge of Katalasky’s works deeply inform their forthcoming recording and performances of Rachmaninoff’s The All-Night Vigil. The Clarion Choir first presented the All-Night Vigil in 2012 and 2013 at Trinity Wall Street, followed by performances at the Quebec Sacred Music Festival in 2013 and the University of Toronto in 2020.
The two works of which Rachmaninoff was most proud were The Bells and the All-Night Vigil, two large-scale choral works. In upcoming concerts with the Clarion Choir, the Cathedral Choral Society and the Baltimore Symphony, Steven Fox is leading an in-depth exploration of this magical and under-performed 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 Saint John Chrysostom, on New Year’s Day, and leads to performances of the bells of the Washington National Cathedral in March. 2023, followed by the All-Night Watch at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium on May 5. Steven Fox first conducted Rachmaninoff’s Night Vigil as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College in the year 2000. On May 3, two days before the performance at Carnegie Hall, he returned to Dartmouth for a performance as a reminder of the work at Rollins Chapel. The project continues in November 2023 with performances of the Spring Cantata and Folk Songs by Rachmaninoff with the Clarion Choir, Cathedral Choral Society and Orchestra Modern.
For the latest news and information on the 2022-2023 Clarion Choir and Clarion Orchestra season, visit their website at clarionsociety.org.
Rachmaninoff Highlights 2022-2023 from the Clarion Choir & The Clarion Orchestra
Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom by Rachmaninoff
December 31, 2022 and January 1, 2023, 5 p.m.
Church of the Resurrection (119 E. 74th Street, New York, NY 10021)
The bugle choir
Steven Fox, conductor
The Clarion Choir and conductor Steven Fox launch a year-long exploration of Rachmaninoff’s complete choral works with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s first major choral work, the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, written in 1911 and a work of of great beauty and epic scale.
March 19, 2023, 4 p.m.
Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016)
Baltimore Cathedral Choral Society and Symphony Orchestra
Steven Fox, conductor
Rachmaninoff: The Isle of the Dead
Augusta Read Thomas: Ring Out, Wild Bells
Rachmaninoff: The Bells
Rachmaninoff’s Night Vigil (“Vespers”)
May 5, 2023, 8 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019)
The bugle choir
Steven Fox, conductor
“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 recording of the work by The Clarion Choir on January 27, 2023, the Choir performs it on stage where the composer himself has performed as a pianist and conductor for more than 80 time.
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 No. 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 depictions of large-scale Renaissance works by Victoria, Palestrina, Taverner and Guerrero in the Met’s Medieval Sculpture Hall and 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.