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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully recorded, beautifully sung, 18 May 2013
This review is from: Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil Op. 37 (Latvian Radio Choir/ Sigvards Klava) (Ondine: ODE 1206-5) (Audio CD)
Altogether a very nice record. I really must get an SACD player so that I can hear it in surround. The wonderful spacious recording seems to cry out for this sort of treatment. The choir sing wonderfully well, and some pieces such as The Great Doxology (Slavosloviye velikoye)get a wonderful luminous treatment.

Some pieces? Problem is, it is up against the greatest version of them all, the old Sveshnikov/RSFSR Academy Choir version of the 1960s. I've tried numerous versions, but none match the utter magnificence, the sonority of that old Melodiya recording. The greatest piece of all, the Nunc Dimittis (Nyne Otputschtschaeschi), where the basses sink to an astounding low B Flat, is, in this Latvian version, really quite flat in comparison, with none of the standing waves in the floor caused by Sveshnikov version. The gorgeous Ave Maria (Bogoroditze Dewo, raduisja) that follows it positively glows in the Sveshnikov version, but is rather limp in this version. Indeed, the Sveshnikov version has overall more impact, more drama. Perhaps I've loved the Sveshnikov version so long that I am no longer capable of impartial judgement.

Does this sound like damning with faint praise? I hope not. I would in no way discourage people from buying this recording, but I would encourage them also to obtain the old Sveshnikov recording - be prepared to kill for it, if necessary. As a public service, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWKA7i_JJ2M

http://www.amazon.com/Rachmaninov-Vespers-Op-37-Sveshnikov/dp/B000026CWL/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1368904048&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=rachmaninov+svsschnikov
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Teemacs
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Switzerland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 891