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Directed by Stephen Cleobury
There are of course many fine versions of Rachmaninov's Vespers with mixed-voice choirs, both within the Russian tradition (for which the work was written) and outside it. This is the first to feature a choir of boys' and men's voices only. The result, whose point of departure was a particularly fine crop of low basses at King's that year, blends one of the finest choirs in the English choral tradition with some of the finest music from the Russian tradition. Furthermore, the beautiful acoustics of King's College Chapel are ideal for this repertoire, since they are not unlike those of a Russian Orthodox cathedral. This disc also breaks new ground in that the recording was originally made in surround sound. Though release in that format awaits further developments in domestic audio technology, the listener should already derive some benefit in the enhanced stereo sound of the present CD.