GRECHANINOV Vespers. Holst Singers / Stephen Layton. Helios

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Grechaninov Vespers Holst Singers Stephen Layton Helios

ALEKSANDR GRECHANINOV (1864–1956)

Vespers

1 Nïne silï nebesnïya Now the powers of heaven Op 58 No 6

2 Vo tsarstvii Tvoyem In thy kingdom Op 58 No 3 [7'29] with JAMES BOWMAN countertenor

3 Nïne otpushchayeshï Lord, now lettest thou thy servant Op 34 No 1

Vsenoshchnoye bdeniye All-Night Vigil ‘Vespers’ Op 59

4 Blagoslovi, dushe moya Bless the Lord, O my soul

5 Blazhen muzh Blessed is the man

6 Svete tihiy Gladsome light

7 Bogoroditse Devo Rejoice, O virgin

8 Hvalite imia Ghospodne Praise the name of the Lord

9 Blagosloven yesi, Ghospodi Blessed art thou, O Lord]

10 Ot yunosti moyeya From my youth

11 Voskreseniye Hristovo videvshe Having beheld the resurrection of Christ

12 Slava v vïshnih Bogu Glory be to God

13 Vzbrannoy voyevode To thee, victorious leader

Holst Singers / Stephen Layton

Grechaninov was initially taught by Anton Arensky in Moscow, and then later, in 1890, he went to St Petersburg to study with Rimsky-Korsakov. It was he who influenced his style and helped him launch his professional career. After the Revolution, Grechaninov became increasingly uneasy in Soviet Russia, and in 1925 left for ever. In 1946 he took American citizenship.

An unusually versatile and prolific composer, he wrote operas, symphonies, chamber music, over 250 songs, and a great deal of music for children. He has been described as the most representative composer of his generation writing for the Orthodox service.

Vespers is part of the All-Night Vigil service, and Grechaninov’s setting was composed, premiered, and published in 1912. This precedes Rachmaninov’s setting by three years. It appears to have lain dormant for some eighty years until it was revived in America for its first performance of modern times in 1995.

Helios CDH55352

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