Inspired juxtapositions: Rachmaninov’s Vespers imaginatively clothed at Milton Court

Rachmaninov: Ex Cathedra/Skidmore; Osborne ****

Milton Court, 27th September 2015

“I write the music which I hear playing inside me,” wrote Rachmaninov. “I am a Russian composer, therefore my temperament, outlook and music are quintessentially Russian.” There are few more ‘Russian’ works than theVespers or, more accurately, Rachmaninov’s setting of the All-Night Vigil, yet its first performance took place not in a Russian Orthodox church, but in a Moscow concert hall in 1915. A century on, performing the Vespers in the acoustically wonderful Milton Court, Jeffrey Skidmore took the imaginative decision to interleave its movements with solo piano works, played by Steven Osborne. It proved inspirational programming.

Steven Osborne © Benjamin Ealovega

Steven Osborne
© Benjamin Ealovega

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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