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Vlaams Radiokoor / Wouter Van Vaerenbergh

Rachmaninov & Mazzoli: Vespers

Vlaams Radiokoor

‘There was evening and there was morning – the first day”. (Gen. 1:5)

The daylight fades, night falls. The voice takes over from the sun: the Vespers resound to illuminate heart and mind.

The intense Vespers of the maestro Rachmaninov, deeply rooted in the Orthodox tradition, meet the contemporary Vespers of Missy Mazzoli – who makes a distorted, contemporary version, seeking faith in a world where technology rules.

Vigil for the whole night

Rachmaninov wrote his Vespers not as an avid believer, but from a fascination with the ancient melodies of the Orthodox liturgy. Completely in line with that faith, where only the voice can convey the true meaning of the Holy Word, he composes for an a capella chorus and delves deep into the possibilities that the voice offers him.

Both enchanting and disturbing

In Vespers for a New Dark Age, written as a five-part suite, Missy Mazzoli brings together elements from liturgical choral music, avant-garde electronics and New Age. She adds an electronic layer to the sounds produced by humans: ethereal vocal lines float above indie-like synth and violin parts and at times pop-like rhythms. And as with the traditional Vespers, the text plays a leading role, thanks to the poetry of the American poet Matthew Zapruder.

Flagey, Vlaams Radiokoor

In the context of

Rachmaninov 150