Rachmaninoff’s music for the All-Night Vigil service – long known inaccurately as his ‘Vespers’ – is a masterpiece in its own right. It draws on centuries-old Orthodox chant and the performance tradition of Russian folk music, and embodies the ideal of Russian church music championed by a group of Moscow musicians of the time. In this All-Night Vigil the great composer-pianist-conductor has allied his own imagination, skill and experience with the expertise built up at the Synodal School of Church Music – not least by its choir, which gave the first performances at several Moscow concerts.
This edition has been carefully prepared to present Rachmaninoff’s music in a clear and easily readable format, and also offers a new transliteration of the Church Slavonic text. For the first time an audio pronunciation guide is provided online, which will prove indispensable for choirs wishing to perform this most beautiful of masterpieces.
In the November/December issue of Choir & Organ, Jeremy Summerly writes that this edition of All-Night Vigil is "a timely publication and it is difficult to imagine it presented better." He says that the "introductory material is immaculate and places this culturally complex work in its colourful historical context," making this a "legible, user-friendly, and authoritative edition...a model of its type."
Editor Stuart Campbell has contributed articles on Russian music to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition) and Die neue MGG. Cambridge University Press published two volumes of his anthology of criticism entitled Russians on Russian Music. He is a tutor for the adult-education units of the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and joint musical director (with Svetlana Zvereva) of the chamber choir Russkaya Cappella.