Records: Classical

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The Independent Culture
MICHAEL WHITE

Rachmaninov: Vespers. King's College, Cambridge/ Cleobury (EMI 1CD) John Tavener's emergence as in-house composer to the Church of England has been a generally happy but culturally paradoxical phenomenon, because Tavener is not an Anglican. He's Graeco-Russian Orthodox, and his music follows that tradition - which has meant that choirs the length and breadth of Britain have been gradually obliged to come to terms with it, including the exalted King's Choir who are issuing here their first disc of true Russian repertory. They come with basses who can accommodate the growling low B flat Rachmaninov (if not all Russian choral writing) demands. A good disc, destined to follow Cleobury's recent Rutter Requiem into the starry reaches of the sales charts.

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