Seraphic Fire's Rachmaninov Vespers,
reviewed by LAWRENCE BUDMEN
One of the most remarkable musical success stories in South Florida has been the rise of the professional chamber choir Seraphic Fire. Founded less than a decade ago, this superb group has presented widely diverse repertoire, encompassing Baroque masterpieces, Renaissance polyphony, contemporary choral literature (including several original scores commissioned by the choir), music of the Judaic liturgy and spirituals and bluegrass Americana. During the summer of 2010, Seraphic Fire's recording of Claudio Monteverdi's iconic Vespers of 1610 shot to the top of the classical charts on a leading online music distributor.
Continuing its ambitious programming, Seraphic Fire presented a very different version of the Vespers -- Sergei Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil on 1 October 2010 at First United Methodist Church (the organization's home base) in Coral Gables, Florida, USA. (Later performances were presented in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach.) This is music deeply imbued in the Russian Orthodox Church, at once deeply folkloric and austere in its reverential, sparely conceived vocalization of the liturgy...
Copyright © 11 October 2010
Miami Beach, USA
On 4 and 5 November and 6 and 7 December 2010, Seraphic Fire presents His Eye on the Sparrow, a program of gospel music. 8-12 December brings A Seraphic Fire Christmas. Handel's Messiah is presented on 18 and 19 December (with the Firebird Chamber Orchestra).
Seraphic Fire performs Orff's Carmina Burana on 7 and 8 January 2011. Out of Babylon, a programme of folk songs and Hebrew chants, with Indian and Iraqi instrumentalists and Cantor George Mordecai, will be presented on 9-13 February. J S Bach's St John Passion (with the Firebird Chamber Orchestra) will be performed on 18 and 19 March. The Firebird Chamber Orchestra plays Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 6 and Grieg's Holberg Suite on 14-17 April. A production of Purcell's King Arthur concludes the season from 13 to 15 May 2011. Patrick Dupree Quigley conducts all performances. Seraphic Fire performs in Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA. See www.seraphicfire.org