In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.
This Late Night Prom is a chance to relive the Latvian Radio Choir performing a work hailed as ‘the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church’. Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil (Vespers) is also one of the loveliest works of any faith – a profoundly moving statement of belief and the last major work the composer completed before he left Russia.
Sung unaccompanied, the Vigil is a choral tour de force, pushing the singers to the limits of both range and dynamics. The effect is strikingly dramatic, encompassing the ecstatic choral celebration of the Resurrection Hymn ‘Today salvation has come’ and the infinite tenderness of the ‘Ave Maria’.