Sergei Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil
Latvian Radio Choir
Conductor | Sigvards Kļava
Inspired by the words, music and atmosphere of Russian Orthodox worship, Rachmaninov created with his Liturgy of St John Chrysostom and his All-Night Vigil two supreme examples of choral writing but also music of uplifting spiritual strength.
As instruments are being proscribed by Church law, the All-Night Vigil is composed for unaccompanied voices but Rachmaninov created a work of such richness that could be described as "choral orchestration". Dividing the chorus often up into eight parts and requiring a wide vocal range of the singers, Rachmaninov was asked: "Where on earth are we going to find such basses? They are as rare as asparagus at Christmas." But Rachmaninov knew well that, in Russian choirs, asparagus is available all year round.