© Janis Deinats

Latvian Radio Choir

Arvo Pärt and Rachmaninovs Vespers
International Top Choirs
Mon 9 Oct ’23 20:15 uur

Pärt - Nunc Dimittis
Silvestrov - Two spiritual songs
Rachmaninov - Vespers, opus 37

Mon 9 Oct ’23
20:15 uur
  • Mon 9 Oct ’23
    20:15 uur
    Main Hall
  • A drink is included in the price

'Anyone lucky enough to attend last Sunday's celebration of Rachmaninov's music at the BBC Proms could not help but be impressed by the flawless singing of the Latvian Radio Choir.' So wrote The Guardian when the 25 singers from Latvia performed Rachmaninov's Vespers. An incredible work, these Vespers sung a cappella, without orchestral accompaniment. Rachmaninov himself thought they were the best he had ever written - in just two weeks! - and they are probably the most frequently performed Russian choral music. An immersion into the world of Russian Orthodox church music.

The Vespers are also called Vigilia for all night. Rachmaninov used texts from the Russian Orthodox liturgy, was heavily influenced by Gregorian chant. For all its tunefulness, the work is also demanding; in one of the movements, Rachmaninov splits the choir into as many as 11 groups. And in the fifth, Nunc dimittis, he demands of the basses a low b-flat - one tone lower than the lowest string of the cello. 'Where on earth should I get such basses?' the conductor Nikolai Danilin asked him in despair. 'Those are as rare as asparagus at Christmas!' But Rachmaninov found them: 'I know what my compatriots can do...' And the Latvian Radio Choir can do it too; it is not for nothing one of Europe's best choirs, about which Gramophone wrote: 'an extraordinary group of singers.'

De vlekkeloze zang van het Lets Radiokoor

The Guardian