Latvian Radio Choir

Arvo Pärt and Rachmaninov's 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

'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' wrote The Guardian when the 25 singers from Latvia performed Rachmaninov's Vespers. An incredible work, sung unaccompanied. 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.

For his Vespers, Rachmaninov used texts from the Russian Orthodox liturgy and was heavily influenced by Gregorian chant. The work is very 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's not without reason that it is one of Europe's best choirs, about which Gramophone wrote: 'an extraordinary group of singers.'

De vlekkeloze zang van het Lets Radiokoor

The Guardian