Please note: This concert is in the past and has already taken place.


St Cuthbert's Chapel
College Road
Ushaw College

County Durham


Sergei RachmaninovAll-Night Vigil (Vespers), Op.37


Durham Singers

Programme Note

In his setting of the Russian orthodox All Night Vigil Rachmaninov distils all the magnificence of this service into an hour of intensely emotional music. The rich choral texture is suffused with the sound of Moscow's bells and ancient orthodox chants. The first six movements come from the Easter Vespers service that give the work its English nickname, beginning with a warm cry of welcome, and finishing with the well-known Bogoroditse (Hail Mary); the music continues with joyous celebrations of the Resurrection, that in the full liturgical setting would coincide with the sunrise on Easter Sunday.

The Durham Singers perform this choral masterpiece on Holy Saturday, in the stunning surroundings of St Cuthbert's chapel, Ushaw College.

Unlike the full Orthodox service, our concert doesn't start at midnight, or last all night, and instead of hours of psalm chanting between the choral movements, we offer you instead short readings about church services from Russia’s rich literary heritage, to help set the music in context.

Durham Singers Rachmaninov All Night Vigil

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