Rachmaninov - All Night Vigil

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Darius Battiwalla , Rachel Fright & Charlotte Badham
Group type: Choruses
  • Saturday 12 March
    7.00 – 9.30pm
Ticket typeCost
Under 16sfree

Hauntingly beautiful unaccompanied choral work - doesn't last all night!

In common with people from around the globe, SPC has been shocked by the news coming out of Ukraine. The hostile invasion of a nation by a neighbouring country has rightly been condemned by people of all nationalities all around the world. Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus would like to join those voices in condemning the Russian invasion. We also feel it is important to emphasise that none of these terrible events is the fault of the Russian people, nor of the many Russian artists who have bravely criticised the actions of their government. And equally, none of it is the fault of Rachmaninov or Tchaikovsky, whose beautiful music we present on 12 March. The international language of music, so important to the identity of Russia and Ukraine, can perhaps speak more powerfully to us than words. It’s in this spirit that we offer this concert as a symbol of our solidarity and friendship with the Ukrainian people. There will be a retiring collection for the Red Cross Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal.

The All-Night Vigil is an unaccompanied choral composition by Sergei Rachmaninov which premiered in Moscow 107 years ago. Widely hailed as Rachmaninov's finest work, it was one of his favourite compositions, composed in less than two weeks by a composer who had stopped attending church services.

Written for a four-part choir, in many parts there is further splitting of voices, with eleven parts in the seventh movement. The fifth movement, Nunc dimittis, requires the low basses to negotiate a descending scale that ends with a low B-flat (the third B-flat below middle C).

The Chorus is thrilled to at last be able to present this great work to a substantial audience at St Mark's Church, Broomhill, following rehearsals that were largely on-line throughout the pandemic, and a socially-distanced presentation at St Mark's to a small audience. This is a rare chance to hear the whole Chorus sing in the more intimate surroundings of a church - an entirely appropriate setting for this aunting, atmospheric and extremely beautiful work.

In the first half talented mezzo-soprano Charlotte Badham will sing a series of songs by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, accompanied by Chorus pianist Rachel Fright.

Tickets £15 (under 16s free) available on-line, from Chorus members and on the door on the night.


Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus (Choir), Darius Battiwalla (Conductor), Rachel Fright (Piano) and Charlotte Badham (mezzo-soprano)


  • Sergei Rachmaninov: Morning; In the silent night; My child! You are as beautiful as a flower; The Lilacs
  • Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: At the Ball; None but the lonely heart
  • Sergei Rachmaninov: All Night Vigil

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