Chattanooga Now Chattanooga Bach Choir and friends perform Rachmaninoff's monumental 'All-Night Vigil'

Chattanooga Now Chattanooga Bach Choir and friends perform Rachmaninoff's monumental 'All-Night Vigil'

October 5th, 2017 by Staff Report in Chattnow Music

The Chattanooga Bach Choir, shown, will be joined by Voci Virili Men's Consort and Voice of Reason Women's Ensemble for Sunday's performance.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

If you go

› What: Chattanooga Bach Choir concert

› Where: Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, 214 E. Eighth St.

› When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8

› Admission: $20, free for students

› For more information: www.chattanoogabachchoir.org

Chattanooga Bach Choir will open its 2017-18 season with a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff"s "All-Night Vigil" for unaccompanied, mixed choir on Sunday night, Oct. 8 — a work so masterful it requires supplementation from two vocal ensembles to do it justice.

Collaborating with the Bach Choir will be Voci Virili Men's Consort and Voice of Reason Women's Ensemble.

"We are thrilled to perform Rachmaninoff's monumental 'All-Night Vigil,' considered a crowning achievement of Russian Orthodox choral music, at the acoustically sumptuous Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul," says David Long, Bach Choir artistic director.

Long says featured soloists for the concert will be Rosella Ewing, mezzo-soprano; Blaine Tooley, tenor; and Theodore Tsaltas, basso profundo. This performance will be sung in the original Russian.

"Reflective and deeply moving, the 'All-Night Vigil' is notable for the low bass notes characteristic of Russian choral music," says Suzanne Ford, publicist. "The 'All-Night Vigil' was one of Rachmaninoff's favorites of his own works and he requested that a movement from it be performed at his funeral."

Long says the work is regarded as one of the most challenging in the a cappella choral repertory, making technical demands on singers' intonation and breath control and requiring a complete engagement with the language and the texts.

"The texts are taken from the Russian Orthodox all-night vigil ceremony celebrated on the eve of great feasts and lasting from Vespers at dusk through midnight Matins until Prime at dawn," Long explains.

"Nine of its 15 sections are based on traditional Orthodox chants from various traditions — the ancient Russian Známenny chant, a more recitational Greek style and Kiev chant from the 16th and 17th centuries. After the opening call to worship, the unfolding movements portray the mystery of the creation, the incarnation of Christ and the salvation of the Resurrection, along with sections praising the Virgin, the Trinity and Christ triumphant."

For more information, visit www.chattanooga bachchoir.org.