Television debut – The Joy of Rachmaninoff

It is our absolute pleasure to share the news of our  BBC TV debut on January 1st 2016 in a documentary about the life and work of Sergei Rachmaninoff, The Joy of Rachmaninoff,  alongside a stellar line-up of contributors – Steven Isserlis, Stephen Hough and Vladimir Ashkenazy – and presented by the wonderful Tom Service.

Greek Cathedral BBC
At St Sophia’s Greek Cathedral Bayswater filming for the BBC

The programme can be viewed on iPlayer until 1st February. We appear about 38 minutes in, where they use movements 1 and 6 from the All-night Vigil (Vespers) to underscore the spiral into revolution which brought about the end of an era, most notably in the performance of church music — eventually banned by the Soviet Union. We are also used at around 58 minutes to close the programme: the sixth movement of the Vespers, the Nunc Dimittis, was requested by the composer for his own funeral (though not actually performed I don’t think) so underscores this section, with some lovely clips of our tenor Matthew Pochin, and a commendable low B flat from our basses in that famous scale, used as the closing frame of the credits.

The whole of The Joy of Rachmaninoff is well worth a watch, but if you are strapped for time, those are the Epiphoni highlights!

A separate take from the documentary, the full sixth movement, Bogoroditse Devo (Rejoice O Virgin) was kindly edited by the BBC and currently posted on the BBC Arts website.