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.
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.