Rachmaninoff’s ‘All-Night Vigil’: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Hillier. (harmonia mundi)

Founded in 1981, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir has an estimable reputation. Four years ago, British choral director Paul Hillier succeeded founding artistic director Tonu Kaljuste.

Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil,” better known as “Vespers,” provides full evidence he has sustained the choir’s high musicianship. The 1915 work sets the texts of various services in the Russian Orthodox church to music.

Since the church banned instrumental music, the complex piece is without any accompaniment and presents considerable challenges to the singers. The Estonians meet them with luminous singing, rich in character, vibrant phrases and sublime beauty.