The late-night Prom on Wednesday was given by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under its British chief conductor, Paul Hillier. They are a superb professional outfit, with some outstanding female voices – but I’m afraid it was a case of “would the last person still awake in the hall turn off the lights?”
Neatly accompanied by Christopher Bowers-Broadbent on the Albert Hall organ, the programme mixed plainsong and early medieval music, by Pérotin and anon, with some ‘mystic minimalism’ motets from the stupendously dreary pen of Estonia’s very own Arvo Pärt, 70 this year. A little of his plodding, penny-plain triadic harmonies goes a long way.
Still, even at 11.30pm the arena was packed with avid Pärt fans. The bad news? Quite a few of them seemed to be comatose on the floor. Doubtless meditating on the true nature of eternity.