Many spent Friday night celebrating real or imagined Irish heritage, but at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the world-renowned Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir turned its talents toward music from its home country. Under artistic director Paul Hillier and with organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, the choir’s performances inspired a transporting awe, hard to find no matter where you’re from.

The choir did sing some non-Estonian music, specifically excerpts from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil.” Those who know Rachmaninoff as Mr. Big Tune will be surprised by this rapt devotional work of Russian Orthodox harmonies and complex vocal techniques. The choir realized every detail of the composer’s conception, with perfect blending up and down the tonal spectrum and the kind of virtuosity that makes everything sound easy.

These same virtues shone in the native Estonian works as well: Cyrillus Kreek’s imaginative, loving arrangements of five Estonian religious folk songs, and five separate choral pieces by Arvo Part, whose spare harmonies and hypnotic textures have made him Estonia’s most famous composer. (Besides providing accompaniment, organist Bowers-Broadbent also soloed in two intriguing Part works.)

The choir’s flawless intonation, pure, thrilling tone, and careful attention to text and structure brought out the surprising narrative energy and ebullience of Part’s “Dopo la Vittoria,” the riveting dissonances in “Nunc Dimittis” and the harmonic ebb and flow of “Da Pacem Domine.” At the close of the program, as each word rang out clear and urgent in the breathtakingly intense prayer “Salve Regina,” earthly concerns of any kind felt trivial indeed.