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Rachmaninov - Vespers - All Night Vigil

Identifier

003565

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Carlos Schwabe - The Three Wise Virgins [see Schwabe on this site for a symbolic interpretation]

A description of the experience

Serge Rachmaninoff - Vespers - All-Night Vigil

from the description on the youtube video

Olga Borodina, mezzo-soprano.
Vladimir Mostowoy, tenor.
St. Petersburg Chamber Choir.
Nikolai Korniev.

The All-Night Vigil (Russian: Всенощное бдение, Vsenoshchnoe bdenie), Opus 37, is an a cappella choral composition by Sergei Rachmaninoff, written and premiered in 1915. It consists of settings of texts taken from the Russian Orthodox All-night vigil ceremony. It has been praised as Rachmaninoff's finest achievement and "the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church". It was one of Rachmaninoff's two favorite compositions along with The Bells, and the composer requested that one of its movements (the fifth) be sung at his funeral. The title of the work is often translated as simply Vespers, which is both literally and conceptually incorrect as applied to the entire work: only the first six of its fifteen movements set texts from the Russian Orthodox canonical hour of Vespers.

Rachmaninoff composed the All-Night Vigil in less than two weeks in January and February 1915. The first performance was given in Moscow on March 10 of that year, partly to benefit the Russian war effort. Nikolai Danilin conducted the all-male Moscow Synodal Choir at the premiere. It was received warmly by critics and audiences alike, and was so successful that it was performed five more times within a month. However the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rise of the Soviet Union led to a ban on performances of all religious music, and on 22 July 1918 the Synodal Choir was replaced by a nonreligious "People's Choir Academy". It has been written that "no composition represents the end of an era so clearly as this liturgical work".

movements

  1. Приидите, поклонимся (Priidite, poklonimsya) / O Come, Let Us Worship (Venite adoremus)
  2. Благослови, душе моя (Blagoslovi, dushe moya)
    Praise the Lord, O my soul (Benedic anima mea)
  3. Блажен муж (Blazhen muzh) / Blessed is the Man (Beatus vir)
  4. Свете тихий (Svete tikhiy) / Gladsome Light
  5. Ныне отпущаеши (Nyne otlushchayeshi) / Nunc dimittis
  6. Богородице Дево, радуйся (Bogorodishche Devo, raduysya) / Ave Maria
  7. Шестопсалмие (Shestopsalmiye) / Glory be to God
  8. Хвалите имя Господне (Khvalite imya Gospodne)
    Praise be the name of the Lord (Laudate Dominum)
  9. Благословен еси, Господи (Blagosloven yesi, Gospodi) / Blessed be the Lord
  10. Воскресение Христово видевше (Voskreseniye Khristovo videvshe)
    The Veneration of the Cross
  11. Величит душа Моя Господа (Belichit dusha Moya Gospoda) / Magnificat
  12. Славословие великое (Slavosloviye velikoye) / Gloria in Excelsis
  13. Днесь спасение (Dnes' spaseniye) / The Day of Salvation
  14. Воскрес из гроба (Voskres iz groba) / Christ is Risen
  15. Взбранной воеводе (Vzbrannoy voyevode) / To the Mother of God

 

The source of the experience

Rachmaninoff

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities