Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Sunday: Rachmaninoff Vespers

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This Sunday, March 6, 2011, 2:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati in downtown Tulsa, the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vespers. Tickets are $20 and are available online (and, presumably, at the door).

Also known as All-Night Vigil, the work is an a capella setting of 15 Russian Orthodox chants.

As I wrote back in 2004:

It is beautiful a cappella music for mixed chorus. Rachmaninoff's harmonies and embellishments are built around ancient Russian chants. The lyrics are from the Psalms and the Orthodox liturgy. Years ago, the Coventry Chorale performed several selections from the work, in Russian. As we worked on pronunciation, we had opportunity to read through the lyrics in English. The texts are filled with the glory of Christ, the Victor over Death.

Here is one of my favorite movements, No. 10, "Having Beheld the Resurrection of Christ," as performed by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir. (I know, I know, but it's lovely, and they show the sheet music in the video in sync with the voices.)

10. Having Seen the Resurrection of the Lord

Having beheld the resurrection of Christ,
let us worship the holy Lord Jesus,
the only Sinless One.
We venerate Thy Cross, O Christ,
and we hymn and glorify Thy holy resurrection,
For Thou art our God, and we know no other than Thee;
we call on Thy name.
Come, all you faithful,
let us venerate Christ's holy resurrection.
For, behold, through the cross
joy has come into all the world.
Ever blessing the Lord,
let us praise His resurrection,
for by enduring the cross for us,
He has destroyed death by death.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 4, 2011 12:43 AM.

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