Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil ("Vespers")


Rachmaninov's sublime and timeless composition is one of the true jewels of the choral repertoire. Many consider it the culmination of Russia’s golden age of sacred music -- and a window into a 1000-year-old spiritual tradition little known in the West. In this music, one can hear the liturgical chants of ancient Russia, the harmonies and rhythms of a more modern composer struggling to invigorate those ancient chants with the new musical ideas of his own era, and the sounds of Russian church bells, one of the deepest musical memories of Rachmaninoff’s Russian childhood.


The opus' settings borrow from three Orthodox services: VespersMatins, and Prime (The First Hour), in fifteen sections. Some of the incorporated chants are among the earliest in the Christian tradition.


Vigil is a demanding choral work where six-, seven-, or more-part harmonies frequently occur. Also notable in the work is the finale of the fifth movement, which challenges even the lowest-ranging of the bassi profondi (deep basses).

We celebrate Vigil's 100th anniversary this year. With an augmented chorus of almost 100 men’s and women’s voices, special soloists, and even actual Russian bells for the occasion, Slavyanka Russian Chorus will give three performances of this extraordinary composition this summer. Click here for the official concert series press release.


We are pleased to offer a 20% discount when purchasing tickets online in advance. Additionally, children 18 and under are welcome to enjoy our concerts for free (but they still need a ticket). Join us!



August 21, 2015
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Palo Alto, CA

August 22, 2015
Grace Cathedral
San Francisco, CA


August 23, 2015
First Congregational Church
Berkeley, CA

© 2015-2020 by morpho

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