Rachmaninoff: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom – Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putniņš

February 16, 2022, 9:00 am

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The music of the Russian Orthodox Church was an essential part of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s musical background. His Vespers has long been admired as a summit of Russian liturgical music. It has unfortunately tended to overshadow the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, his earlier large-scale sacred composition. The Liturgy consists of a sequence of prayers, psalms, and hymns, which are sung or chanted by the different participants in the service. Rachmaninoff did not make use of any existing chants (as he would later do in his Vespers), but chose to reflect their style and spirit with music entirely of his own. The music is here performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir – listed among the ten best choirs in the world by the BBC Music Magazine in 2020 – conducted by Kaspars Putniņš.