Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Rachmaninoff)

Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostom (Rachmaninoff)

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Rachmaninoff)

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Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (), Op.31, by Sergei Rachmaninoff is one of his two major unaccompanied choral works (the other being his () or All-Night Vigil. The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is the primary worship service of the Eastern Orthodox Church.


Rachmaninoff composed the work in July, 1910 at his summer estate Ivanovka, following his American tour of 1909. Writing to his friend Nikita Morozov, Rachmaninoff said of the work, "I have been thinking about the Liturgy for a long time and for a long time I strove to write it. I started to work on it somehow by chance and then suddenly became fascinated with it. And then I finished it very quickly. Not for a long time have I written anything with such pleasure."Note: Liner notes PDF file is only accessible by first going to theHyperion website, then clicking the View sleeve notes/artwork (PDF) link

The work premiered November 25, 1910 in Moscow. Russian Orthodox ecclesiastical authorities strongly objected to the work's "spirit of modernism" and refused to sanction it for use during church services. Rachmaninoff did nothing to promote the work himself, and it soon fell into obscurity.

A portion of the Liturgy was given in concert performance in New York on Jan. 24, 1914 by the male choir of the Russian Cathedral of St. Nicholas, conducted by Ivan...
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