Trinity Church Choir Performs in Conjunction with Ballets Russes Arts Initiative

Performance of Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil” Honors Victims of the 1917 Russian Revolution and Celebrates Russian Sacred Music.
By: Trinity Church in the City of Boston
BOSTON - Oct. 20, 2015 - PRLog -- Sergei Rachmaninoff’s haunting and deeply reverential “All NightVigil” is, perhaps, the perfect composition to honor those who suffered and lost their lives as a result of the Russian Revolution. On Sat., Oct. 24, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the choir of Trinity Church in the City of Boston will interpret the composer’s 100-year-old tour de force in a concert presented by the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative. The performance coincides with the 99th anniversary of the Russian Revolution—an event that drove Rachmaninoff and many others from their homeland and led to the suppression of his music, especially “The All Night Vigil,” for more than 70 years.

The concert will take place at The Mission Church, 1545 Tremont St., Boston. Prior to the performance, at 6:30 pm, Ballets Russes Arts Initiative Executive Director Anna Winestein, will deliver a lecture about the origins and influences of “The All-Night Vigil,” the history of Russian secular composers of sacred music, and Rachmaninoff’s legacy in the United States.

“The performance itself is a vigil for the suffering and displacement caused by the Russian Revolution,” says Winestein. “It was precisely on the 24th of October that Vladimir Lenin ordered Bolshevik forces to begin an armed insurrection that led to the overthrow of the temporary government brought in by the original Russian Revolution of February 1917, and eventually, to the formation of the Soviet Union.”

Rachmaninoff left Russia in 1917 never to return, and within one year reached the United States, which became his home until his death in 1943. Since religious practice and, with it, sacred music, was quickly curbed under the Bolshevik regime, after a handful of performances in its first two years of existence, “The All Night Vigil” did not sound in the composer’s homeland again until the 1990s. But the work, like the composer himself, continued to nourish the spirits of the Russian émigré community.

Also known as the “Vespers,” Rachmaninoff’s composition is perhaps the most famous and beloved achievement of Russian Orthodox liturgical music. Because Orthodox practice does not allow any instruments other than the human voice, the piece is an a cappella symphony, in 15 movements. Ten of these movements are Rachmaninoff’s transcriptions for a multi-part choir of traditional chants, and five are the creations of the composer—‘conscious counterfeits,’ as he called them. To place the “Vespers” in musical and historical context, Trinity’s choir will also perform short works of sacred music by two composers of the 18th and 19th century, the Ukrainian-Russian Dmytro Bortnyansky, and Piotr Tchaikovsky.

General Admission Tickets: $25 in Advance, $30 Day-of and at the Door. Premium Seating: $35; Tickets may be purchased online by visiting

For more information about this event, please directly contact: Anna Winestein at 617-599-3190.

Ballets Russes Arts Initiative (BRAI) is a nonprofit that fosters international creative exchange in the visual and performing arts, in the tradition of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Among other events this fall, BRAI is presenting the Midnight Sun Ball, at the Algonquin Club on October 31st, and a concert by a Russian string quartet on November 1st in Newburyport. The BRAI works to conceive, implement and facilitate collaboration between arts institutions and makers in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet region and the U.S., bringing about an exchange of ideas and greater cultural understanding.

Anna Winestein
Source:Trinity Church in the City of Boston
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