Cappella Amsterdam (photo Simon van Boxtel)

Rachmaninov Vespers

Cappella Amsterdam
Sat 10 Feb 2024 20:15 - 21:30
Sat 10 Feb 2024
20:15 - 21:30


Sergej Rachmaninov Vespers


Cappella Amsterdam
Daniel Reuss

Impressive masterpiece almost makes time stop

Rachmaninov’s monumental Vespers is one of the most beautiful, impressive a cappella choral works ever composed. The composition is based on ancient Russian Orthodox melodies. The masterpiece, however, was not really suitable for the strict requirements of Russian Orthodox liturgy. Its dramatic setting, symphonic scale and great virtuosity have made the work very popular in concert halls around the world.

The name Vespers is actually incorrect. Rachmaninov called his work Vsénoshchnoye bdéniye, which means ‘All-Night Vigil’. Strictly speaking, only the first six of the fifteen movements of this work are vespers (evening prayers). Movements 7 to 14 are Matins (night prayers) and movement 15 is a First Hour (morning) prayer. In concert form, it doesn’t last all night, although this masterpiece by Rachmaninov almost makes time stop.

Programme booklet (Dutch)