Advent Transition Music: Christmas Eve “Vespers” by Sergei Rachmaninov


vespers-1-art-sabawala-paintingPerhaps Sergei Rachmaninov’s greatest piece, All-Night Vigil (usually simply called Vespers) is a choral presentation of the texts used during Eastern Orthodox all-night vigils. These vigils are usually done on the Eve of major church festivals, such as…Christmas Eve!

As I said earlier today, Christmas isn’t simply a day; it’s an entire church season. It’s a season where we transition from repentance and meditation to celebration and joy. And to aid in that transition, many traditions have all-night Vespers to help us move from one season to the next.

And so, to encourage us in this transition time, I’d like to offer you my favorite recording of one of my favorite pieces ever, Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vespers, performed by the Swedish Radio Choir. You will need Spotify to play the playlist below (you can purchase the album as well). Have fun:

[image credit: “Vespers 1” by Jehangir Sabavala]