St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10

Russia -Rachmaninoff 14.6.21

A musical tour of Europe to celebrate the UEFA EURO 2020.

This week we are travelling all the way to Russia. Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a country which spans 2 continents: Europe and Asia. It is the largest country in the world, covering over 17 million square kilometres.


Russia has a rich history of music from traditional folk songs to the sacred music of the Orthodox church onto famous classical composers like Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.


The Russian Orthodox church is a Christian church. The early music was sung by monks who would chant. They were known for their incredibly rich and very deep voices. In 1915 (100 years ago) Rachmaninoff spent less than two weeks writing his 'all night vigil'. It is based on the chants that would have been sung. It is sung in Russian and has some of the lowest notes that a bass has to ever sing. Some choirs struggle to find men who can sing it!


Here are some movements from the piece. You will also find an example of some monks singing. There is also a Russian boy choir singing in an Orthodox church. It isn't clear who the composer is (it is all in Russian!) but it is a great example of how low and deep even a teenage boy is trained to sing. 

Rachmaninov Vespers - 2 Praise the Lord (Greek Chant, Ps. 104)

Rachmaninov Vespers - 7 Hexapsalmos

Russian Orthodox Chant "Let my prayer arise."

Russian Boys Choir