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April 2021
6:00 PM
Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross and St Bartholomew
Plac Kościelny, Wrocław

Divine Liturgy | cancelled


Ekaterina Antonenko – conductor
NFM Choir
Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny – artistic direction of the NFM Choir


S. Rachmaninow St John Chrysostome Liturgy  op. 31

Chór NFM / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Chór NFM / fot. Łukasz Rajchert

Sergey Rachmaninoff went down in history primarily as a pianist, as well as the author of virtuoso   pieces for the piano and equally colourful and emotional orchestral works. The concert of the NFM Choir conducted by Ekaterina Antonenko will be a great opportunity to get to know this composer from a completely different perspective.

The Russian left behind two monumental works intended for a cappella choir. The first is the All-Night Vigil op. 37, the other is the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom op. 31, written by Rachmaninoff in July 1910 in the village of Ivanovka, where his family owned an estate and where the composer was resting after an eventful concert tour of the United States. Rachmaninoff wrote in a letter to a friend: “I have been thinking about the Liturgy for a long time and for a long time I have fought with myself to finally get to work. I started writing it basically by accident and it fascinated me. I finished it very quickly. It has been a long time since I had such pleasure in writing anything.”

In this work, the composer used texts attributed to St. John Chrysostom, constituting the basis of the divine liturgy in the Orthodox Church and being the Orthodox version of the mass in the Catholic Church. The work was premiered in Moscow in November 1910. Church authorities strongly protested, arguing that the musical language used by the composer was far too modern for the piece to be performed during religious services. Rachmaninoff did not try to promote the composition, so it quickly fell into oblivion. Listening to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom one hundred and ten years after its creation, it is difficult to agree with the allegations of church oficials. It is serious, austere music, but at the same time extremely beautiful and deeply moving.

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NFM – City of Wrocław institution of culture co-managed by:

Wdrożenie e-usług w Filharmonii im. Witolda Lutosławskiego we Wrocławiu - etap 2 współfinansowany jest przez Unię Europejską ze środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego w ramach Regionalnego Programu Operacyjnego dla województwa dolnośląskiego na lata 2007 - 2013 oś priorytetowa 6. Wykorzystanie i promocja potencjału turystycznego o kulturalnego Dolnego Śląska (Turystyka i Kultura), działanie 6.5. Działania wspierające infrastrukturę turystyczną i kulturową.