Behind the scenes: Vigil
Vigil was intended to be the culmination of a triptych of choral music concerts from the Christian Orthodox tradition. Due to the cessation of activities over the past two years, we decided to condense these three concerts into one event. Tonight’s programme attempts to connect the greatest work of this rich tradition, Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, opus 37 (better known as Vespers), with beautiful works by two of today’s Canadian composers writing in the same tradition, namely Ukrainian-Canadian Larysa Kuzmenko and Russian-Canadian Evgeny Shcherbakov.
Evgeny Shcherbakov’s Triptych receives its world premiere performance this evening, providing a bridge between the past and present through a compositional and devotional vehicle that dates back over a thousand years. Following the same three-panel form, Triptych has three movements and a main central movement that is exactly twice the length of the shorter first and third movements. The texts are taken from the all-night vigil, the Troparion (a refrain-like stanza for use during psalm recitations) and an excerpt from Psalm 67. The new work’s first movement is to be performed before the Vespers section in Rachmaninov’s work, the main central movement comes between the Vespers and Matins sections, and the final movement precedes the final movement of Rachmaninov’s work.
The concert opens with Larysa Kuzmenko’s 2018 work Holy God, sung in Ukrainian. She writes:
My Ukrainian story is about the forced starvation of Ukrainians during the ‘Holodomor’ (holod: hunger / mor: extermination) of 1932–1933 when millions of Ukrainians died in the famine, including seven members of my mother’s family. Stalin sent his troops to take all the food away from the Ukrainian people.
Watch Vigil Again
Do you want to watch the concert again, or gift the webcast to a friend? We will be webcasting it from January 25 to February 8.
>> Buy your tickets here