Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas and Rachmaninoff

So what is the story trying to tell us? Well in order to fully answer that question we each have to create space in our lives to actively listen to the story. And it also helps to hear the story told us in different ways.

I want to introduce you, if you aren't familiar already, with The Vespers. They are a sort of wonderful musical storytelling experience, encompassing such a broad spectrum of Biblical currents and themes, all culminating in and around Christ. Written by Russia's great composer, Rachmaninoff, the Vespers are how we translate Rachmaninoff's Russian title for the work, which most literally means "all-night vigil".

The Vespers are 15 choral movements, with each section focusing on a specific section of the Scriptures, from creation to the resurrection. I've been listening to them over the past few days, and it's been like jumping into a deep, refreshing pool on a hot summer day. With all the Christmas hubbub occurring right now, it is absolutely vital that we each take time to absorb and conform ourselves to the Biblical story of Christmas. This is a great way to do so. It takes a little bit of time, and a bit of patience to let the story unfold, but it is well worth the effort!

Here is the link to the first movement (all 15 are on Youtube, just follow on the sidebar for the next movement)

Here is the link to the text where you can follow along with both the original language and the English translation. it also has some good background on the Vespers.

I hope you enjoy! Find ways this Christmas season to get wrapped up in the real Christmas story.


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