The Manhattan Choral Ensemble, directed by Tom Cunningham, will premiere my Lux Aeterna as part of a concert featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff’s masterpiece, All-Night Vigil (more commonly known as his Vespers), at Holy Trinity Church (213 West 82nd St.) in New York City on June 6 and 7. Both concerts will take place at 8PM. Ticket are $15, $12 (students and seniors) and can be purchased via Paypal at the MCE website by clicking here. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
The psalm texts of Vespers, one of the crowning achievements in Russian sacred music, are sung in the ancient Church Slavonic to music rooted in the traditional Znamenny chants of the Russian Orthodox Church, but infused with the transcendent romanticism of Rachmaninoff. This well-loved work features the famous Bogoroditse Devo and the hymn Rachmaninoff wished to have sung at his funeral, Nine otpushchayeshi. My Lux Aeterna, which uses portions of a Znammeny Communion Chant, was commissioned by MCE as part of their ongoing New Music for New York commissioning project, and was written specifically to complement this Vespers program. You can read more about how the piece developed here.