NEW YORK: April 12, 2018
The forthcoming meeting of the Synod of Bishops will prayerfully mark the 75th anniversary of the repose of Sergei Rachmaninoff
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, in accordance with a request by the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission, on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at 2 pm, a pannikhida will be held at the grave of renowned composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff, at Kensico Cemetery in Mt Pleasant, NY. It is expected that the members of the Synod of Bishops, clergymen and laity will attend, and the Synodal Cathedral Choir under the direction of Peter Fekula will sing.
After the pannikhida, the choir will sing Nyne otpushchajushi from Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers,” which the composer requested be sung at his funeral. Unfortunately, this request was never fulfilled. The piece includes a tenor solo, while the bass section will sing a descent into a low-octave b, unique among all choral compositions, as the composer loved to recall: “In my Vespers, I most of all love one piece, from the fifth movement, Nyne otpushchajushi. At the end, the basses sing a descending octave to low b in a slow pianissimo.”
That evening, all-night vigil will be performed in the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City, and the next day, Divine Liturgy, during which the 10th anniversary of the Primatial service of Metropolitan Hilarion will be celebrated.