Rachmaninoff’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Rachmaninoff’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom


Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943) is one of the best known Russian composers of the 20th century. His works, especially for piano and orchestra, are regular features in many concert halls. He also composed two major a cappella choral works—the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the All-Night Vigil—that display his Orthodox Christian faith.

As a young boy in the 1880s, Rachmaninoff spent his tween and teenage years in St. Petersburg studying music. His maternal grandmother regularly took him to church services, which featured highly accomplished choirs. These early experiences shaped his aesthetic approach.

The recording embedded above is Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, for mixed choir a cappella, Op. 31.  The St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic performs under the direction of Olga Stupneva.

About author

Seraphim Danckaert

Seraphim Danckaert is Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.