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Friday, April 24, A.D. 2009
Russian Easter Overture

I have found it impossible to convey the peculiar experience of Orthodox Pascha to the Gentiles. Music begins where words fail, and the composition below offers a hint of the celebration.

Moreover, among the Orthodox, I am strongly biased in favor of the Russian liturgical tradition. The New Testament may have been written in Greek by Jews, but doxological perfection awaited one thousand years. Greeks, Arabs, and all the others surely will disagree, but they are likely quite wrong.

While unable to convey the joy, meaning, and transcendance of Pascha, the Russian Easter Overture of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov does suggest, analogically, the mood felt on Pascha. If you are familar with the Russian Paschal celebration, you will enjoy the echoes of the Feast of Feasts in the work. If you are not so aware, then you should plan to spend Orthodox Pascha next year at the all night celebration.

You can listen below to the overture performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Leopold Stokowski.

Part I:

Part II:

Here is a video of a performance by the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra. It is somewhat more fulfilling to see an orchestra is action. It makes me proud to be human.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death . . .

Posted by Joseph on Friday, April 24, Anno Domini 2009
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