1987 Documentary: Litergy of St. John in Russia

November 21st, 2011

From Fred:

Religion and therefore the Russian work that we will perform was officially banned for three generations in Russia by the state and not accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church when it was composed in 1910 by Rachmaninoff because of its “spirit of modernism.”

View the 13 minute documentary on youtube found at:


This documentary is about an American Chorus which brought it back to Russia in 1987 and performed it to standing room only audiences; first in St. Petersburg, then Kiev and then in Moscow and more. Police in Kiev made the concert hall take down their one simple poster because it had attracted such a huge crowd, waiting to buy tickets, that it had flowed out in the street. The poster had been up only one hour.

Historical Note: The Berlin Wall did not come down until 19[89].

In 1987, I was working on a secret hideaway for top officials of the Voice of America in “The Mountain” that might withstand an exchange of 1,000 nuclear warheads with Russia. Did this music and that American chorus help change history?    Yes.

3 minutes into this documentary are clips of Russian people in the audience – crying.

Can we do that?  Can we help people cry?    Yes.

Learn the music.         Learn the words.        Watch Mark.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.