Monday, October 12, 2009

Rachmaninoff's "Bless the Lord, O My Soul"

A gorgeous piece of music, from Rachmaninoff's Vespers: Blagoslovi, Dushe Moya (the text comes from Psalm 104):

The translation given at the YouTube page is this:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
blessed art Thou, O Lord.
O Lord my God, Thou art very great.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord.
Thou are clothed with honor and majesty.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord.
The waters stand upon the mountains.
Marvelous are Thy works, O Lord
The waters flow between the hills.
Marvelous are Thy works, O Lord.
In wisdom hast Thou made all things.
Glory to Thee, O Lord, who hast created all!

Rachmaninoff also wrote a Liturgy of St. John Crysostom that includes "Bless the Lord, O My Soul" - but I do believe this is the version for Vespers.

Will look more into this and return with what I find. I honestly don't know very much, from either experience or reading, about Orthodox liturgy, but am trying to learn.

[EDIT: Our great friend Caelius notes in comments that "This Psalm is the standard opening of the Orthodox Vespers service and is considered in that tradition to be a song of Adam."

Thanks, Caelius.]

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