Christians get to celebrate Easter twice. It’s a complex business. Unlike Christmas, which is celebrated on a particular date, December 25, the date for Easter is determined by the lunar calendar, which means that it changes every year, and that movable date is further complicated a disagreement between Christians following the Gregorian Calendar (Protestants and Roman Catholics) and Christians following the Julian Calendar (most of the Eastern Orthodox). For the Gregorians, Easter was celebrated a week ago. For the Julians, yesterday was Easter and since the Russian Orthodox Church follows that Julian Calendar yesterday, Sunday, April 12, was “Russian” Easter. Easter has traditionally been the highlight of the Russian year and here are three links of interest to the Refinersfire family. The first is from Russia Today and is a brief news clip about the celebrations in Easter. The second is a clip from the Easter liturgy in the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior, showing President Putin attending in the box originally reserved for the family of the Tsar. The third is of a performance one of Rimsky-Korsakov’s most popular works, “The Russian Festival Overture”, conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Finally, support classical music by buying it! Here’s a link to our favorite recording of the overture, the Chicago Symphony conducted by Leopold Stokowsky when he was 93 years old! It’s fabulous!
The Easter Service in Moscow
Valery Gergiev conducting
BONUS: Chicago Symphony program notes on the overture.