Need Help Identifying Music from Rachmaninov Documentary
About five minutes into this Rachmaninov documentary on YouTube there's a choral piece playing in the background of a Russian Orthodox Church service. It sort of reminds me of some music from the movie Equilibrium, but I was wondering whether anyone reading this would have a clue about where I might find the original or maybe a similar piece, etc. Cheers.
Well, the word 'Aleko' comes up on the picture just prior to the music you mention, so I assume the music in question is from the one-act opera of the same name, which Rachmaninov wrote while still at the Moscow Conservatory. The opera has no connection at all with the orthodox service as shown on screen - it's about stolen love and murder in a gypsy camp based on a Pushkin poem. I'm guessing the music is from the campfire chorus but it's many a moon since I last played it. There are a few recordings - the one I have is by Neeme Jarvi/Gothenburg SO on DG - but I wouldn't call it essential Rachmaninov by any stretch.
I think Orthodox church music prohibits the use of any accompaniment to the voice(s) apart from occasional church bells so if this is more to your liking then investigate Rachmaninov's setting of Vespers (youtube link below):
I'm pretty sure you're right about the Orthodox Church's stance towards choral music during service. I remember Tchaikovsky wrote in one of his letters that he had trouble surrounding this issue himself.