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La Nativité du Seigneur - Messiaen

Join us for an organ recital of Olivier Messiaen's classic Christmas organ cycle, La Nativité du Seigneur.

Starting at 7pm and lasting for just over an hour, this is an excellent opportunity to hear this significant work, a meditative alternative to the flurry of carols at this time of year. The Cathedral will provide an atmosphere of calm, with semi-darkness, candlelight and incense in the air.

Considered to be one of the great organ works of all time, it is a musical masterpiece, which is impressive, original and memorable, and best heard in a large cathedral with a suitable organ and acoustics.

The work was written by Messiaen at the age of 27 (in 1935) whilst he was in residence at Grenoble near the French Alps.  In addition to his Christian theology, the movements were inspired by the mountains, as well as the stained glass windows in medieval cathedrals.

It is one of the earliest of his works to feature elements that were to become key to Messiaen's later compositions, such as the extensive use of the composer's own modes of limited transposition, as well as influence from birdsong, and the meters and rhythms of Ancient Greek and traditional Indian music.

La Nativité du Seigneur is a testament to Messiaen's Christian faith, being divided into nine ‘meditations’each depicting an image or concept from the birth of Jesus Christ.

Played by Paul Walton and David Bednall.

Admission to the recital is free, and all are welcome.

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