Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Holy Spirit, Apse of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome
‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you [NRSV, John, 14:25-26].
Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Click to go immediately to:
Patrick Wedd will perform Olivier Messiaen, L'Ascension, on the 1980 Wilhelm organ, on Ascension Thursday, May 5, at 1:00 pm, following the 12:15 liturgy. Admission free. Continue below to listen online to orchestral and organ versions of l'Ascension.
L'Ascension ("The Ascension") is a piece for orchestra, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1932-33. Messiaen described it as "4 meditations for orchestra."
The orchestral piece is in four brief sections:
- Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père ("The majesty of Christ demanding its glory of the Father")
- Alleluias sereins d’une âme qui désire le ciel ("Serene alleluias of a soul that longs for heaven")
- Alleluia sur la trompette, alleluia sur la cymbale ("Alleluia on the trumpet, alleluia on the cymbal")
- Prière du Christ montant vers son Père ("Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father")
A complete performance takes around 27 minutes.
Olivier Messiaen: L'Ascension, Four meditations for orchestra:
Performance of Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks,
Performance of the Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE,
Available, among others, for free online listening from the Naxos Music Library (info):
Performance of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Performance of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Sylvan Cambreling conducting [BNQ; BM] (info)
Available for free online listening from the Classical Music Library (info):
Performance of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Sylvan Cambreling conducting [CML] (info)
In 1933-34, Messiaen made a version for solo organ. The first, second and fourth movements are arrangements of the orchestral pieces, but Messiaen composed a new third movement, Transports de joie d'une âme devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienne ("Ecstasies of a soul before the glory of Christ, which is its own glory"), usually just known as Transports de joie
Olivier Messiaen, L'Ascension, Four meditations for organ:
Performance of Bert van Stam at the 1973 Marcussen & Son organ of the Sint- Laurenskerk, Rotterdam [YouTube]
Performance of Olivier Latry at the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris [YouTube]
Performance of Thomas Trotter at the 1914 Cavaillé-Coll/Mutin organ of the Collegiale Church of Saint-Pierre, Douai [musicMe]
Available, among others, for free online listening from the Naxos Music Library:
Performance of Olivier Messiaen himself at the Cavaillé-Coll of the Église de la Trinité, Paris [BNQ; BM] (info)
Performance of Tom Winpenny at the 1992 Rieger organ of St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh [BNQ; BM] (info)
Performance of Timothy Byram-Wigfield at the 2002 Harrison & Harrison organ of St. George Chapel, Windsor Castle [BNQ; BM] (info)
Performance of Colin Andrews at the C.B. Fisk organ, opus 126, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, SC [BNQ; BM] (info)
Charles Tournemire, L'orgue mystique: Easter Cycle, Op. 56: No. 23
Performance on the 4-manual 1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ of the former Abbey of Saint-Ouen, Rouen
Mass of the Feast of the Ascension
Prelude for the Introit [YouTube]
Paraphrases on a Choral [YouTube]
Click to go to Bach Cantatas for Online Listening.
Benjamin West, Ascension, 1801
Bach Cantatas for Rogate (6th Sunday of Easter):
Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch /Truly, truly, I say to you, Cantata 86, with performances by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Leusink and Rilling.
Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen / Until now you have asked nothing in my name, Cantata 87, with performances by Harnoncourt and Leusink.
Bach Cantatas for the Ascension:
Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen / Praise God in his kingdoms, Cantata 11,with performances by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Leusink, Parrott and Richter.
Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Wer da gläubet und getauft wird /Whoever believes and is baptised, Cantata 37, with performances by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Koopman and Leusink.
Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen / God ascends with shouts of joy, Cantata 43,with performances by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Koopman, Leusink and Suzuki.