June 1, 2014


"Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven [NRSV, Acts 1:11].”

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
The Seventh 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 29, 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:
  1. Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père ("The majesty of Christ demanding its glory of the Father")
  2. Alleluias sereins d’une âme qui désire le ciel ("Serene alleluias of a soul that longs for heaven")
  3. Alleluia sur la trompette, alleluia sur la cymbale ("Alleluia on the trumpet, alleluia on the cymbal")
  4. 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 Leopold Stowkowski and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra [Grooveshark]

Performance of l'Orchestre de l'Opéra Bastille, Myung-Wung Chung conducting [musicMe]

Organ version:

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:

Click on the name to go to performances by Charles Krigbaum, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Thomas Trotter and Olivier Latry.


Master M S, Visitation (detail),
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest, 1506

Celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, Friday, May 31, by listening to Johann Sebastian Bach, Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243.  Click to go to ten versions for free online listening with Latin text and English translation.

Thomas Tallis, If ye love me, one of the most beloved motets, will be sung at the 10 am Choral Eucharist this coming Sunday.

Thomas Tallis, If ye love me.

If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father,and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you for ever, ev’n the spirit of truth.
Words: John 14: 15-17

Wide selection on YouTube


Charles Tournemire, L'orgue mystique: Easter Cycle, Op. 56: Nos. 24

Mass for the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension

Prelude for the Introit [YouTube]
Offertory  [YouTube]
Elevation [YouTube]
Communion [YouTube]
Postlude  [YouTube] 

Click for the entire performance of L'Orgue mystique by Georges Delvallée.   

Click to go to Bach Cantatas for Online Listening.

Master of the Life of the Virgin, Visitation, Alte Pinakothek, Munich, 1463

Bach Cantatas for the Feast of the Visitation:

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Meine Seel erhebt den Herren / My soul praises the Lord, Cantata 10, with performances by Gardiner, Koopman (2), Leonhardt, Leusink, Münchinger and Richter.
Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben / Heart and mouth and deed and life, Cantata 147, with performances by Gardiner, Harnoncourt (2), Herreweghe, Koopman, Leonhardt, Leusink, Richter, Rifkin, and Werner.

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Meine Seele ruhmt und preist, Cantata 189, with performances by Linde and Yerkanyan.

István Dorffmeister, Pentecost,
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest, 1782

Bach Cantatas for Exaudi [Sunday after Ascension, 6th Sunday after Easter]

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Sie werden euch in den Bann tun / They will banish you, Cantata 44, with performances by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Koopman, Leusink and Richter.

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Sie werden euch in den Bann tun / They will put you under a ban, Cantata 183, with performances by Coin, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Leusink and Rilling.