Martin Baker plays Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur at Westminster Cathedral, along with works by Bach, Dupré and Widor.
Live from Westminster Cathedral
Presented by Louise Fryer
Dupré: Le monde dans l'attente du sauveur (Symphonie Passion)
Bach: Nun komm, BWV 659
Widor: Andante sostenuto (Symphonie Gothique)
Messiaen: La Nativité du Seigneur
Martin Baker, organ
Le monde dans l'attente du sauveur from Dupré's Symphonie Passion makes a great opener to Martin Baker's recital marking the beginning of Advent. The written version was first performed by Dupré himself on the organ in Westminster Cathedral in the 1920s, and was based on an earlier improvisation on the Christmas plainsong hymn Christe redemptor omnium.
After this come two gentle pieces for the season of Advent: Bach's Nun komm, BWV 659 and the beautiful Andante sostenuto from Widor's Symphonie Gothique.
Messiaen's great cycle of nine meditations on Christ's birth, La Nativité du Seigneur, forms the core of the recital.
It was written when Messiaen was 27, during the summer of 1935 while he was in residence at Grenoble near the French Alps. Messiaen wrote that in addition to theology, the movements were inspired by the mountains, as well as the stained glass windows in medieval cathedrals.
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