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2014 St Davids Cathedral Festival

Live from St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, Nicola Heywood Thomas presents the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Jac van Steen. Messiaen: L'Ascension. Mahler: Symphony No 4.

Live from St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

Mahler's Fourth symphony, a child's view of heaven and Messiaen's L'Acension from St. Davids Cathedral Festival with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Jac van Steen

Messiaen: L'Ascension

7.35: During the interval, a vintage recording or Messiaen himself playing Transports de joie, the movement he added to L'Ascension when he rewrote his orchestral piece for organ solo. Nicola Heywood Thomas also talks to tonight's soloist, Ailish Tynan, and listens to her recent recordings of French music by Poulenc and Fauré.

Mahler: Symphony No.4

Ailish Tynan (soprano)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Jac van Steen

followed at approximately 9pm by:

Bach: Ascension Oratorio Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11
Barbara Schlick (soprano), Catherine Patriasz (alto), Christoph Prégardein (tenor), Peter Kooy (bass)
Collegium Vocale, Ghent
Philippe Herreweghe (conductor)
[recorded in 1995]

Messiaen's Christian faith was always at the heart of his musical output. L'Ascension is one of his earliest orchestral works (1933), a set of four contrasting meditations each taking a religious text as a starting point. In turn, Messiaen expresses his Catholicism in mystical contemplation and ecstatic praise. Mahler described his Fourth Symphony as "a work for children and those who will become children". This song-like work culminates in a representation of a child's view of heaven for soprano, sung here by Ailish Tynan. The Romanesque nave of St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire provides the perfect setting for this heavenward-soaring programme, part of the 2014 St David's Festival.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Ascension Day Cantata: Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen BWV 11

    Choir: Collegium Vocale Gent. Performer: Johann Sebastian Bach. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • Himmelfahrts-Oratorium / Oratorio de l'ascension BWV 11.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 018.


Role Contributor
Performer BBC National Orchestra of Wales


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