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Olivier Messiaen: La Nativite du Seigneur - Offrande au Saint Sacrament
By Andrew Canning. By Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). Classical. CD. Naxos #SH163. Published by Naxos (NX.SH163).
Item Number: NX.SH163
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) composed La Nativite du Seigneur (The Birth of the Lord) in the summer of 1935 in Grenoble near the French Alps. Messiaen wrote that in addition to theology, the movements were inspired by the mountains as well as stained glass windows in medieval cathedrals. The work received its first complete public performance at Eglise de la Saint-Trinite in Paris on February 27 1936 and the performance was shared by three distinguished organists- Daniel-Lesur, Jean Langlais, and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald. La Nativite du Seigneur consists of nine movements, or meditations, each of which is preceeded by a quotation from the Bible that corresponds to the theological content. Paired with this work on this release is Messiaen's Offrande au Saint-sacrement (Offering to the Blessed Sacrament) which was discovered posthumously in 1997 by Messiaen's wife, pianist Yvonne Loriod. This short work was probably composed during the 1930s.