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“I give bird songs to those who dwell in cities and have never heard them, make rhythms for those who know only military marches or jazz, and paint colors for those who see none.”


Olivier Messiaen

christmas with messiaen

Friday 17 December 2021, 20:15

Den Haag: Kloosterkerk

dreaming like messiaen

Geerten van de Wetering organ

Marcel Wierckx video projections

Johan Luijmes visual design



Olivier Messiaen
La Nativité du seigneur (with video projections)


This concert is a co-production with  Podium 21.

A hallucinatory experience

At the start of our Christmas with Messiaen festival, the award-winning organist Geerten van de Wetering performs the impressive organ cycle La Nativité du Seigneur. Messiaen possessed the gift of synaesthesia: with every timbre and chord he saw a matching colour. The colour spectrum of his music comes to life with video projections on the organ for which Marcel Wierckx has built an ingenious video installation. A hallucinatory experience in sound and vision. In the monumental Kloosterkerk.

The live generated video images are based on the nine pastel drawings the French painter Charles Blanc-Gatti (1890-1966) made on the occasion of one of the first performances of La Nativité du Seigneur in 1936. Blanc-Gatti, a friend of Messiaen, was one of the founders of Musicalism, an art movement in which painters translated sounds and music into visual art.

Geerten van de Wetering performs Fête Dieu by Hendrik Andriessen.

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