Livre du Saint-Sacrement
Devotion, mysticism, darkness, resurrection and ecstasy. With these motives, Olivier Messiaen turned his last cycle Livre du Saint-Sacrement into a monument of organ literature. Playing this richly varied music requires the utmost from an organist. Bert den Hertog takes up that challenge on the organ of the Elandstraatkerk, of which he is the regular player. It is a magnificent instrument that does full justice to the beauty of sound and the richness of colour in Messiaen’s music.
Messiaen completed his two-hour cycle in 1985. It was the crowning achievement of his organ oeuvre and his work as an organist. Back in 1931 he was appointed organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité in Paris. Even after he had made a name for himself as one of the greatest composers of his time, he continued to grace the church services on Sundays with his organ playing until shortly before his death in 1992.