The programme to be performed at the Chapel of St Francis of Assisi was titled after the work La Nativité du Seigneur (The Nativity of the Lord) for organ written by the famous French composer, pianist, organist and teacher, Olivier Messiaen, in 1935. It is a testament to the composer’s deep Christian faith and theological inspirations. Surrounded by an aura of spirituality and sublime beauty, La Nativité du Seigneur is divided into nine “meditations” for organ, which were inspired, besides the birth of Jesus, by the mountains and the stained glass windows in medieval cathedrals.
This programme will feature four meditations from La Nativité du Seigneur performed by organist Dainius Sverdiolas who has presented the series of concerts dedicated to Messiaen’s output for organ more than three decades ago at the Vilnius Archcathedral. In concerts, he predominantly performs romantic and contemporary works for organ and frequently introduces the premieres of new pieces for organ by Lithuanian composers. Besides his activities as a performer, he also runs the musical instruments distribution company, Organum, which is an authorized dealer of Steinway & Sons, Samick and Petrof pianos and Allen organs in Lithuania.
Besides works for solo organ, this programme also includes pieces for brass instruments to be performed by trumpeter Sigitas Petrulis and the Klaipėda Brass Quintet under his artistic leadership. The powerful sound of organ and brass instruments will fill the entire space of the chapel. The music predisposing us to concentration and contemplation of God’s glory will gradually change into works presaging the merry season.
To quote an epigraph to movement 9, “Dieu parmi nous,” of Messiaen’s Nativity, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” (Luke 1: 46‒47).