A Dawn Chorus of Messiaen Live: James McVinnie

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£only available as part of £25/£30 festival ticket

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This event is part of our Subject/Object: The Birds festival. Tickets for this and the Late Night Duet with a Nightingale are only available as part of the festival ticket. To attend these events, buy your festival ticket here.

‘I don’t share Messiaen’s interest in bird-song, but have never doubted it as the source of some of his most spectacular music. He was rightly proud of his ornithological knowledge, even slightly proprietorial about it – “most people think birds just go pi-pi-pi,” he said to Gillian Weir, in the tone of voice in which a gourmet deplores the popularity of hamburgers.’ – James Fletcher, writing in the LRB in 1996.

Join internationally renowned organist James McVinnie for an exclusive programme of Olivier Messiaen’s music for the organ inspired by, and seeking to reproduce, bird-song, livestreamed from Exeter Cathedral first thing in the morning to celebrate our new festival series taking flight!

After 30 minutes of music, James will be joined by a special guest for a conversation about Messiaen’s obsession with birds.


‘La Joie de la Grace’ from Livre du Saint Sacrement

‘Communion – Les Oiseaux et les Sources’ from Messe de la Pentecôte

‘Chants d’oiseaux’ from Livre d’Orgue

‘Je suis Celui qui suis’ from Meditations sur le Mystère de la Saint Trinité


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The events can also be accessed via the Eventbrite Online Event Page for each event.

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We'll send a Watch Again link to all ticket holders the day after the event, so if you're not able to attend live, you'll still be able to watch.