Web Analytics


“No one should be allowed to make music as if he were made of wood. One must reproduce the musical text exactly, but not play like a stone.”


Olivier Messiaen

christmas with messiaen

Thursday 30 december 2021, 14:00

[will be rescheduled to 2022]

The Hague: Paleiskerk

Vingt Regards sur l’enfant-jésus

Ralph van Raat piano



Olivier Messiaen
Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

An immense tour de force

With his Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, Olivier Messiaen wrote an overwhelming masterpiece, a twenty-part cycle lasting no less than two hours. The music demands the utmost from a pianist: from whisper-soft chords full of mystery to overwhelming ecstasy in which the fortissimos turn the grand piano into a sound cathedral. Only a handful of pianists dare to undertake this immense tour de force. Ralph van Raat has been performing the cycle for many years and turns every recital of the Vingt Regards into an unforgettable experience.


Messiaen started his cycle in 1944, when Paris was still occupied by the Germans. He completed the Vingt Regards a year later, after the liberation.  The story of Christmas is illuminated from all angles: from the motherly love of Mary to a vision of the future in which the triumphant Jesus rushes on a fiery horse through a wild sky filled with lightning.

Ralph van Raat performs with Håkon Austbø the final movement of Messiaens Visions de l’Amen for two pianos.

Classical NOW!


(Pop-up) Concerts

Music Theatre

Postal Address

Classical NOW!

Arnhemsestraat 62

2587 SW  The Hague