** In process of stocking ** “The mystery of incarnation is the most beautiful aspect of divinity – and it is the reason why I am a Christian. I do not consider the differences between Orthodox, Protestant or Catholic: a Christian is someone who understands that God has come.” This was taken from an interview with Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) where he talked about Christmas being the one festival in the Christian calendar most important to him. In his music about the incarnation of God, Messiaen also combined, even reconciled, the realms of music and theology like no other 20th century composer. He explored the Christian faith in a manner that was always innovative, highly inspired and creative. He did this by offering its content and expressions not only to churchgoers but quite simply to everyone. “My work appeals to those who believe and everyone else as well.”
Since the biblical account of angels singing “Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Luke 2) over the fields of Bethlehem, there have been many works of music with variations on the theme of Christmas: from Gregorian chants like Puer natus est together with improvisations on the organ, mass settings with the words “Et incarnates est” being festively emphasized while the congregation kneels at Christmas time, to Messiaen’s nine-part organ cycle La Nativité du Seigneur (1936), an older companion work to Vingt Regards. All of these sounds represent the “EnfantJésus” who is also the “Enfant-Dieu”, as Messiaen emphasizes at the top of the introduction to his piano work.