Everyone, believer or non-believer, will occasionally turn to the heavens in times of despair. But will that lead to an answer? Or just deafening silence? O Sacrum Convivium is about that sign from above, about that moment when we don’t turn to a god, but that god comes to us. Or not. When the emptiness is filled. Or not. And once more, we get engulfed with despair.


The theme of this programme is illustrated by means of world-famous settings of the text O Sacrum Convivium, by composers including Olivier Messiaen, Palestrina and Tomás Luis de Victoria. These works are dispersed through parts of Poulenc’s Figure Humaine, like sun rays lighting up the clouds. Despair banished and emptiness filled. As if the heavens briefly shower us with blessings.


Olivier Messiaen O sacrum convivium!
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc Figure humaine
Olivier Messiaen Cinq rechants
Tomás Luís de Victoria O sacrum convivium
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Super flumina Babylonis
(psalm 137)
Arnold Schönberg De Profundis
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina O sacrum convivium
Iannis Xenakis Nuits
Olivier Messiaen O sacrum convivium!

Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir)
Peter Dijkstra chief conductor


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