Pentecost Music

Barnaba da Modena, Pentecost, National Gallery, London, 1361-83

Music for Pentecost

Click to read about Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles.

Click for a number of interpretations of Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

Click for a number of interpretations of Veni, Creator Spiritus


Vecellio Tiziano, The Descent of the Holy Ghost, Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, c.1545

Both Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Tomás Luis de Victoria composed parody Masses based on motets, Dum complerentur (When [the day of Pentecost] had fully come), that each had earlier composed.  These works offer audible manifestation of what is written in the Acts of the Apostles about the occurence in the upper room. Both Masses with the motets, on different discs, both sung by the Westminster Cathedral Choir, are available to borrow from [BNQ].  Check for availabilty: Palestrina - Victoria.

Listen to Victoria, Missa dum complerentur, sung by the Amici Cantores.





Agnus Dei                                                                                                     

To listen to Dietrich Buxtehude, Chorale-prelude, Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott (Come, Holy Ghost, Lord God); performed by Craig Cramer on the 2004 Fritts organ of the University of Notre Dame, IN; click here, then click on "Listen to the Program," then hold button and slide to 1:03:53 (1 hour and 3 minutes and 53 seconds). 

And Buxtehude, Chorale-prelude, Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist (Now let us pray to the Holy Ghost), hold button and slide to 1:13:12 (1 hour and 13 minutes and 12 seconds) - after some applause, followed by J.S. Bach, Fantasy in G, S. 572.

Three Pentecost pieces by J.S. Bach:

Pentecost Cantata No. 68, soprano aria supplied by the Thierry Caens Trumpet Ensemble with Vincent Warnier playing the 1996 Metzler organ of Notre Dame de Talant, France, click here, then click on "Listen to the Program," then hold button and slide to 5:00 (5 minutes);

Immediately followed at 8:50 (8 minutes and 50 seconds) by Komm heiliger Geist (Come Holy Ghost) S. 652, performed by Peter Sykes on the 1999 Noack organ of the Langholtskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland;

And then at 15:38 (15 minutes and 38 seconds) Chorale-prelude, Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist (Come, God Creator, Holy Ghost) S. 667, performed by Cristina Garcia Banegas on the 1730 Trost organ of the Waltershausen Parish Church, Germany.


Maurice Duruflé

Marie-Madeleine and Maurice Duruflé

To listen to Maurice Duruflé, Variations on "Veni Creator," Op. 4, performed by Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier on the 1997 Kilgen/Wicks organ of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, click here then click on "Listen to the Program, then hold button and slide it to 22:37 (22 minutes and 37 seconds).

Frank Ferko

To listen to the world premiere of Frank Ferko, Variations on "Veni Creator Spiritus," with Richard Hoskins on the 2005 Fisk organ of St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church, Chicago, IL (preceded by the congregation singing the hymn in English), click here, then click on "Listen to the Program," then hold button and slide it to 41:56 (41 minutes and 56 seconds).  

   Emil Nolde, Pentecost, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1909

Click to go to Olivier Messiaen, La Messe de la Pentecôte (as well as  L'Ascension) performed by Naji Hakim on the Cavaillé-Coll organ of l'Église de la Trinité, Paris (the organ of which Messiaen was titular for 66 years).  

Listen to two of the movements performed by other organists.  To hear Les Langues de feu performed by Erik Boström on the 1949 Marcussen organ of the Oscar Church, Stockholm, click here then click on "Listen to the Program," then hold button and slide to 33:30 (33 minutes and 30 seconds). To hear Le Vent de l'Espirit performed by Haskell Thomson on the 2001 Fisk organ of Oberlin College, click here then click on "Listen to the Program," then hold button and slide it to 55:18 (55 minutes and 18 seconds).