Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) is known for his unique composition style. Incorporating complex rhythms, harmony and melodies, The Ascension for Organ is no exception to the composer's popular, distinctive style.
The Ascension was originally composed for orchestra by Messiaen in 1932-1933. The composer described the work as Four Symphonic Meditations and the sections are; 1) Majesty of Christ praying that His Father should glorify Him, 2) Serene Alleluias from a soul longing for Heaven, 3) Alleluia on the Trumpet, Alleluia on the Cymbal, and 4) Prayer from Christ ascending towards His Father. Messiaen arranged The Ascension for solo Organ a year later. The first, second and fourth movements are arrangements of the orchestral version, however, the composer created a new third movement; Outburst of joy from a soul before the Glory of Christ, which is its own glory. The Ascension is essential to all advanced organists seeking to expand and vary their repertoire.