Back at the Congregational church where I used to sing, after the service, the choir would all stay until our accompaniest was finished playing the postlude. One Sunday, as conversations swirled around me, I sat, transfixed by this otherworldly music emerging from the organ. The music was glorious and terrifying, as if inspired by the Old Testament God.
That piece was Apparition de l'église éternelle by French composer Olivier Messiaen. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his birth, and a New York Times profile on the composer and tributes to him ran this past Sunday.
I'm still learning about Messiaen, but I found this video of the piece I mentioned above on YouTube. This is Daniel Roth playing Apparition de l'église éternelle.
I'm getting chills listening to it. (The video is kind of boring, although that is one hell of a magnificent looking organ.)