The steel cathedral

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symphonic sketch after a painting by Fernand Stevens

dedicated to Karel Bruynseels[1]

Opus 52


  • Inspired by the painting La cathédrale d'acier by Fernand Stevens, Legley composed this work in 1958.
  • The first performance was played on 10 April 1959 by the symphony orchestra of the NIR-INR conducted by Daniël Sternefeld[2].


  • instrumentation: symphony orchestra[3]
  • duration: ca 12'


  • I. Andante maestoso
    • time signature: 4/4
  • II. Allegro molto energico, ma non troppo vivo - Più lento - Tempo primo
    • time signature: 4/4
  • III. Adagio
    • time signature: 3/4


  • autograph: in the possession of the composer's family
  • first edition (study score): CeBeDeM, Brussels, 1960
  • critical edition (study score): Musikproduktion Höflich, Munich, 2018. The critical comments belonging to this edition can be read here.


  • Legley, Victor: letter to Franz André, 29 November 1965. Royal Library of Belgium (B-Br), shelf number Mus. Ms. 4121/420
  • Legley, Victor: letter to Franz André, 15 March 1966. Royal Library of Belgium (B-Br), shelf number Mus. Ms. 4121/421
  • De Roeck, Ronald: Victor Legley: Some Notes on his Thoughts and Cathédrale d'acier in Anuario musical, N° 65 (2010), pp.171-196.


  1. Title page of the first edition: "Voor Karel Bruynseels, die ze me hielp te bouwen" [For Karel Bruynseels, who helped me build it].
  2. Tessely, p.31.
  3. Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, double bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, percussion, harp and strings.