Events, CD & DVD Releases
27 July 2019 5.30pm. Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine/Jean-Francois Heisser Jean-Frederic Neuburger, piano perform Des Canyons aux etoiles...Centre Marcel Pagnol, Festival International de Piano La Roque d'Antharon, France
28 July 2019 7.30 BBC PROMS. BBC Symphony Orchestra Sakari Oramo conductor Martin Owen horn David Hockings, Alex Neal percussion Nicolas Hodges piano perform Des canyons aux étoiles … Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
28 July 2019 17.30 Florent Boffard performs Le courlis cendré (Catalogue d'oiseaux).Salle des Fêtes Marcel Pagnol,La Roque d'Antharon, France.
30 July 2019 9:00 pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, performs Catalogue d´Oiseaux. Philharmonie Berlin. Germany.
2 - 3 August 2019 20.00 Steven Osborne, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus (Nos 1, 8, 14, 19, 10).Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, UK.
2 August 2019 20.30 Europa Galante perform Le Merle noir. Maretsch Castle Via Claudia De' Medici, 12, Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, 39100, Italy
4 August 2019 18.00 Roger Muraro performs Les Fauvettes de l'Hérault and Catalogued'oiseaux. Églie de La GraveLa Grave, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, 05320, France
30 August 2019 21.00 Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Catalogued'oiseaux. Philharmonie: Großer Saal1 Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße, Berlin, D10785, Germany
09 September 2019 19.30. London Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Sir Simon Rattle performs Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … Lucerne Festival. Switzerland.
11 September 2019 8:00 pm Berliner Philharmoniker, Cond. Sir Simon Rattle, perform Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà Philharmonie Berlin. Germany.
13 September 2019 16:00 Thierry Escaich organ, perform Le banquet celeste. Laurenschurch Rotterdam, Netherlands.
13 September 2019 20:15 Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater, Cond. Valery Gergiev, perform L'Ascension. De Doelen, Rotterdam. Netherlands.
15 September 2019 19.00. London Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Sir Simon Rattle performs Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà …Barbican Centre, London.UK.
26 September 2019 18.00 Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Christian Eggen perform L'Ascension. Oslo Cathedral Karl Johansgt. 11, Oslo, 0154, Norway
26 September 2019 20.00 Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano performs Catalogue d'oiseaux: extracts. World Conference Center: Saal New York, Bonn Germany
27 - 28 September 2019 19.00 and 1200 respectively. Luca Luciano performs Abîme des oiseaux. National Portrait Gallery, London and St James Church Bushey UK (respectively)
5 October 2019 21.00 Nuit de l'Orgue. Works by Messiaen. Philharmonie 1: Grande salle Pierre Boulez, Paris, France.
7 October 2019 19.30. Gryphon Trio and James Campbell perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK
8-9 October 2019 7.30pm. Kerry Yong performs Catalogue d'Oiseaux (complete). Cafe Oto, London UK..
10 October 2019 13.00 Vancouver Chamber Players and Grace Huang perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Pyatt Hall, Vancouver, Canada
10 -11 October 2019 7-10pm. Swan Song, under the auspices of Opera North Kerry Yong performs Catalogue d'Oiseaux, at St John's Church, New Briggate, Leeds, UK..
11 October 2019. 20.30 Orchestra della Svizzerea Italiana, cond. Markus Poschner, Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano perform Oiseaux exotiques. Chiesa San Francesco, Locarno, Switzerland.
13 October 2019 16 pm Liszt and Messiaen organ music by Loïc Malie. L'Eglise Trinité, Paris, France.
14 October 2019 19.30 Alberto Rosado, piano, perform Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus (selections). Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Auditorio 400, Madrid, Spain.
16 October 2019 19.30 Artists from the Royal College of Music perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Royal College of Music Recital Hall, London, UK.
17 - 18 - 19 October 2019 Sydney SO, cond, Donald Runnicles perform Les offrandes oubliées. Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, Sydney, Australia.
18 October 2019 8:00pm Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Cond. Myung-Whun Chung perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France.
18 October 2019 20.00 Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon Daniele Rustioni perform Les offrandes oubliées. Opéra Nouvel1 Place de la Comédie, Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, 69001, France.
18 October 2019 20.00. Staatsphilharmonie Nurnberg cond, Joana Mallwitz perform Les offrandes oubliées. Meistersingerhalle, Nuremburg, Germany.
19 October 2019 15.00. Christoph Mantoux, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur (selections). Saint Thomas Church, New York City, NY, USA.
19 October 2019 20.00 Orchestre de l'Opera Lyon cond, Daniele Rustioni perform Les offrandes oubliées. Opera Nouvel, Lyon, France.
20 October 2019 17.00 Mädchenkantorei, Freiburger Münsterorchester, cond Martina van Lengerich, Alfonso Gomez, piano, Fabienne Martin, Ondes Martenot perform Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine. Freiburger Münster, Germany.
24 - 25 October 2019 Boston Symphony Orchestra, cond. Susanna Maalkki perform “Alleluia on the trumpet, alleluia on the cymbal” from L’Ascension. Symphony Hall Boston, USA.
25 October 2019 22.00 Gweneth Ann Rans,sop and Simon Lepper, pno perform Harawi. St John the Evangelist Church, Oxford, UK.
25 October 2019 17.30 Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva perform Visions de l'Amen. Holywell Music Room, Oxford, UK
26 October 2019 14.15 Arthur Jussen and Lucas Jussen, pianos perform Visions de l'Amen. Concertgebouw: Main Hall Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 LN, Netherlands.
31 October 2019 19.00. Steven Osborne, Piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. Recital Hall Musashino Cultural Foundation, Japan
5 November 2019: 7:00 pm Alfonso Gomez performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. State University of Music and Performing Arts (Kammermusiksaal Stuttgart, Germany.
6 November 2019 19.30. Steven Osborne, Piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK
7 November 2019 19.15 Daniel Ciobanu, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus (Regard du Pere). St James' Church Paddington, London, UK
7 & 8 (8.30pm), 9 (4.30pm) November 2019 Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo/Heinz Holliger Ueli Wiget, piano, Luiz Garcia, horn, Ricardo Righini, xylorimba, Eduardo Gianesella, glockenspiel perform Des Canyons aux Etoiles... Sala Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Brazil
8 November 2019 20.15 Cora Burggraaf mezzo-soprano and Thomas Beijer, Piano perform Trois Mélodies.Concertgebouw: Recital HallAmsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands.
8 November 2019 18.30. Steven Osborne, Piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. Cambridge Music Festivall. Fitzwilliam College Auditorium,University Of Cambridge, Storey's Way, Cambridge CB3 0DG UK
9 November 2019 6pm. Matthew Odell, piano performs Petites esquisses d'oiseaux, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, New York.
10 November 2019 14.30 Tamara Stefanovich, piano performs works by Messiaen. Guildhall School of Music & Drama: Milton Court Hall Silk Street, Barbican, London, EC2Y 8DT, UK
11 - 12 November 2019 Conductor: Alexander Soddy Piano: Tamara Stefanovich Ondes Martenot: Thomas Bloch
Turangalila Symphonie. NATIONAL THEATER AM GOETHEPLATZ Am Goetheplatz (postal address: Hebelstr. 2-4), 68161 Mannheim, Germany.
11 November 2019 19.30 James Lisney, piano Michael Whight, clarinet, Joy Lisney, cello, Emma Lisney, violin perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. 1901 Arts Club7 Exton Street, Waterloo, London, SE1 8UE,UK
11 November 2019 13.00 Joanna MacGregor, piano, performs Le Merle noir. Wigmore Hall, London, UK.
11 November 2019: 7:00 pm Alfonso Gomez performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. University of Music Freiburg (Kammermusiksaal) Freiburg, Germany.
14 November 2019 13.05. Lotte Betts-Dean, mezzo-soprano, Joseph Havlet, piano perform Harawi. St John's Smith Square London, UK.
14 November 2019: 7:00 pm Alfonso Gomez performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. Conservatorio de música “Jesús Guridi” / Aula Magna. Bernaola Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
16 November 2019 18.00 L'Orchestre National de Lyon (France), under the direction of Susanna Malkki, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot perform Turangalia-Symphonie. Grande Salle Auditorium, Lyon, France.
19 November 2019 13.00. Luca Luciano performs Abîme des oiseaux. St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland.
21 November 2019 7pm Sydney Symphony Orchestra/David Robertson Tengku Irfan, piano, ondiste tbc perform Turangalila Symphonie Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
22 November 2019 20.00 Una Stanic and Levon Avagyan perform Theme et Variations. Musikverein: Metallener Saal, Vienna.
23 November 2019 14.15 Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor), Long Yu, cond. performs O sacrum convivium! Concertgebouw: Main Hall Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam,1071 LN, Netherlands.
24 November 2019 20.00. Berlin Radio SO, cond Mario Venzago perform Hymne au Saint Sacrement. Philharmonie Grand Hall, Berlin, Germany.
28 November 2019 7.30pm Ubu Ensemble presents Transformations, Cond. Simon Wills, perform Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum. Silk Street Music Hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama. London, UK.
29 November 2019 8:00pm Elbphilharmonieorchester Hamburg, Cond. Carlos Miguel Prieto, perform Le tombeau resplendissant. Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Germany.
29 November 2019 8:00pm Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Cond. Mario Venzago, perform Hymne au Saint-Sacrement. Philharmonie Berlin. Germany.
30 November 2019 14.15 Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Ryan Wigglesworth, cond. performs Chronochromie.Concertgebouw: Main Hall Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 LN, Netherlands.
30 November 2019 20.00. Thomas Cornelius, organ, performs Apparition de l'eglise eternelle.Elbphilharmonie, Great Hall, Hamberg, Germany.
30 November 2019 18.00 NHKSO, Masato Suzuki perform Les offrandes oubliées. NHK Hall, Jinnan 2-2-1 Tokyo, Japan.
1 December 2019 15.00 NHKSO, Masato Suzuki perform Les offrandes oubliées. NHK Hall, Jinnan 2-2-1 Tokyo, Japan.
1 December 2019 17.00. Thomas Cornelius, organ, performs Apparition de l'eglise eternelle.Elbphilharmonie, Great Hall, Hamberg, Germany.
1 December 2019 19.00. Piano Cunmo Yin, Ondes Martenot Thomas Bloch, Conductor Thomas Dorsch Turangalila Symphonie. Reeperbahnen 3, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany.
3 December 2019 19.30 Ensemble Connect performs Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Carnegie Hall: Weill, New York City, USA
6 December 2019 6.30pm Ural Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Liss Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Natalie Forget, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie. Sverdlovsk State Philharmony, Yekaterinburg, Russia.
11 December 2019 19.30. Emmanuel Tjeknavorian and Maximilian Kromer perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Louange a l'immortalite de Jesus). Musikverein: Brahms Saal, Vienna.
13 December 2019. 20.15 Ralph van Raat performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus. Orgelpark Foundation, 1054 JK Amsterdam, Netherlands
13 December 2019. 18.00 Ian Pace performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus. City University, London UK.
18 December 2019 8:00pm Olivier Latry, organ, perform Parts from La Nativitè de Seigneur. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France.
19 December 2019 13.05 David Titterington, organ performs La Nativitè de Seigneur. St John's Smith Square, London, UK
19 December 2019 19.30 Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips perform O sacrum convivium. St John's Smith Square, London, UK
28 January 2020 20.00 Studierende der Musik und Kunst Privatuniversitat Wien perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Musikverein: Glaserner Saal, Vienna.
1February 2020 09.30 Dudok Quartet perform Oraison (arr. David Faber). Musiekgebouw Small Hall Amsterdam, Netherlands.
9 February 2020 14:30 Thomas Lacôte, organ, perform Messe de la Pentecôte.Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France.
13 February 2020 19.30. Igor Levit and Markus Hinterhäuser, pianos perform Visions de l'Amen. Guildhall School of Music & Drama: Milton Court Hall Silk Street, Barbican, London, EC2Y 8DT, UK
14 15 16 February 2020 Orquesta Nacional de España cond. Diego Martín Etxebarria perform Hymne au Saint Sacrement. Auditorio Nacional de Música. Madrid, Spain.
15 February 2020 8:00pm Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Cond. Kent Nagano, Choir Radio France perform Trois petites Liturgies de la présence divine. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France.
15 February 2020 8:00pm Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Cond. Michael Francis, perform Zion Park et la cite celeste from Des Canyon aux étoiles…, Jugendstilfesthalle, Landau. Germany.
16 February 2020 7:30pm Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Cond.Michael Francis, perform Zion Park et la cite celeste from Des Canyon aux étoiles…. Pfalzbau Konzertsaal Ludwigshafen. Germany.
18 February 2020 19.30 Altenberg Trio and Matthias Schorn, clarinet perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps.Musikverein: Brahms Saal, Vienna.
22 February 2020 16.00. BBC Singers cond. Ragnar Rasmussen perform O sacrum convivium! St. Giles Cripplegate, London, UK
23 February 2020 19.30. Wayne Marshall,organ performs Dieu parmi nous (La Nativité du Seigneur). Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, USA
28 February 2020 1pm. Matthew Odell, piano, performs Cloches d'angoisses et larmes d'adieu at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, UK.
5 March 2020 19.30 Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano performs Le Merle bleu (Catalogue d'oiseaux). Royal Festival Hall, London.UK.
14 March 2020 Orquesta Nacional de España cond. Diego Martín Etxebarria perform Les offrandes oubliées. Auditorio Nacional de Música. Madrid, Spain.
17 March 2020 1.00pm. Artists from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Recital Hall, Birmingham, UK
18-19 March 2020 8:30pm Orchestre de Paris, Cond. Hannu Lintu, Cedric Tiberghien piano, Cynthia Millar Ondes Martenot perform Turangalîla-Symphonie. Paris Philharmonic, Grande Salle Pierre Boulez, France.
19 March 2020 8:00pm Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Jun Märkl, perform Les offrandes oubliées. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, USA.
19 March 2020 7:30pm Nadine Contini violin, Christoph Korn clarinet, Peter Albrecht cello, Anano Gokieli piano, perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Silent green Kulturquartier Berlin. Germany.
20 March 2020 7.30pm SFCM Chamber Orchestra, cond. Steven Schick perform Des Canyons aux étoiles... Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA.
21, 23 March 2020 Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Roger Muraro, piano Nathalie Forget, Ondes Martenot cond. Marc Albrecht perform Turangalila Symphonie. Concertgebouw: Main Hall Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 LN, Netherlands
25 March 2020 8:00pm Liesbeth Schlumberger, organ, perform L'Ascension. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France.
29 March 2020 7:30pm Zurich University of the Arts Orchestra, Cond. Pierre-Andre Valade, perform Les offrandes oubliées. Tonhalle Maag Zurich, Switzerland.
19 April 2020 18.00 Anna Prohaska, soprano Julius Drake, piano perform Harawi - chant d'amour et de mort: Bonjour toi, colombe verte. Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin Germany
24 April 2020 Tamara Stefanovich, piano, performs works by MESSIAEN. King's Place, London, UK.
2 May 2020 17:00pm Michael Schönheit, organ, perform Le banquet celeste, Les mages from La Nativitè de Seigneur. Great Hall, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Germany.
10 May 2020 17:00 Isabelle Weilbach-Lambelet violin, Michael Reid clarinet, Anita Lenzinger cello, Benjamin Engeli piano, perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. St. John's Church on the Limmatplatz, Zurich, Switzerland.
16, 21, 23 May 2020 17.00 Hamburg State Opera cond. Kent Nagano perform Saint François d'Assise. Full cast and details here.Elbphilharmonie: Großer Saal Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1, Hamburg, 20457, Geremany.
23 May 2020 11.00. Claire Dassesse, violin, Benoît Willmann, Clarinet, Olivier Morel, cello, Deborah Lee, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps.Batiment des Forces Motrices - Salle Theeodore Turrettini, Geneve, Switzerland.
23 May 2020 8:00pm Korbinian Altenberger violin, Christopher Corbett clarinet, Samel Lutzker cello, Lukas Maria Kuen piano, perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Max-Joseph-Saal Munich, Germany
24 May 2020 18:00pm Korbinian Altenberger violin, Christopher Corbett clarinet, Samel Lutzker cello, Lukas Maria Kuen piano, perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Protestant Academy Tutzing,Germany.
26 27 28 May 2020 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal cond. Kent Nagano, Yuri Favorin, Piano Ondist TBA. Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine. La Maison Symphonique de Montreal, Montreal, Canada
3 June 2020 20.00 Isabelle Faust, Violin Jörg Widmann, Clarinet Jean-Guihen Queyras, Cello Pierr-Laurent Aimard piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Palau de la Música, Barcelona Spain.
9 June 2020 Peter O'Hagan performs Le baiser de l'enfant Jésus; Regard de l'esprit de joie from Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jésus. Purcell Room, SBC, London UK
19 June 2020 8pm Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Cond. Stefan Blunier, perform L'Ascension. Liederhalle Stuttgart, Germany.
25 -26 June 2020 8:00pm SWR Symphonieorchester, SWR Vokalensemble, WDR Rundfunkchor, Christine Ott Onde Martenot, Christoph Grund piano, Cond. Eliahu Inbal, perform perform Trois petites Liturgies de la présence divine. Liederhalle Stuttgart. Germany.
27 June 2020 7:30pm SWR Symphonieorchester, SWR Vokalensemble, WDR Rundfunkchor, Christine Ott Onde Martenot, Christoph Grund piano, Cond. Eliahu Inbal, perform perform Trois petites Liturgies de la présence divine. Rosengarten Mannheim. Germany.
28 June 2020 7:00pm SWR Symphonieorchester, SWR Vokalensemble, WDR Rundfunkchor, Christine Ott Onde Martenot, Christoph Grund piano, Cond. Eliahu Inbal, perform perform Trois petites Liturgies de la présence divine. Konzerthaus Freiburg.Germany.
26 18.00 28 June 15.00. 1 -3 July 18.00 and 5 July 15.00. 2020. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, cond. Jonathan Nott perform Saint François d'Assise. Full cast and details here. Grand Theatre, Geneva, Switzerland
Tom Winpenny performs Meditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité.
Tamara Stefanovich performs Canteyodjaya and works by
Ives, Bartok and Bach. Pentatone ASIN: B07MCXWQHM
Connections - The music of Olivier Messiaen and his students.Matthew Odell, piano.
Albany Records. ASIN:B07MM6PGNT
This recording pairs three works by Messiaen with works by Tristan Murail, Pierre Boulez, and Michel Merlet. Odell worked with Boulez and Merlet on this repertoire and is giving world-premiere recordings of the Merlet pieces.
THE COMPLETE VÉGA RECORDINGS 1956-1963 BY Yvonne Loriod
Works by Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Schumann, Aleniz, deFalla Berg, Webern, Schoenberg,
Henze, Boulez, Barraqué, Stravinsky and Messiaen.
13 CDs album. Decca UPC 00028948170692
Charles Chaynes - Piano Concerto (1967 World Premier)
Yvonne Loriod with the ORTF Chamber Orchestra
Radio broadcast, France. Kipepeo Publishing. ASIN: B06Y286DZ7
First recording of Les Fauvettes de l'Hérault - Concert des garrigues (reconstructed by Roger Muraro - see below) Harmonia Mundi - HMM905304 together with Debussy's Études as part of the Debussy Centenary Edition.
New recording of Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus by Martin Helmchen.
Alpha. ASIN B07MLB1CWX
Catalogue d'Oiseaux by Ciro Longobardi.
Piano Classics PCL10155
Turangalila Symphonie Yutaka Sado (Conductor), Tonkünstler-Orchester, Roger Muraro (Piano), Valérie Hartmann-Claverie (Ondes Martenot)
Tonkünstler (Naxos Deutschland Musik & Video Vertriebs-)ASIN: B07FT6JMQ9
Messiaen: Couleurs de la Cité Céleste. Bruckner: Symphony No.8
Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle.
The London Symphony Orchestra's Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (with Aimard as soloist)
was recorded live at the Barbican in April 2016 and is released on the orchestra's own label.
Available Format: DVD Video + Blu-ray
South African pianist Benjamin Fourie performs Messiaen's Huit Préludes alongside compositions by fellow South African composers Étienne van Rensburg and (British born) Malcolm Dedman. Benjamin Fourie performed the South African premiere of Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and it is with great regret that Benjamin passed away soon after the release of this CD. Enquiries and purchase:
Renowned French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard kicks off his exclusive engagement to PENTATONE with a recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1956-1958). The pianist had intimate ties to the composer himself and his wife, Yvonne Loriod, for whom Messiaen wrote the Catalogue. This is a truly pioneering and groundbreaking recording of Messiaen's masterpiece. Pierre-Laurent brings extraordinary naturalism to the music and his sonic painting takes the playing to another level of virtuosity. An incredible achievement. The luxurious CD box set contains an accompanying bonus DVD, on which Aimard shares his vast knowledge of and love for Messiaen’s work from behind the piano. PENTATONE PTC 5186 670
Jean-Rodolphe Kars performsVingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus. Recorded live by Dutch radio at a concert in the Kleine Zaal of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw on 30 April 1976
There have been many Messiaen pianists of note to perform and record his music during the last half-century, not least thanks to the composer’s generosity as a teacher of both the technical and spiritual aspects of his music, which go hand in hand as they do for very few others. Save for Messiaen’s second wife Yvonne Loriod, however, none of those pianists can claim so direct and profound an understanding of the composer and his music as Jean-Rodolphe Kars. This makes the present issue of a hitherto unreleased recording of the Vingt Regards all the more significant:.
Olivier Messiaen Organ Works
One can not be grateful enough for the way one of the greatest composers of the 20th century contributed to the organ tradition.
This playlist is a work in progress, i.e. it will include Messiaen's complete organ works in due time, also for educational purposes.
Visit Willem's Official site for more interesting projects on Messiaen's organ works including 'Olivier Messiaen and the Cave of Forgotten Sounds'
This project presents movements of Livre du Saint Sacrement interspersed wth responses and improvisations by Willem one of which is a tribute to Claire Delbos:
In Memoriam Claire Delbos.
Some CD reviews
MESSIAEN EDITION 18 CD BOXED SET. Warner Classics 2564 62162-2
When I was first exposed to the music of Messiaen many years ago now, it was through the French recordings of the Vega and Erato records. It’s easy to forget just how difficult these recordings were to get hold of in those days even though France was a mere 24 miles away, record imports were rare and expensive. Of course nowadays we can obtain a recording from the other side of the world within a couple of days (immediately if it’s available online) such was not the case then. In the mid 80s Erato had the good sense to put together a 17 CD box set of all these early and sometimes first recordings of their Messiaen catalogue.
These were presented in a bright rainbow coloured box with all the CDs in hard jewel cases each with their own booklet so the size was not unlike that of a car battery and almost weighing as much! As with many contemporary releases around this time it was soon deleted and became impossible to find. It is these recordings that Warner Classics have resurrected and have had the even better sense to present them in slip in wallets and fold out box where in this case the accompanying booklet weighs more than the CDs and takes up far less space.
So I grew up with a lot of this material and although some are more than forty years old now they still stand up as marvellous interpretations. Yes there have been many newer performances as we enter the 21st century and all have merits of one kind or another but we must remember that many of these Erato recordings were supervised by Messiaen himself and this I’m sure gives that ‘something special’ element that is sometimes lacking in present day performances.
The Eglise Notre-Dame du Liban was never that well sound proofed and the Paris traffic still rumbles by as Yvonne Loriod bravely soldiers through the Catalogue d’Oiseaux. Rather more disturbing is that Warner decided to introduce a ‘noise gate’ during the transfer of Le Loriot in an attempt to eradicate some pre echo that was present on the original recordings. This has resulted in the natural reverberation of the piano being ‘sucked’ out to an artificial silence after the opening chords. I personally would have lived with the slight pre echo and retained the piano resonance but there you are! And don’t try to skip directly to track 4 of CD17 (Des canyons aux étoiles) as you’ll miss the attack of the first chord.
There are a couple of new additions to the set. Turangalila Symphonie and Réveil des Oiseaux are recordings made by Kent Nagano after the composer's death. This reading of Turangalila is surely one of the most exciting but for a mis-placed cymbal crash in the last movement that presumably couldn’t be repaired due it being a live recording.
These minor points aside, this set is an invaluable tool to any student or listener coming to Messiaen for the first time as well as seasoned specialists who missed out on the original set. The booklet contains all the original notes (many by Messiaen) and texts to the choral works in English and French.
Although we still await re releases of the early Loriod piano material and the Erato Fetes des Belles Eaux recording, the Messiaen Edition is a truly welcome re issue and superb value for money for which Warner Classics must be applauded.
©Malcolm Ball 2005
Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus Yvonne Loriod 1975 (Erato), Pierre-Laurent Aimard 1999 (Teldec) Steven Osborne 2001 (Hyperion)
After trawling through various catalogues worldwide it appears that Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus is Messiaen's most recorded piano work since Yvonne Loriod's first recordings on Pathé 78s and subsequent LPs in 1956, my Vega boxed set of which, after wife and child, would probably be the first thing I would grab from a burning house!
With so many recordings past and present its been hard to single out individual offerings as most pianists have brought differing characteristics to this work over the years. Indeed its also been interesting to hear how Loriod's own interpretations have changed through time.
My first exposure to Vingt Regards was not Loriod but the Hungarian born Thomas Rajna who came to the Wigmore Hall, London to perform the cycle in its entirety I think as part of a tour to promote his newly released recording of the work on 3 LPs for the Saga Record label. Since then there have been offerings from the likes of John Ogden, Malcolm Troup, Michel Béroff, Hakon Austbo, Volker Banfield, Joanna MacGregor, Louise Bessette, Roger Muraro, Angela Hewitt and the great Peter Hill whose complete Messiaen Piano Music is to appear on Regis Records (its about time!).
The three contenders I have chosen represent real landmarks in the recording of Vingt Regards. I was always of the somewhat conceited opinion that a Loriod performance was the definitive - this was until I heard Aimard and Osborne when I realized that as history develops so a new higher level of interpretation develops. It is a fact of life that standards rise and boundaries are broken down, we see this in education constantly but I have to admit that it came as quite a shock to hear these performances and not be disappointed from the word go.
After hearing the first two bars of Regard du Pere played by Steven Osborne I thought at last someone (with the exception of Peter Hill) has captured what I think is the true tempo and spirit of this movement. So often it is far too fast as was the case of the then youthful Béroff, or its too muddy and unclear. This is reflected in the timings of this movement: Loriod 5.21, Aimard 6.10 but Osborne a winner at 8.10. I'm not saying that this cosmically slow pace always works, indeed in the last movement where Osborne takes a massive 15.34 to reveal the Church of Love against Aimards 11.59 can seem a bit ponderous - here Loriod gets it just right (as always).
Pierre-Laurent Aimard has made a feature of Regard de l'Esprit de joie as an encore in his recitals and his dazzling technical fireworks always brings the house down but generally I found some subtleties in his interpretation less convincing overall. Take for example the slow right hand chords in the 'Rappell de "la Vierge et l'enfant" section of Premiére communion de la Vierge - Aimard comes across as too bell like, almost 'clanky' whereas Loriod and especially Osborne has these chords merely glistening in the heavens.
The fiendishly difficult Par Lui tout á été fait has Steven Osborne playing like a man possessed shaving off a good minute and half from Aimard - real edge of the seat stuff!
All three seem to reach a happy medium in Regard de l'Esprit de joie with performances around eight and half minutes although Aimard's 'ritual oriental dance and hunt' are swifter.
Osborne's bird passages are particularly stunning with crystal clear articulation, speed and colour (I would dearly look forward to a Catalogue d'Oiseaux by this extraordinary pianist) akin to Messiaen's own interpretation of bird passages in his early recordings of Ile de feu 1 and Harawi.
One always comes back to the sheer stylish and deep understanding of Yvonne Loriod's playing - she really 'digs in' to all the accents and never misses an articulation so important in Messiaen's piano music where there is so much happening melodically not just between hands but between fingers (for example:' Les bras tendus vers l'amour' in Le baiser de l'enfant Jesus). This Erato set is increasingly hard to find but should still be available. Aimard's and Osborne's are readily available with Osborne's presented in a stylish jewel case and invaluable booklet with notes by Nigel Simeone quoting from Messiaen's own diary entries at the time of composing Vingt Regards.
Both the Teldec and the Hyperion recording suffer from the digital characteristic of a slight lack of piano 'depth' in the bass register. This is clearly heard in such movements as La parole toute-puissante and Noël where Messiaen asks for a reverberating tam-tam sound on the lowest three notes of the keyboard. Here they sound a little 'wooden' but the Loriod - Erato scores hands down as the ADD recording captures that growling depth impeccably.
If you only have one version of Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus it has to be Yvonne Loriod. If you can have two versions or you can't get hold of the Erato then the Steven Osborne - Hyperion is a must. He has certainly left his mark on this piece with this highly recommended presentation.
Olivier Messiaen Live: Improvisations inédites La Praye Disques
I stumbled on La Praye, a tiny web site and equally tiny independent label specializing in music for the organ, purely by chance. Based in Rully, France and Montreal, Quebec their small but highly significant catalogue revealed this 2 CD set of Messiaen improvising at the organ of La Trinité.
That these recordings came about at all is something of a small two pronged miracle, and is thanks to the ingenuity of Olivier Glandaz the organ builder who since 1977 has been responsible for the maintenance of the organ at La Trinité. It was his idea to make recordings of Messiaen's improvisations during some of the religious ceremonies and Sunday Masses at the church. The other prong of this small miracle is down to Maxime Patel the producer of the CD. Apparently Maxime Patel was approached by Jeanne Loriod in 2001 with an idea to mark the 10th anniversary of Messiaen's death with a release of a CD including Fête des Belles Eaux. Sadly this project was never realized due to the sudden death of Jeanne Loriod the same year. So Patel decided to honour the occasion with the release of these improvisations.
Olivier Glandaz recorded these improvisations between 1984 and 1987 using 'non professional' equipment and thanks to the remastering skills of Laurent Olivier we are presented with nearly two and a half hours of the maître at work. Armed only with his little well used book of Gregorian chant melodies, Messiaen weaves his magic over an often spellbound congregation who respond with spontaneous applause giving thanks for bringing into focus musically the lesson that had been read.
There are 29 improvisations in all displaying all aspects of Messiaen's organ technique and fondness for the characteristic combination registers of the Trinité organ in styles ranging from the sublime Priére du Christ montant vers son Pére (L'Ascension) and Priére avant la communion (Livre du Saint Sacrement) to fiery toccata moments a la Dieu Parmi Nous.
Organ music has always been notorious to record because of the inherent nature of location. The rumble of traffic, the slamming of the odd door has to be accepted on the best recordings and yes there is background noise and yes there is the odd clunking of furniture down below in the church but this never dims the experience of hearing this music in the spirit it was performed and for those of us who were never lucky enough to be part of the congregation at La Trinité these recordings are surely the next best thing. There is a DVD available (see 'resources' page) which features Messiaen improvising, again an invaluable document but one which lacks the spontaneity induced by a 'live' audience or congregation and that's what makes these CDs so important both to the Messiaen scholar and the interested listener.
MESSIAEN: Visions de l’Amen; 4 Etudes de rythme; Cantéyodjâya
Paul Kim, Matthew Kim, pianos. Centaur Records 2668 -- 73 minutes
This is the third release in Paul Kim’s complete Messiaen cycle, which is shaping up to be the new reference recording. In addition to being a terrific pianist, Kim is a true Messiaen scholar, having earned a PhD in musicology from New York University. The research has clearly paid off for these performances: the quality of his sound and gestures is, as the composer’s widow and pianist Yvonne Loriod avers, “perfect in every way.”
The pieces collected here are not for the newcomer to Messiaen: they include two difficult works from the late 1940s, one of which (Quatre Etudes de rythmes) is generally credited with—or blamed for—inspiring the spread of serialism after World War II. The other (Cantéyodjâya) is a fast but static collage made from a small handful of quirky musical ideas, which Messiaen has identified with fanciful names of Hindu origin.
For the big piece here, the bombastic yet austere Visions de l’Amen of 1943, Kim’s son Matthew, a prodigious young talent, joins him at a second piano. The two play with remarkable single-mindedness, idiosyncratic (and wonderful) voicings, terrific control over a dynamic range from butterfly-wing pianissimo to thundering sforzando, and just enough expression to light up Messiaen’s slabs of sound without diminishing their abstract mystical power.
IAN QUINN Read more Paul Kim reviews of Messiaen's piano music at musicweb-international.com/
Unlike several years ago, there are now many recordings of Messiaen's vast piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and Jacqueline Chew's account must rate among the top contenders. This is a fine balanced and well focused recording (perhaps a little light in the bass register which is often inherent with digital recordings) with great clarity and colour. Tempos are generally good throughout and capture Messiaen's complex time scales well. Perhaps Jacqueline Chew's absolute fortissimos dont have quite the shere brute force of Osborne or Aimard but they are nonetheless gripping and powerful. It would have been nice to read some more analytical sleeve notes rather than just Messiaen's score notes. Overall a well presented and engaging package.