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Messiaen: Eclairs sur l'au-delà...

Myung-Whun Chung Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £20.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Conducting now fully occupies his professional life, Chung (born 1953 in Seoul) made his debut as pianist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. He later studied the piano with Maria Curcio, the last and favorite pupil of Artur Schnabel. In 1974 he was a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition. He then began his career playing piano trios with his sisters, Kyung Wha Chung and ... Read more in Amazon's Myung-Whun Chung Store

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Orchestre de l'Opéra Bastille
  • Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung
  • Composer: Olivier Messiaen
  • Audio CD (10 Aug 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GMD
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,465 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 1. Apparition du Christ glorieuxOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 6:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 2. La Constellation du SagittaireOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 6:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 3. L'Oiseau-lyre et la Ville-fiancéeOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 4:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 4. Les Elus marqués du sceauOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 2:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 5. Demeurer dans l'Amour...Orchestre de l'Opéra Bastille10:20Album Only
Listen  6. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 6. Les Sept Anges aux sept trompettesOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 5:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 7. Et Dieu essuiera tout larme de leurs yeux...Orchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 8. Les Etoiles et la GloireOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille11:25Album Only
Listen  9. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 9. Plusiers Oiseaux des arbres de VieOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 2:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 10. Le Chemin de l'InvisibleOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 3:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Olivier Messiaen: Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà - 11. Le Christ, lumière du ParadisOrchestre de l'Opéra Bastille 8:06£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

It's been said that Messiaen's later work is nothing more than a rehashing of his early ground-breaking work such as the Turangalîla Symphony. But one listen to this--his final composition written between 1987 and 1991--will change a lot of people's minds. Deeply introspective and highly spiritual, Eclairs eloquently sums up everything Messiaen strove to attain in his long career; statements don't come more mature than this one. There's bits and pieces from all his major statements: 48 different bird calls, clanging percussion, dissonant polychromatic horn sections, all played by a large, rich orchestra. The piece has one foot on earth and the other in heaven--it's at once a description of the sounds of the forest (literally transcribed) and the sounds of heaven (one section is called "The Seven Angels With Seven Trumpets"). All the sounds mingle at once in a way that articulates a complete sonic and philosophical cosmology. The final sections, entitled "The Way To The Invisible" and "Christ, Light Of Paradise", give a new meaning to spirituality in modern music. If you're interested in the either spiritual work of Arvo Pärt or Henryk Górecki or the experimental work of Boulez and Stockhausen, you'll find the roots of all their endeavours here on this disc. --Kenneth Goldsmith

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendental-tastic! 25 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One has to wonder how Messiean viewed reality! This music is truly sublime and each shifting chord and tonal pattern interrupts one's everyday and forces an encounter with an unameable 'otherness'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars People need to hear this 26 April 2003
By Androcleas - Published on
Format:Audio CD
ok - well this is good - This piece was the first Messiaen I heard. I heard it on radio about three times - first hearing, I thought it was very odd and really quite rubbish - the next couple of hearings I was still cynical, but I had never heard anything quite like it before, and it kind of drew me - I started to find the the 5th and 6th movements mesmerizing, as well as the final movement. I eventually ended up buying it on CD - and it is an impressive piece.
I have now listened to some other Messiaen pieces, including Turangalila, the Quartet for the end of Time, Et Exspecto, Des Canyons aux etoiles and Livre du Saint Sacrement which are v good, and I don't know whether or not I would say this is the best, but it has more of a serenely majestic feel to it. The fifth movement is the most ecstatic music I have ever heard, the first movement is a fantastic piece - totally static - it seems to make the piece move outside of time at the very outset. Much of the work consists of a sort of spiritual ecstasy mixed with genuine awe, with scattered birdsong - which acts like a sort of 'small' quality showing that God, whilst majestic and awesome, and awesomely loving, is also beautiful and approachable.
This is music that many people 'won't get' which is a pity, as I think it presents something almost wholly unique in our western society let alone music - we have a busy society which always has to be places, and never feels it can be timeless. This is music that reaches into another world - as indicated in its title - which is far away from our western lives of appointments, meetings and merely forming interest cultures.
The last thing I want to see is this sort of music representing some kind of pretentious modern music culture - it is important stuff - and needs to be heard by a wide range of people. - Not everyone will like it on first hearing- perhaps very few will - but people should work at understanding what is going on and not be scared - after all its difficult to get on with any really good music - even more 'normal' stuff unless you've lived with it a bit. I get quite irritated by people running away from this stuff scared, and I also get irritated by people moaning about the precise quality of some bit of the performance or conductor's pace or something like its important.
End of diatribe - just go listen - and if it seems odd - listen again - and again - perhaps listen to other similar stuff - and don't do it just because you want to show off how educated you are - but give in time and you'll appreciate it. In the future, I think Messiaen may well come to be seen as as important as characters like Mozart or Beethoven or Wagner or Mahler - but this has a different feel - and this is its timelessness.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Airbourne Messiaen 8 Jun 2008
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Olivier Messiaen's Éclairs sur l'au-delà (Illuminations of the Beyond) may not be as familiar to audiences of the French mystic's music as his earlier works, but for this listener this valedictory work contains not only echoes of his recurring musical language of birdsongs, vaporous clouds, and recreations of the atmospheres beyond this planet, but it is in many ways a summation of his rich imagination and contribution to the world of music. It is a 65-minute work composed for a large orchestra (128 instrumentalists), but each of the eleven 'movements' uses a different combination of instruments - from tutti orchestra, to sub-orchestras of expanded woodwinds, brass and an extensive array of percussion instruments. The result is a luminous and transcendent work that serves as the wise musical poet's summation of his vision of the 'beyond' -a space of enormous beauty that he seems to be describing as one who sees it closely in his final moments on earth.

Myung-Whun Chung conducts the Bastille Opera Orchestra in an unfettered, direct from the score, honest performance. While the Bastille Opera Orchestra may not be among the major ensembles in the world, Chung manages to mold a performance from this ensemble that literally glows with airbourne beauty. The solo choir passages are clean, precise, and yet still manage to emerge and submerge into the fabric of the work, making the tutti passages almost unbearably 'holy'.

For those who are not familiar with this final work by Messiaen, the best approach to listening to it is to ignore the written word and simply submit to the suspension of time this beautiful score encourages. And after 'experiencing' the music, then reading the titles of the eleven movements and exploring the words of the master enhances the appreciation. Writing about Messiaen's music is difficult at best, if not rather impossible. The strength of his music is in the experience in which he transports the listener: all else is secondary. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, June 08
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 16 May 1999
By - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Messiaen writes the most beautiful slow music, and Eclairs sur l'au-dela provides plenty of proof, from the sustained silences in the first movement to the gradual ascension in the last. Myung-Whun Chung is the definitive interpreter of Messiaen, and I highly recommend this recording.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Messiaen's masterpiece that unites his spirit and technique 8 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Eclairs sur l'au-dela (Flashes from the distant beyond) was Messiaen's last orchestral piece. It uses exotic techniques such as bird song, Hindu raga rhythm, Gregorian chant, and modes of limited transposition in a large, multi-movement orchestral piece. The orchestra features an expanded percussion section. Those who know and love Messiaen's musc will greatly enjoy L'eclairs sur l'eau-dela. It convincingly integrates the diverse techniques into a final spiritual statement. Those who do not know Messiaen's music will find this piece to be a great introduction to a twentieth-century giant who assimilated Debussy and Schoenberg while writing in his unique compostional voice. The French performance lacks some of the weight and power that the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta brought to this work at its premiere at Avery Fisher Hall. The interpretation is bright and crisp when needed and sensous in the more meditative moments.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Abiding in Love" Track 5 is worth the trip alone 9 Mar 2013
By dv_forever - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I run hot or cold, hit or miss with Olivier Messiaen. There are times when his music strikes me as incredibly hypnotic mysticism and there are other times when my ears rebel against it and it sounds like excruciatingly repetitive austere modernism. This work, "Illuminations of the Beyond" has all of that in spades. Messiaen's religious sensibilities appeal to me very much. His mixture of spiritual loftiness with high modernism is a strange concoction that is totally original. I haven't encountered this with any other composer.

I've never been won over to his obsession with birdsong and his use of the brass is distinctly unappealing. But the way Messiaen uses the string instruments can be rapturous. Case in point is track five of this CD, called "Abiding in Love", which seems to be suspended in deep space, beyond human experience and closer to the divine. One can't dismiss music like this with ease even if it is surrounded with a lot of other bits I don't care for. The whole work is over an hour in duration and can grate on the nerves in places. Chung is at the helm of the Bastille Orchestra and he is fully in tune with this composer's work. A real dedicated conductor. Chung's recording took first place for a long while but has had an illustrious direct competitor in recent years. Simon Rattle chose to record the piece with the Berlin Philharmonic for EMI and it's just as good. The Berlin strings can be ravishing indeed but Chung's account is not eclipsed. I prefer DG's sound over EMI's work for Rattle. You'd be well satisfied with either version. In a world full of copycat composers-musicians, Messiaen remained a true original the whole of his life.
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