on 11 January 2012
I think this is, in some respects, the most extraordinary music I've ever heard: such reverence and depth of faith combined with such inventive musical genius. So strange and atonal, and yet so descriptive. Despite the title, unlike Messiaen's Nativite this does not focus exclusively on the birth of Christ, but is a much more general, impressionistic work. Each individual piece represents a different 'Regard' - best translated 'contemplation' - of the divine, a bit like a religious Pictures at an Exhibition. Titles include things like 'Regard of the awesome Sacrament', or 'I sleep, but heart keeps watch'.
If you think Catholic music has to be conservative, listen and learn!
I have nothing to say about the (1991) recording and playing, except that they are perfectly acceptable. And - don't tell anyone I told you - but this is available much cheaper at Selections.