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Messiaen: Visions de l'Amen CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, 24 Sep 2004
£8.34 £6.69
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Olivier Messiaen
  • Audio CD (24 Sept. 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00030EROC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,939 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Amen De La Creation
  2. Amen Des Etoiles, De La Planete a L'anneau
  3. Amen De L'agonie De Jesus
  4. Amen Du Desir
  5. Amen Des Anges, Des Saints, Du Chant Des Oiseaux
  6. Amen Du Jugement
  7. Amen De La Consommation
  8. Piece pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas - for solo piano - Olivier Messiaen
  9. Rondeau - for solo piano - Olivier Messiaen
  10. Fantaisie burlesque - for solo piano - Olivier Messiaen

Product description

Product description

Visions de l'Amen pour deux pianos - Fantaisie burlesque pour piano solo - Pièce pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas pour piano solo - Rondeau pour piano solo / Steven Osborne, piano I - Martin Roscoe, piano II

BBC Review

When Olivier Messiaen arrived at the Paris Conservatoire in 1941 as the new harmony teacher, he must have made quite an impression. He was 32 years old; he'd just been released from Stalag VIII-A in Silesia where he'd spent 8 months as a prisoner-of-war, and where his Quartet for the End of Time had been written and performed in front of 5,000 prisoners. Messiaens fingers had been left damaged by the terrible cold, yet despite this his piano playing was remarkably beautiful. One of Messiaen's pupils was already a formidably talented pianist, the 17-year-old Yvonne Loriod, and Messiaen's next major work was written for them to perform together on two pianos: Visions de l'Amen.

The notes in this new recording paint a fascinating picture of the first performance in 1943, a semi-secret art gallery concert in Nazi-occupied Paris... they also point to the teacher-pupil relationship enshrined in the music; the way the simple chords in Loriod's part in the opening Amen de la création are given life and sustenance by the creation theme rising from the depths of Messaiens piano 2. Perhaps that's not all; Loriod was already Messiaen's muse, and she was to become his second wife. So as the pianos depict orbiting planets in the next movement, as they interact flirtatiously in the longest section Amen du désir; as angels, saints and songbirds dance us towards the final Amen de la consommation, with Loriod's part propelling us heavenwards with spectacular virtuosity...maybe this tells us as much about Messiaen's relationship with his pupil as it does about his Catholic faith?

Steven Osborne's recent recording of Messiaen's Vingts regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus was spectacularly good. Here he takes Loriod's part, while Martin Roscoe sits on Messiaen's piano stool. They produce an orchestral range of colour, and there seems to be an eternity of space and time for Messaien's music to vibrate, with its whiffs of incense and flutterings of birdsong. Yet this is one of the faster recordings, and the enormous dynamic range (from the most delicate pppp to a Steinway-threatening triple forte) is accommodated superbly by a demonstration-class recording.

Messiaen and Loriod's own performance(s) are uniquely valuable. Peter Hill and Benjamin Frith on Regis offer a similarly breathtaking exuberance and intense joy to Osborne and Roscoe, but the quality of the Hyperion recording takes this new one to another level. Osborne's performances of the three solo piano pieces are also excellent, but let's not pretend that's why you'd buy the CD; it's the Vision thing. Hill and Frith are at budget price, while this is full price, but if I had to choose between them, it would be this one...alongside Mr. and Mrs. Messiaen's, telling us far more about their relationship than they ever could in words. --Andrew McGregor

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30 July 2007
Format: Audio CD
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12 August 2010
Format: Audio CD
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.6 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
Robert S. Costic
5.0 out of 5 starsWonder of the Universe, Ecstatic Joy
16 November 2007 - Published on
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Thomas E. DeFreitas
5.0 out of 5 starsThe world of Olivier Messiaen
10 May 2011 - Published on
Grady Harp
4.0 out of 5 starsAn exemplary recital of solo and two piano works
4 July 2005 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
6 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Frontier between Piano and Orchestra
18 January 2001 - Published on
4 people found this helpful.

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