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Messiaen: Des Canyons Aux Étoiles / Chung, Justafré, Et Al

Release Date: 01/14/2003 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471617   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Roger MuraroJean-Jacques JustafréFrancis PetitRenaud Muzzolini
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 32 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This new recording of Messiaen's Des canyons aux étoiles... makes a very impressive case for a colorful and ambitious work, and is even more successful than the recent issue of La transfiguration de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ by these same forces. One of the reasons for this is simple: there's no singing, which means that the listener does not have to engage Messiaen's doctrinaire texts or his frankly clunky way of setting the words. But beyond that, in music that can seem to meander or repeat aimlessly, Myung-Whun Chung paces the performance with unerring precision and intelligence. He's uniformly quicker in the tricky first part than Marius Constant in his composer-supervised recording for
Read more Erato, and he's nearly identical to (if a touch swifter than) Reinbert de Leeuw's excellent version on Montaigne. Chung also is more richly recorded than Salonen on Sony (though DG offers no coupling).

Chung's soloists share his sense of urgency and joy in discovery. Solo horn Jean-Jacques Justafré turns in a spectacular "Interstellar Call", while pianist Roger Muraro (whose complete edition of Messiaen's piano music, available in France, has garnered acclaim) finds about as much spontaneous lyricism in his two solo turns (fourth and ninth movements) as Messiaen's various bird calls will allow. Vibrantly colored percussion, with gongs and tam-tams carefully differentiated in timbre, and powerful trombones add resonance and depth to the composer's vision of the American West and the natural wonders of Utah, making this a prime recommendation in what after all is a very distinguished field. From every perspective, this is a very satisfying recording and a logical next acquisition for anyone who has come under the composer's spell after encountering the better-known Turangalila-symphonie. [2/8/2003]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Des canyons aux étoiles by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Roger Muraro (Piano), Jean-Jacques Justafré (French Horn), Francis Petit (Xylorimba),
Renaud Muzzolini (Glockenspiel)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970-1974; France 

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