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Messiaen: Complete Organ Works Vol 4 / Byram-Wigfield

Messiaen / Byram-wigfield
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34078   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 38 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The two packed discs of this final instalment in Delphian’s complete survey of Messiaen’s organ music are an effective reminder of how far Messiaen travelled in the space of barely 20 years. There are early morsels, such as the Diptyque written while still a student and bearing strong echoes of Dupré in its first, toccata-like panel, while the slow second section is pure Messiaen. By the time he composed La nativité du seigneur in 1935, the music sounds like nobody but Messiaen, while Messe de la pentecôte from 15 years later is like nothing heard before, certainly not from an organ. The organ of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle evidently has the power and range of colour that Messiaen regarded as pre-requisites in his Read more music, all captured in a vibrant recording that is magnificent for CD. Timothy Byram-Wigfield bristles with energy in the dynamic movements and exudes calm for Messiaen’s slow outpourings of lyricism. Where he occasionally falters is in allowing some passages, such as in ‘Les bergers’ to sound as mechanical as they look on the page. Nor does he seem entirely enthused by the opening portion of the Diptyque. Nonetheless, these are small caveats in otherwise fine performances. Why, though, are the fearsome conclusions of La nativité and the Messe not the final sounds on their respective discs? Byram-Wigfield’s marvellous advocacy of the minor works is undermined by placing them in the aural shadow of these unquestionably great cycles.

-- Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
La nativité du Seigneur by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 63 Minutes 20 Secs. 
2.
Offrande au Saint Sacrement by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1935; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
3.
Prelude for Piano by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 8 Minutes 37 Secs. 
4.
L'Ascension, 4 Meditations for Organ by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 27 Minutes 25 Secs. 
5.
Diptyque for Organ by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 11 Minutes 38 Secs. 
6.
Messe de la Pentecôte by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 28 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7.
Verset pour la fête de la dédicace by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; France 
Venue:  St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle 
Length: 11 Minutes 3 Secs. 

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