Notes and Editorial Reviews
Along with Wit’s Naxos recording, this is one of the best versions of Messiaen’s phantasmagoric Turangalîla-Symphonie available, and it’s very different: swifter, more obviously virtuosic in concept, perhaps a touch less warm in consequence, and engineered with greater “in your face” immediacy. The playing of the Concertgebouw, always a wonderful Messiaen orchestra, is stunning throughout. Chailly revels in the music’s weirdness. The Ondes Martinot, for example, is particularly well captured. It’s interesting how earlier performances tended to minimize its presence, perhaps for fear that is would sound silly, which of course it does, redeemed by the composer’s utter seriousness and
obliviousness to anything that smacks of humor.
In any case, it’s not all noise and bluster. The Garden of Love’s Sleep is gorgeous, hypnotic, but happily still flowing, while the three Turangalîla rhythmic studies have remarkable clarity. Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays the solo piano part magnificently, really as well as anyone else ever has. Recorded way back in 1993, when Universal was contracting more ferociously than Octo-mom in labor, this performance was never released in the USA. This was understandable to the extent that (you may recall) Universal was at the time flogging Chung’s Messiaen series, which also contained a Turangalîla, albeit one far gentler and less gripping than this one. I bought my copy on Japanese Decca, but now here it is, finally, albeit cheaply packaged in Uni’s “20C” series. Grab it while you can.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen
Takashi Harada (Ondes Martenot),
Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1946-1948; France
Date of Recording: 03/1992
Venue: Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Length: 76 Minutes 36 Secs.
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