That is the only word that should guide the singers in interpreting the poem and the music. Messiaen 's broad spectrum of instrumental coloration is absent; the piece is scored for twelve unaccompanied voices, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass -- three each. Using an intricately nuanced approach to rhythm, a surrealistically lyrical melodic tone, and a text his own that itself verges on music, Messiaen creates in the Cinq Rechants a rich and varied musical landscape that defies its seemingly tame performance forces. Messiaen 's text for the Cinq Rechants is an odd and evocative combination of various elements: poetic phrases in a kind of French Surrealist style, a variety of invented syllables, and some unsung percussive sounds.

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Be the first to review this title. Notes and Editorial Reviews On the spine and front artwork of this release Messiaen gets top billing, Cinq rechants being the longest of these unaccompanied French choral works, which are presented in suavely sung performances, with excellent diction, fine intonation, and nice vocal blending.

The Messiaen performance is backward looking. Rupert Huber is seemingly intent on bringing out the qualities in the piece that tie it to the earlier French choral music here, which is not only a valid but a welcome idea.

There are some interesting timbral things going on, the singers articulating the double-tongue of brass players ta-ka-ta-ka , some quasi-spoken accompaniment, and a great range of textures, emulating, in a sense, the variations in texture possible in an instrumental ensemble. This three-part work is a relative rarity in recording; I found reference to only one other, currently available in Europe. This is an interesting, listenable, well-performed program.

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Messiaen: Cinq Rechants; Debussy, Ravel, Jolivet, Chausson / Huber

First performed in , it was also, with the exception of an organ mass based on his improvisations that appeared in , the last with explicit Christian connotations that he would produce for 19 years. Loriod played in the premiere of the Liturgies, and its sound world, which — in the original version recorded here, is scored for 18 sopranos, 16 solo strings and a gamelan-like group of piano, ondes Martenot, celesta, vibraphone and percussion — polarised opinion. His symphony forms the centrepiece of a trilogy woven around the story of Tristan and Isolde, in which Messiaen celebrated sexual love, and another of those three works, the Cinq Rechants for 12 solo voices from , also appears on this disc, along with the much more strait-laced motet O Sacrum Convivium. These Danish performances conducted by Marcus Creed are models of precision and lucidity; every vocal and instrumental strand is there. But it all comes across as rather cool, with neither the Liturgies nor the Rechants generating the sense of abandon and almost delirious ecstasy that the music constantly seems to be striving to express. Perhaps, though, Messiaen always knew that what he was attempting was impossible to achieve.


"Très vif" from Cinq rechants

Olivier Messiaen. French composer Olivier Messiaen was one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century, playing an essential part in the development of modern music, both as a composer and a teacher, from before World War II up to his death in Messiaen viewed himself as "compositeur et rythmicien," underlining the importance rhythm played in his musical language - influenced by ancient Greek meters, medieval rhythms and Western developments. Many of his works are explicitly religious in nature, including a large number of works for organ. He also composed for orchestra, chamber ensemble, piano, solo voice, and chorus, as well as works for instruments and tape.


Messiaen: Trois Petites Liturgies; Cinq Rechants etc CD review – lucid and precise but cool


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