Messiaen: L'Ascension

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Messaien: L'Ascension in Deutsche Grammophon's Collection du millénaire series has an identical program to Mystic: The Musical Visions of Olivier Messiaen, a sort of greatest-hits package for Messiaen that followed in the wake of the composer's death in 1992, though not too hard -- it did not appear until 1996. It is a Messiaen compilation that shapes certain movements taken out of longer works into a sort of easy listening context, which does provide some clues to the uninitiated as to how to access Messiaen, but in itself, it is a little disingenuous. There are no transcribed birdcalls, no "Chronochromie," nothing from "Quatour du le fin de temps," nor anything else ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Messaien: L'Ascension in Deutsche Grammophon's Collection du millénaire series has an identical program to Mystic: The Musical Visions of Olivier Messiaen, a sort of greatest-hits package for Messiaen that followed in the wake of the composer's death in 1992, though not too hard -- it did not appear until 1996. It is a Messiaen compilation that shapes certain movements taken out of longer works into a sort of easy listening context, which does provide some clues to the uninitiated as to how to access Messiaen, but in itself, it is a little disingenuous. There are no transcribed birdcalls, no "Chronochromie," nothing from "Quatour du le fin de temps," nor anything else that indicates what a challenging and intense composer Messiaen was. Just the prettiest parts of some pieces that are not in themselves necessarily very "pretty," couched in a sort of vaguely stated mysticism. The individual movements themselves are certainly well done and recorded -- all of them are taken from the exemplary work of conductor Myung-Whun Chung for Deutsche Grammophon, recordings that Messiaen himself regarded as authoritative. But these pieces deserve to be heard in the context to which they belong, even if it is part of an unwieldy and sometimes messy 10-movement symphony such as the "Turangilila." However, as a disc with which to get one's feet wet in Messiaen, Messaien: L'Ascension or Mystic, its cousin is not so bad -- just bear in mind that there are a lot more ingredients to Messiaen's celestial banquet than this disc would imply.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/8/2006
  • Label: Deutsche Gram France
  • UPC: 028945918129
  • Catalog Number: 459181
  • Sales rank: 107,413

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