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Messiaen - Catalogue d'Oiseaux (2018)

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Messiaen - Catalogue d'Oiseaux (2018)

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Catalogue d’oiseaux, I/42
01 No. 1, Le chocard des alpes
02 No. 2, Le loriot
03 No. 3, Le merle bleu
04 No. 4, Le traquet stapazin
05 No. 5, La chouette hulotte
06 No. 6, L’alouette lulu

01 No. 7, La rousserolle effarvatte

01 No. 8, L’alouette calandrelle
02 No. 9, La bouscarle
03 No. 10, Le merle de roche
04 No. 11, La buse variable
05 No. 12, Le traquet rieur
06 No. 13, Le courlis cendré

Pierre-Laurent Aimard - piano


Renowned French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard kicks off his exclusive engagement to PENTATONE with a recording of Olivier Messiaens Catalogue dOiseaux (1956-1958). The pianist had intimate ties to the composer himself and his wife, Yvonne Loriod, for whom Messiaen wrote the Catalogue. Praised by The Guardian as one of the best Messiaen interpreters around, this is Aimards first recording of Messiaens most extensive, demanding and colourful piano composition. The luxurious release set contains an accompanying bonus film, on which Aimard shares his vast knowledge of and love for Messiaens work from behind the piano. Due to its radical naturalism, the Catalogue dOiseaux is exceptional within the repertoire for solo piano. It is the grand hymn to nature from a man who never ceased to marvel at the stupefying beauty of landscapes or the magic of bird song. With his Catalogue, Messiaen tried in his own words to render exactly the typical birdsong of a region, surrounded by its neighbours from the same habitat, as well as the form of song at different hours of the day and night, suggesting an almost scientific approach to his subjects. The idea of reproduction may have been central to Messiaens conception of the Catalogue dOiseaux, but in the finished work we hear a great composer at work, a master of innovative structures who finds an astonishing range of piano sonorities. In a world that is increasingly being destructed by man, Aimard views this cycle as a musical refuge that resonates with an audience ever more concerned, expanded and affected. --- Editorial Reviews, amazon.com


Unsurprisingly, Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s interpretations are anything but tame. His dynamic range is formidable, his voicing of chords scrupulously faithful, his clarity unimpeachable. It’s hard to imagine the textures having greater impact or precision, or the continuity and discontinuity being projected with greater concentration. Nigel Simeone’s essay for Pentatone is exceptionally informative on factual background. One can only salute this outstanding achievement. --–Gramophone, arkivmusic.com

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