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SIG 126
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SIG 126

Messiaen: Chamber Works

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2008

Originally recorded in 2008

Artists:

Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra


Matthew Schellhorn

piano

Venue:

Potton Hall Studio, Westleton, Suffolk



Producer:

Rachel Smith



Engineer:

Peter Newble



Record Label
Signum

Genre:

Piano


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 66:10
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OLIVIER MESSIAEN

   
1 

Fantaisie

8:59
   
 

Quatuor pour la fin du Temps

45:41  
2 Liturgie de cristal 2:37
3 Vocalise, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps 5:04
4 Abîme des oiseaux 8:21
5 Intermède 1:48
6 Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus 7:26
7 Danse de la futeur, pour les sept trompettes 6:08
8 Fouillis d'arcs-en-ciel, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps 7:21
9 Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus 6:56
   
10 

Le Merle noir

6:24
   
11 

Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes

3:07
   
  world premiere recording  
12 

Morceau de lecture à vue

1:59
Messiaen: Chamber Works – Matthew Schellhorn, with soloists from the Philharmonia Orchestra

Marking one hundred years since the birth of the composer, Signum Classics is proud to announce the release of a collection of chamber works by Messiaen, featuring Matthew Schellhorn in collaboration with soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen wrote of Schellhorn: ‘An excellent pianist and an excellent exponent… everything is played as Messiaen wished it.’

This CD includes one of the composer’s finest works, the Quatuor pour la fin du Temps, and is especially valuable for including the world premiere recording of Morceau de lecture à vue. Both the quality of performances and the sound on this release are superb.

"French contemporary Messiaen’s music breaks through the veil of Milhaud’s reserve, restlessly exploring the extremes of ecstasy and meditation, apocalypse and tranquillity. The Fantaisie for violin and piano, discovered only two years ago, superbly demonstrates Messiaen’s ability to compose romantically and heroically. Although an early work, it already has the intense radiance of Messiaen’s spirituality. Both the heroic and the spiritual qualities are captured by the performers, the utterly beautiful and intensely yearning violin sound earning this recording a plenary indulgence for fast-track admission to a Catholic heaven.

Utterly expressive and beautiful playing is also never lacking in the Quartet for the End of Time. A considerably challenging piece in the chamber music repertoire, this recording captures something of the danger and excitement of a live performance. Composed by Messiaen under the most extreme war-time conditions, the premiere in 1941 in a prison must have had its fair share of angst in the performers’ hands, as much as this work is an expression of Messiaen’s reassuring Catholic faith. Has the Quartet for the End of Time already attained the status of one of those works which Adorno thought of as alienated masterpieces? Composed by a prisoner of war in a German camp, and its biblical message of apocalypse first aired to 400 prisoners, is it one of those extramusical icons that have become immune from criticism? Schellhorn’s deep involvement with Messiaens’s music and an appreciation of his Catholicism make this a first-rate recording through which to answer such questions."

Tau Wey
 

Piano Journal - Winter 2008 - Issue 86

"A worthwhile and distinctive release"


Gramophone

"A fine, solid ensemble performance. ... Technically assured throughout. .... The effect is powerful and chilling."

 

International Records Review

                                       Classical Editors Favourite - 2008

"A heart-stoppingly beautiful performance ... Listeners who love Quatuor pour la fin du Temps owe it to themselves to hear this stellar version. ***** "
 

All Music Guide (USA)



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