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Liszt & Messiaen – Piano Music

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Performers
Instruments
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Label
Catalogue numberBIS-CD-1803
Release date2012-07-01
Discs1
Orig. sample rate44100Hz

New Zealand Listener: Outstanding August 2012: "An ideal CD for pensive listeners, whether religious or not".

At first glance, the two composers represented on this disc may seem an unlikely couple: Franz Liszt the archetypal virtuoso-composer who crisscrossed 19th century Europe mesmerizing his audiences, and Olivier Messiaen who at the age of 22 was appointed organist at the Sainte-Trinité Church in Paris, remaining there for the rest of his life. In this imaginatively constructed programme, the Swedish pianist (and neuroscientist) Fredrik Ullén juxtaposes music by the two, showing that there are closer parallels between them than might be expected. For a start, a significant role in both composers’ work was played by religious convic­tions, and three of the Liszt pieces included here are related to saints of the Catholic Church: the composer’s own patron saint St Francis of Paola, St Dorothea and St Francis of Assisi, whose sermon to the birds is the subject of the first of the Two Legends. But both men also ventured into unexplored musical territory, with Messiaen exploring bird song (which he chose to regard as an expression of ‘religious joy’) and Hindu rhythms, for instance in Cantéyodjayâ. Meanwhile Liszt in his later years would develop an austere musical style full of dissonance, whole-tone scales, diminished and augmented chords – as striking as it is advanced, and looking ahead far into the twentieth cen­tury. One of the prime examples of this late style is Unstern! Sinistre, disastro. On several discs for BIS, Fredrik Ullén has demonstrated not only a stupendous virtuosity, but also a striking originality in his choice of repertoire, including Ligeti’s Études and George Flynn’s unique, almost two-hour long triptych Trinity, described as ‘an utterly convincing performance of this incredible work’ on the website MusicWeb International.
 
Extra material for download
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  Sancta Dorothea, S.187 (1877)
01 Sancta Dorothea, S.187 (1877) 03:21 $ 0.70 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  St. François d’Assise: La prédication aux oiseaux
02 St. François d’Assise: La prédication aux oiseaux 09:50 $ 2.07 USD
 
 
  Composer: Messiaen, Olivier
  Petites esquisses d’oiseaux 15:36
03 I. Le rouge-gorge (Erithacus rubecula) 02:37 $ 0.55 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  Consolations, S.172 (1844–50) 17:01
04 I. Andante con moto 01:27 $ 0.30 USD
 
 
  Composer: Messiaen, Olivier
  Petites esquisses d’oiseaux 15:36
05 II. Le merle noir (Turdus merula) 02:40 $ 0.56 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  Consolations, S.172 (1844–50) 17:01
06 II. Un poco più mosso 02:50 $ 0.60 USD
 
 
  Composer: Messiaen, Olivier
  Petites esquisses d’oiseaux 15:36
07 III. Le rouge-gorge (Erithacus rubecula) 02:45 $ 0.58 USD
08 IV. La grive musicienne (Turdus ericetorum) 01:55 $ 0.40 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  Consolations, S.172 (1844–50) 17:01
09 III. Lento placido 04:03 $ 0.85 USD
10 IV. Quasi Adagio 02:43 $ 0.57 USD
 
 
  Composer: Messiaen, Olivier
  Petites esquisses d’oiseaux 15:36
11 V. Le rouge-gorge (Erithacus rubecula) 03:11 $ 0.67 USD
12 VI. L’alouette des champs (Alauda arvensis) 02:28 $ 0.52 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  Consolations, S.172 (1844–50) 17:01
13 V. Andantino 02:31 $ 0.53 USD
14 VI. Allegretto sempre cantabile 03:27 $ 0.72 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  Unstern! Sinistre, disastro, S.208 (1881)
15 Unstern! Sinistre, disastro, S.208 (1881) 05:34 $ 1.17 USD
 
 
  Composer: Messiaen, Olivier
  Cantéyodjayâ (1949)
16 Cantéyodjayâ (1949) 12:09 $ 2.55 USD
 
 
  Composer: Liszt, Franz
  St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots
17 St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots 08:36 $ 1.81 USD
 
  Album total 01:12:07
ComposerLiszt, Franz
Messiaen, Olivier
PianoUllén, Fredrik

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