Related Reviews
High Fidelity - Denmark
"Læg mærke til Linn og Hebrides Ensemble!"
more >>
Crescendo
4 Stars
"...le Hebrides Ensemble, familier du répertoire contemporain, en donne ici une interprétation très convaincante..."
more >>
Hi Fi & Musik
'I är firar man att det vär hundra är sedan den franske tonsättaren Olivier Messaiaen föddes...'
more >>
Pizzicato
5 Stars
Diese hochkarätige Messiaen CD vereint mehrere...
more >>
Linster
4 Stars
De grootste attractie van deze cd zit in de minder bekende stukken...
more >>
Partituren
"Eine rundum gelungene Einspielung in optimalem Klang."
more >>
Klassik.com
4 Stars
"Schon ihretwegen werden Messiaen-Fans zu dieser SACD greifen."
more >>
Ensemble
"...überwältigend."
more >>
Atlanta Audio Society
"...distinguished and thoroughly compelling accounts..."
more >>
Nottingham Evening Post
5 Stars
"...Simply unmissable...mastered superbly."
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
"...these are superb performances...placing this firmly among the best accounts on disc."
more >>
The List
4 Stars
"It takes its place among the best interpretations of the work on disc..."
more >>
SA-CD.net
5 Stars
Absolutely captivating and a wonderful contribution to the centenary of Messiaen's birth - highly recommended.
more >>
The Sunday Times
3 Stars
[a] stirring account of Quatuor pour la fin du temps
more >>
The Sunday Times (Live Review)
"captivating...daring but triumphant Wigmore debut."
more >>
Music OMH - Live Review
"...this was as eloquent as anything we've heard in London so far."
more >>
Classical Source - Live Review
"London appearances from the Hebrides Ensemble should ideally be more frequent."
more >>
The Observer
"...an impressive account from the Hebrides Ensemble..."
more >>
The Times (Knowledge)
4 Stars
A performance full of "intensity".
more >>
Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
"...transparent surround sonics greatly aid the listener's experience of this amazing work."
more >>
The Guardian
4 Stars
"...vivid, beautifully judged performances from the Hebrides Ensemble..."
more >>
Music OMH
4 Stars
"...well worth coughing up for...crisp and detailed..."
more >>
BBC Online
However, this disc is more than just a premiere recording. This is special playing from a special group of musicians.
more >>
The Independent
A strong, truthful recording by the ensemble
more >>
Financial Times
The Hebrides Ensemble play as if they believe in every note.
more >>
The Scotsman
4 Stars
A performance "with vibrant intensity and genuine belief in the music"
more >>

Olivier Messiaen - Hebrides Ensemble - Manchester Evening News


29 May 2008
Manchester Evening News
Robert Beale
4 Stars

Olivier Messiaen was born 100 years ago this year, and celebrations of his music are coming thick and fast.

This attractive CD is devoted to his chamber music - the big piece being Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps, the piece he wrote as a prisoner-of-war in 1940, with violin, clarinet, cello and piano the only instruments available to play.

Like much of his organ music, its sections have theological or Biblical sub-titles which are essential to understanding it - indeed, the final one ('Praise to the immortality of Jesus' here) was a description of 'blessed eternity' in its previous form for organ.

Its floating, endless melody, set against ethereal harmonies, demonstrates an aspect of his music which is most immediately atttractive.

Violin
It's found, too, in his Thème Et Variations of 1932 and Fantaisie for violin and piano (1933), a rediscovered work here getting its premiere recording.

The Hebrides Ensemble play these with patent devotion, as they do the flute examination piece La Merle Noir and the very late, brief Pièce Pour Piano Et Quatuor A Cordes - both relatively insubstantial.

One reservation: the full power of a concert grand is hardly appropriate for Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps, which was written for an upright piano... one on which the notes were apt to stick once they'd been played, prompting some wags to suggest that it could account for the strange nature of the harmonies used (!).

But Messiaen's music is like no other, and with experience it grows on you. This is one way to give it a try.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Hebrides EnsembleHebrides Ensemble
Olivier Messiaen: Chamber WorksOlivier Messiaen: Chamber Works