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Messiaen: Des canyons aux étoiles …

Messiaen Des Canyons aux Étoiles …
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Album Notes
Thierry Fischer | Conductor
Jason Hardink | piano
Stefan Dohr | horn
Des canyons aux étoiles …
  • 1Le désert
  • 2Les orioles
  • 3Ce qui est écrit sur les étoiles …
  • 4Le cossyphe d'Heuglin
  • 5Cedar Breaks et le don de crainte
  • 6Appel interstellaire
  • 7Bryce Canyon et les rochers rouge-orange
  • 8Les ressuscités et le chant de l'étoile Aldébaran
  • 9Le moqueur polyglotte
  • 10La grive des bois
  • 11Omao, leiothrix, elepaio, shama
  • 12Zion Park et la cité céleste

“The Utah Symphony would be justified in regarding Des Canyons aux Étoiles … (From the Canyons to the Stars …) as its signature work. For it was the spectacular landscapes of the desert state that so enraptured Olivier Messiaen on a visit in 1973 that he decided the work he had been commissioned to compose to mark the US bicentenary in 1976 would be a celebration not only of its natural beauties and colours, but also of the birds that inhabit it. Fifty years after that visit, the Utah orchestra and its music director Thierry Fischer performed Messiaen’s longest orchestral work in the very canyons that prompted the epic score, and subsequently made this recording”.

– Andrew Clements, The Guardian

“Could there be a better placed ensemble to perform Des canyons aux étoiles? Commissioned for the bi-centenary of the US Declaration of Independence, Messiaen’s monumental masterpiece was inspired by neither Washington nor New York nor political history, but the national parks of southern Utah. The birdsong and vividly hued landscape of the region prompted a euphoric 12-movement celebration of nature and his faith. On paper, the piece should not work, for Messiaen pits vast wind and percussion sections against just 13 strings. Even stranger is the inclusion of solo movements, two for piano, one for horn. And yet, teeming with invention, this strange assemblage not only hangs together, but transfixes and overwhelms”.

-Christopher Dingle, Classical Music

“Artistic excellence and striking repertoire have always been among the hallmarks of Hyperion Records. The company now, on the surface at least, is independent no longer, after being sold to the Universal Music Group. Apart from wider promotion and access, it’s far too soon to gauge what Hyperion’s future might bring. I just know that my Easter listening has been buoyed no end by one of the label’s newest releases, Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles.

A colourful epic at the best of times, the sprawling work from the early 1970s emerges triply awesome in this bracingly vivid recording from Thierry Fischer and the excellent Utah Symphony — ideal performers for a work directly inspired by the American state’s rugged landscapes and birdsong. The wind machine solos might pall (the composer’s fault), but every note dazzles from the soloists who really matter: the pianist Jason Hardink and the wonderful horn player Stefan Dohr. Let’s hope that Hyperion itself follows the visionary work’s upward trajectory, from the canyons to the stars”.

-Geoff Brown, The Times