Messiaen, Katia And Marielle Labeque - Visions De L'Amen

Wednesday 1st June 1994
Messiaen, Katia And Marielle Labeque - Visions De L'Amen

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 19793-
LABEL: Erato Disques 4509917072
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by John Irvine

Messiaen once said, "The first idea that I wished to express is the existence of the truths of the Catholic faith. This is the main aspect of my world and the most noble." Messiaen's music is often described as "mystical", a better description would be "theological". Here the idea of the "Amen" is developed through seven musical portraits. In "The Amen Of Creation", music develops out of nothing and grows in volume, intensity and complexity, mirroring the creation process. "The Amen Of The Stars And Planets" depicts an endless and energetic dance of the planets and stars moving through the heavens by the will of God. The "Amen Of Desire" anticipates the paradise to come and depicts the yearning of the soul for heaven. "The Amen Of The Consummation" is a stunning, dynamic, almost symphonic conclusion to the piece, resolving all of the themes of the work into a picture of the resurrection body in paradise. This is very much intellectually challenging music: Messiaen engages the head before the heart, an approach which is not everybody's cup of tea. The Labeque sisters on two pianos play an extremely difficult piece with stunning conviction. The sound is as perfect as you could hope for. So what are you waiting for?

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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