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Olivier Messiaen - La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, XIV

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Uploaded on Jul 20, 2010

La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, for 100 voices, piano, cello, flute, clarinet, xylorimba, vibraphone, marimba & orchestra (1965-1969)

Premier Septénaire
I. Récit évangélique
II. Configuratum corpori claritatis suae
III. Christus Jesus, splendor Patris
IV. Récit évangélique
V. Quam dilecta tabernacula tua
VI. Candor est lucis aeternae
VII. Choral de la Sainte Montagne

Deuxième Septénaire
VIII. Récit évangélique
IX. Perfecte conscious illius perfectae generationis
X. Adoptionem filiorum perfectam
XI. Récit évangélique
XII. Terribilis est locus iste
XIII. Tota Trinitas apparuit
XIV. Choral de la Lumière de Gloire

Yvonne Loriod, piano
Arturo Muruzabal, violoncelle
Martine van der Loo, flute
Harmen de Boer, clarinette
Peter Prommel, marimba
Ruud Stotÿn, vibraphone
Henk de Vlieger, xylorimba
Ludwig van Gijsegem, ténor
Reiner Holthaus, baryton

Koor van de Brt Bruxelles
Groot Omroepkoor & Radio Symfonie Orkest Hilversum
Reinbert de Leeuw

La Transfiguration was the first of Messiaen's works to use sacred words as its text, drawing from the bible and the missal on the subject of Christ's transfiguration. It is not a dramatic work, but a liturgical one, meant, as Paul Griffiths notes, to show a story rather than to tell it. It is scored for a large choir and orchestra, with a duration of about ninety minutes. This work hearkens back to Messiaen's music of several decades earlier: gone are the harsher twelve-note constructions of the later works, replaced by a return to diatonicism, modes, 'loose' triadic harmony, and metrical freedom. The piece consists of fourteen movements, divided into two sets of seven (more of Messiaen's theological symbolism). Typically, there is also the incorporation of birdsong into the melodic framework, and it is important to note that, according to Griffiths, more than a decade later there is more species of birdsong in La Transfiguration than in the Catalogue des Oiseaux of 1958. There is also perhaps a recollection of Debussy through the use of the whole-tone scale. Ultimately, this work exemplifies Messiaen's tendency to compose music intended to be appreciated not in terms of its formal connectedness and continuity, but rather moment by moment. [Allmusic.com]

Art by Marc Chagall

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