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Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Olivier Messiaen: Never Before Released
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I was recently given the opportunity to review Olivier Messiaen's "Never Before Released" CD. Featuring "La Mort Du Nombre", "Offrande Au Saint Sacrement", and twelve other tracks, I enjoyed listening to this CD, even though it certainly was not my favorite soundtrack of piano. If you enjoy piano music, you should appreciate adding this CD to your collection.

Jade Music, the specialty arm of Milan Records, is proud to commemorate Olivier Messiaen s 100th birthday with the album entitled Never Before Released. Messiaen was born in the French town of Avignon into a literary family and entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 11.

He would become a leading composer and organist of his time, traveling the globe and performing in major concert venues. In 1949, Messiaen s Turangalîla-Symphonie was performed for the first time in the United States and conducted by Leonard Bernstein. He drew his inspiration from very diverse influences such as Japanese music, Greek and Hindu sources and Roman Catholicism.

The album Never Before Released regroups works from three different sources. Some songs were unpublished and kept only in Messiaen s archives Offrande au Saint Sacrement, Prélude pour Orgue, Chant dans le style Mozart, Quatre Inédits pour Piano et Onde Martenot, and Prélude pour Piano. Some songs were published but never available to the public Monodie, Pièce pour le Tombeau de Dukas, Pièce pour Piano et Quatuor à cordes, and Chant des Déportés.
Finally, some songs were published but are no longer available on CD La Mort du Nombre, and Le Merle Noir.

This exceptional recording includes, among others, performances by his wife, Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, the BBC Choir and Orchestra, Guy Deplus, and is a tribute to a major figure of 20th century contemporary music.


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