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Des Canyons Aux Etoiles

O. Messiaen Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $27.03 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2003 $18.99  
Audio CD, 2003 $27.03  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 1. Le désert - 1. Le désert 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 2. Les Orioles - 2. Les Orioles 6:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 3. Ce qui est écrit sur les Etoiles - 3. Ce qui est écrit sur les Etoiles 6:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 4. Le Cossyphe d'Heuglin - 4. Le Cossyphe d'Heuglin 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 5. Cedar Breaks et le Don de Crainte - 5. Cedar Breaks et le Don de Crainte 7:48Album Only
listen  6. 6. Appel insterstellaire - 6. Appel insterstellaire 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. 7. Bryce Canyon et les Rochers rouge-orange - 7. Bryce Canyon et les Rochers rouge-orange13:17Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 8. Les Ressuscités et le Chant de l'Etoile Aldébaran - 8. Les Ressuscités et le Chant de l'Etoile Aldébaran 8:23Album Only
listen  2. 9. Le Moqueur polyglotte - 9. Le Moqueur polyglotte11:09Album Only
listen  3. 10. La Grive des bois - 10. La Grive des bois 4:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 11. Omao, leiothrix, elepaio, shama - 11. Omao, leiothrix, elepaio, shama 8:57Album Only
listen  5. 12. Zion Park et la Cité céleste - 12. Zion Park et la Cité céleste10:48Album Only

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Frequently Bought Together

Des Canyons Aux Etoiles + Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Price for both: $38.42

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00006AKUZ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,839 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Olivier Messiaen must certainly have been the most idiosyncratic of late 20th century composers. Two preoccupations dominated his music -- his Catholicism, and his love of birds. These came together in the figure of St. Francis, to whom he dedicated an opera, one of his last major works.

"Des Canyons aux Etoiles..." was commissioned for the U.S. Bicentennial. In searching for a topic, Messiaen discovered and fell in love with the canyonland of southern Utah. He visited the area in 1972 -- Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Park -- and began writing. This was his tribute -- the stars of the night sky in the desert, and the stripes formed by the layers of rock, reaching deep back into time, the stark beauty of the landscape, filled with birdsong, reflecting the glory of God.

"Des Canyons" is a most idiosyncratic work from a most idiosyncratic composer -- it is unclassifiable in terms of form, though piano concerto comes closer than most. There are 12 movements, and 4 featured instruments -- piano (Roger Muraro), horn (Jean-Jacques Justafre), xylorimba (Francis Petit), and glockenspiel (Renaud Muzzolini). The orchestra (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung) is reduced to a large chamber ensemble, with woodwind, brass and percussion sections of orchestral size, but just 13 strings.

The 4th and 9th movements are piano solos, playing the songs of the white-browed robin and the mockingbird, respectively. Messiaen was a serious amateur ornithologist who taped birdsong and transcribed it for use in his music -- other birds featured in "Des Canyons" are the Sahara bird, orchard oriole, canyon wren, American robin, Stellar's jay, and wood thrush. Much of the long, episodic work is dominated by piano and percussion.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Explore June 24, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Messiaen's Des canyons aux etoiles... is wonderful piece of music but is also a challenging one. You must be patience and attentive to every whisper, although I find myself swiftly hypnotized. Written for solo piano, horn, xylorimba, glockenspiel and large chamber ensemble the work conveys a feeling of spirituality and timeless. The work has twelve movements arranged into three sections comprised of five movements, two movements and five. Each part concluding with a visit to a specific site in Utah.
Myung-Whun Chung is maybe today greatest interpretations of Messiaen. The Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra has all the virtuosity and the talent to brings to life Messiaen's sound world. Roger Muraro (Piano) and Jean-Jacques Justafre (Horn) also makes an impressive listening in their parts. This is one of the essential releases of Messiaen this year and maybe ever.
Deutsche Grammophon beautifully printed booklet includes a number of Quotations under every movement title. The first movement titled "the Desert" bring a quote by the philosopher Ernest Hello which I found all the meanings of Messiaen's music. It says "He who is to be found in vast: one must discard everything in order to take the first steps towards him... Go deep into the Desert of Deserts..."
Buy this CD and get lost in the desert...
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant February 11, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This recording comes very close to capturing the experience of hearing this work live. I heard it several years ago with Peter Serkin playing piano and haven't been the same since. Messiaen goes into a musical space that is truly sublime and absolutely overwhelming. I can only recommend that people listen to this work several times, and really, really listen. It will pay great rewards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having just returned from a trip - a pilgrimage, really - to the National Parks in Utah that provided much of the inspiration for this major work in Messiaen's oeuvre, I can vouch for the fact that they are just as amazing, just as jaw-droppingly beautiful as his music suggests.

This was a major Messiaen orchestral work from the mid-70s, written to a commission to celebrate the bicentenary of American Independence. Hence the fact that Messiaen used the American landscape at its most spectacular as his starting point - a launch-pad, if you like, to take him out to the stars that shine so incredibly brightly there and to his vision of the Celestial City beyond. The piece divides symmetrically into three sections of 5 movements, then 2, then 5 again. Each section ends with a picture of one of those Utah parks - Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon and Zion respectively. Between them are movements evoking other landscapes - the desert that is such a feature of the Western States at the opening, for example; movements filled with his beloved birdsong, two of which are for piano solo alone; movements that relate through the communicable language alphabet he developed in his previous work, the `Meditations sur le mystere de la Saint Trinite', to his religious visions; and a staggering solo horn movement at the beginning of Part 2, the `Appel interstellaire' or Interstellar Call, that makes massive technical demands of the soloist as it reaches for the stars.

The music right through the piece is full of incredible colour.
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