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Messiaen: Complete Organ Works Box set

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, October 8, 2002
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$66.97
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$66.97 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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  • Messiaen: Complete Organ Works
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Editorial Reviews

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Disc 5
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 8, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00005UOVM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,790 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Olivier Latry Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For those of you looking for definitive recordings of the organ works then look no further. Hard to believe that Latry can usurp Messiaen's own interpretation on the "par lui-meme" box set but I think it's justified.
Firstly this complete edition includes late works like the meditations sur le mystere de la saint trinite which are not included on messiaen's set.
Secondly the recording quality is absolutely outstanding which is especially important given the rarified nature and colour sensitivity of the music. Nothing worse than listening to the celestial banquet on messiaen's set and here the tape hiss and crackle!
Thirdly Latry plays on the Notre Dame Cavaille-coll organ which is in perfect condition compared to messiaen's lacklustre St trinity. And what an organ it is, encompassing the gamut of expression: rich, deep, sweet, diaphonous, nasal, reedy and even diabolic! Probably the best organ I've heard on cd.
But the coup de gras has to be Latry's playing. His approach is very similar to Messiaen's but seems to venture even further metaphysically! The long and slow crescendi are smoother, the climaxes held for longer, the ferocious sections bitier etc. Those of you familiar with the peaks of the apparition de l'eglise eternelle or combat de la mort et de la vie from elsewhere will be agog at latry's interpretation.
If you're a newcomer to messiaen then I think his organ works are an ideal introduction to his aesthetic. This box set can take you all the way from his most accessible to abstract works.
Comment 63 of 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
If you are a Messiaen fan, you simply must own this CD! It is essentail for a number of reasons.
For one, it is a complete recording of all of his organ works--quite an audio library, as you can see from the list of pieces included! Second is the quality of the recording (assured since this is a Deutsche Grammophon recording). It is digital, clear, and amazing. An old recording of Messiaen playing his own organ works is available, but it is a mono recording which he plays on a lackluster organ, as opposed to this recoring which is (of course) stereo, digital, and recorded on the organ at Notre Dame Cathedral--a magificent instrument that does justice to Messiaen. Also, while Messiaen is a favorite composer, his skills as an organist are not world-class as Olivier Latry's, whose playing here is masterful, inspired and technically perfect. You put all that together--excellent composer, recording, instrument, and organist--and you have "Messiaen: Complete Organ Works"... which from my first listening of it has become my favorite CD, bar none.
The reason why will be apparent to you as you listen to the very first track: "Vision of the Eternal Church." The piece is intended to invoke a musical interpretation of what it would be like to experience an apparition of the Church of God. As such, the first half is a constant build, one long crescendo, as if the vision were appearing slowing... the second half is a fading away, one long decrescendo. When Latry gets to the climax right in the middle of the piece, you'll see immidiately how all the elements come together (excellent recording, composer, instrument and artist)... it is the single most triumphant, majestically rendered chord you will ever hear.
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1 Comment 43 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
You will not find a better recording of Olivier Messiaen's organ works than this gem. Approved by a Catholic Church official in the liner notes as capturing the religious ideals that Messian sought to reveal, Latry's playing on the formidable Notre Dame Cathedral organ contains a gravity and seriousness that give a rare and divine character to the music. Latry was blessed by Messiaen himself as the best interpreter of his works, and the reason for that is evident here. The music pours forth in a majestic tide, and Latry uses his formidable talent, the full resources of the outstanding 600-year old organ, and the natural, extra-long reverberation in the medieval cathedral to capture the mysticism that pervades Messiaen's art. This is art music of the highest caliber, and will greatly reward repeated listenings.
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Format: Audio CD
I have a longtime relationship with at least some of Messiaen's organ music - it's been in my repertoire for decades. Also, one of my teachers (Clyde Holloway) did his doctoral dissertation on Messaien, in the course of which he studied the complete works (up to that time) with the composer at Trinity Church in Paris. Several of the reviewers here made reference to the composer's own recordings (which are not, in fact, the complete works). Messiaen himself often cited Almut Rossler, from Dusseldorf, as the foremost performer of his organ music. (This opinion doesn't seem to be widely shared by others!) To go through the various complete or quasi-complete collections, I'll share my views. First of all, the composer's recording of the pre-1960 organ works was of poor fidelity even for its time. (Remember, Mercury "Living Presence" recordings were around then!) The organ is terrifying in its rough way - especially effective in "Combat de la mort et de la vie" from "Les Corps Glorieux" and in "Apparition de l'eglise eternelle" (both of which, by the way, I have played). Clyde Holloway related to us that the organ at Trinity really did sound that horrendous live. The composer loved the instrument anyway, and had some changes made on it over the years. More recent recordings on it sound vastly better (Najy Hakim, who succeeded Messiaen as organist there). Also, the time at which those recordings were made was a very difficult time for the composer. His first wife was on her deathbed, with an extended illness, and indeed there are many rough edges in the performances. (Messiaen at his best was a brilliant player, though his style of playing was often highly eccentric.) There are some brilliant moments, though.Read more ›
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