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  • Messiaen: Petites esquisses d'oiseaux/Catalogue d'oiseaux
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Messiaen: Petites esquisses d'oiseaux/Catalogue d'oiseaux Box set

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 5, 1997
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$24.91
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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Disc 2
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Disc 3
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 5, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • 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: Naxos
  • Run Time: 167.0 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000149Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,184 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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3 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Birdcalls are perhaps the sounds in nature that most closely resemble instrumental music, so maybe this is why they can so fascinate people. In addition to this, they are very immediate and there is a certain mystery as to why the motifs are the way they are. Here, Messiaen draws on a seemingly limitless array of harmonies and rhythmic patterns to translate the birdcalls to a "more human scale", as the notes put it. In the Petits Esquisses (Little Sketches), he describes the bird's flight, call, and plumage, but in the much larger Catalogue d'Oiseaux, he also describes the surrounding countryside and other birds in the region. The music is still recognizably birdcall-like in that there are many separate motifs that appear and reappear throughout a movement. In between these motifs appear bass chords and various other configurations which are supposed to represent air currents, reflections in the water, etc. The line between consonance and dissonance is somewhat blurry as the main emphasis is on color and rhythm.
As the reviewer below said, the main attraction is in the nearly endless variety of timbres and colors used in the music. Surely it takes a composer of huge creativity and skill to convincingly describe a scene from nature, but I think Messiaen actually pulls this off. Lastly, hats off to Austbo who plays all two hours and fifty minutes with incredible precision and accuracy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on August 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This collection contains almost all of Messien's bird pieces for solo piano. These are fascinating works. Each piece is a portrait of one bird, whose song Messien painstakingly transcribed and translated into his own modal style. In addition to the main birdsong, most of the pieces also include the songs of several other birds found in the same habitat as the main bird portrayed. Add to that, Messien's penchant for using colorful chords to paint in the background of the scene and this is the most visual music written in the 20th century.
The performance is quite good. I tend to prefer the Peter Hill recordings which were made in the early 90s and reissued by Naxos as well, but these are quite welcome. At the Naxos price, they are quite a bargain, so even if you find that you don't listen to the entire collection often, you may find yourself coming back to individual pieces over and over again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Osvaldo Colarusso on June 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The music of Catalogue is by far one of the bests of Messiaen. The sound is free, like the birds. I listened this record with all the scores ( so expensive)in hand.This pianist is a phenomena : he plays everything is written . And the sound is always beautiful. The Catalogue is a consequence of Debussy. The music is atonal without rules . The pianists have the obligation to play that so important and beautiful music.And, one more time, bravo for the pianist.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a perfect introduction to Messiaen's bird-influenced music. A very colorful. precise and inspired interpretation. At a customer-friendly price. Yet again, a lesser known pianist delivers a world-class interpretation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rustic on August 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Messiaen's piano music is a major achievement for modern music! Do not hesitate to explore these piano pieces along with his other unique piano compositions.
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