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Messiaen: Turangalila Symphony Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, April 20, 2004
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Product Details

  • Performer: Yvonne Loriod
  • Orchestra: Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Composer: O. Messiaen
  • Audio CD (April 20, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA Red Seal
  • ASIN: B0001TSWM8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Introduction
2. Chant D'Amour 1
3. Turangalila 1
4. Chant D'Amour 2
5. Joie Du Sang Des Etoiles
6. Jardin Du Sommeil D'Amour
7. Turangalila 2
8. Developpement De L'Amour
9. Turangalila 3
10. Finale

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
I honestly don't know how it got past the mastering stage.
ShivKatall
The soloists perform well and the young Ozawa brings a youthful touch to recording that is at once refreshing and insightful.
Daniel Cormier
With that in mind, the Turangalila Symphony one of the masterpieces of 20th century classical music.
Eric S. Kim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Cormier on May 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This has been the recording by which all Turangalila recordings have been judged since its original release more than 35 years ago. None have eclipsed it. Chung softens the edges, Previn hides the beauty. Nagano is good but the orchestra is dull while Wit would have had a great recording had the group been able to play in tune. Seiji beats them hands down. The performance is vigorous and intense and he is not afraid to show the ferocity or the beauty of the piece. The soloists perform well and the young Ozawa brings a youthful touch to recording that is at once refreshing and insightful. The TSO really play well as a group and are not timorous in any way. I have been nursing an LP of this for years and this release is very overdue. I have long wanted to play this in my car or on my iPod and thankfully, now I can.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Johannes Climacus on December 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We usually think of Seiji Ozawa's musical passions as "recollected in tranquillity," and for this reason it is valuable to have recorded evidence of a vastly different conductor, before the decline into staleness and tedium that marked his final years with the BSO. On the evidence of this production from 1967, Ozawa in his younger days could galvanize even a less than world-class ensemble (sorry, Toronto--but you're not quite in the same league as the BSO) into performing at the highest pitch of passionate abandon. if ever a score called for such abandon, it is Messiaen's *Turangalila*, a work of such seething erotic *jouissance* as to make Stravinsky's *Le Sacre du Printemps* seem like the proverbial "Sunday school picnic."

There have been numerous accounts of *Turangalila* since Ozawa's pioneering effort in 1967 (the first really viable version of the stereo era), but none have surpassed Ozawa for the ideal balance of elemental power and discipline. The Toronto orchestra surpass themselves on this occasion with playing of mind-boggling accuracy, vibrancy and virtuosity, even at Ozawa's bracing tempos in movements such as the Introduction, "Joie du sang des étoiles," and the exhaustingly intense Finale (among others). Ozawa secures remarkably clean textures--at times you can hear nearly everything that's going on in Messiaen's multi-layered musical universe, with resulting sensory overload (in which every lover of the score will surely revel). Throughout the long haul of ten movements, the all-important piano and ondes Martinot parts are superbly dispatched by the Loriod sisters in their prime. I also appreciate the way Ozawa balances the ondes; its singular timbre is audible when it needs to be, yet never obtrudes or dominates the texture unduly.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By T. Herion on February 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Many Messiaen fans have been waiting for RCA to release this historic recording on CD. Although the sound has been remastered, the interpretation and playing is still unsatisfactory.

For some reason the orchestra is not able to handle the incredible technical demands placed on them by the score. There are a number of places where the instruments are not together, particularly during ritards (which are incredibly over- done to my taste). The tempos are also taken so slow as to zap much of the energy right out of what could be incredibly ecstatic music. I have a feeling that the tempos were determined more to fit the orchestra's capabilities than to fit the musical aesthetic.

Just to be clear, I consider the Turangalila to be a masterpiece in its own right, and the Seiji Ozawa recording is important in that it is the first, but there have been much better recordings since. I highly recommend the Concertgebow recording.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eric S. Kim on March 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Turangalila Symphony by Olivier Messiaen is not for everybody. Indeed, this is for those who have learned to love works by Schoenberg, Ligeti, Stravinsky, Janacek, etc. But for those who love the earler melodic music of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, don't be afraid to try some of the more modern music. It may sound very uncomfortable, but it might grow on you after repeated listenings. With that in mind, the Turangalila Symphony one of the masterpieces of 20th century classical music. It is a 75+ minute composition that centers on three major themes: statue, flower, and love. But these themes don't have the melodic feeling that Wagner or Rachmaninov bring out in their own works. These are more in the likes of Schoenberg's serialism and Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" brutality. This is a very colorful, chaotic, and etheral experience that actually inspires.

It's sometimes hard to believe that this recording with Seiji Ozawa was made back in 1967, mostly because the audio quality on this RCA disc is superb in every way. It sounds like it was made only a few years ago. Ozawa knows how to grab everyone's attention. The majestic energy and terrifying ethereality can be best described as explosive. Nothing is exaggerated, however, and the conductor still makes light of the soft spots. The Toronto Symphony gives out a great performance. The heavy percussion have it loud and clear, the brass and woodwinds never sound muffled or weak, and the strings sure know how to get it right.

I've already taken a liking to 20th Century classical music ever since I first listened to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" a long time ago, and I'm still open to all of the different varieties of classical music (except Baroque, I'm not a big fan of that one). Messiaen's "Turangalila" has quickly become one of my favorite 20th century pieces of all time, alongside "Rite of Spring" and Debussy's "La Mer" and many others. I just hope my disc doesn't wear out when I play it constantly.
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