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Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jesus (Selections: I, IV, X, XI, XIV, XV & XIX)

Evan Hirsch (piano) , Olivier Messiaen , none Audio CD

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1. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - XV. Le baiser de L Enfant-Jesus
2. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - XIV. Regard des Anges
3. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - IV. Regard de la Vierge
4. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - I. Regard du Pere
5. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - X. Regard de l Esprit de joie
6. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - XI. Première communion de la Vierge
7. Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus - XIX. Je dors, mais mon coeur veille

Editorial Reviews

Review

Authoritative performances. [ *****] --BBC Music, 2010

Evan Hirsch plays brilliantly. --Fanfare, 2010

Mr. Hirsch's performances are exemplary. --American Record Guide, 2010 (on Rochberg: Piano Music, Volume II)

Product Description

Ever since my early adult years, Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur L Enfant-Jesus has held a cherished place in my solo repertoire. I find that, perhaps more than any other music of its time, it speaks to me viscerally and directly: The unmetered phrasing feels natural, as with speech, and the poignant harmonic language is unique, yet comfortably tonal. The structure of each Regard can range from narrative to abstract, yet each is emotionally clear and dramatically compelling. Although the title suggests the possibility of exhaustive theistic scrutiny, the work is anything but tedious in its musical portrayals. This music transcends cultural and national boundaries. Even though Messiaen's musical heritage and education were patently French, he clearly sought to develop a style and vocabulary that existed on their own. That is why his music is so unique and identifiable. More importantly, his passionate and humanistic treatment of the religious figures in the Vingt Regards pushes this music well beyond the sphere of sacred music, into a universal realm in which those who don t fully identify with the composer's faith can nonetheless embrace its fervor and depth.

American pianist Evan Hirsch performs extensively as both recitalist and chamber player, in such venues as Jordan Hall in Boston, Muson Centre in Lagos and Palazzo Savelli Chigi in Ariccia. As member of the Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo (with wife, Sally Pinkas), he has toured China, Nigeria, Russia, Israel and Europe, and has commissioned, premiered and recorded works by Martin Pearlman, Kui Dong, Peter Child and Thomas Oboe Lee for the New Albion, Otherminds and Albany labels. Summer festival credits include Kfar Blum in Israel, Pontlevoy in France, Officina Scotese in Italy and ppIANISSIMO in Bulgaria. His extensive discography features multi-disc compilations of works by Daniel Pinkham (Arsis) and George Rochberg (Naxos). Hirsch holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY Purchase, and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory. He teaches piano and chamber music at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and has held Visiting Professor appointments at Dartmouth College in 2007 and 2011.


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