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La Jeune France

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, October 1, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Three composers from the group which styled itself ‘La Jeune France’ test vocal technique as never before, in music that can be rapturous and visceral, perfumed and mystical, fresh, sensuous, erotic; music that was wholly new and yet recognizably French, a subtle mix of primitive emotion and sophistication overlaid with the élan and self-confidence of a re-born Paris, striding into the second half of the twentieth century.

"This disc is something not far from a revelation ... elaborately sonorous, radiantly glowing ... as usual from this fine group, the performances are immaculately detailed, and, especially in the Messiaen, they have a very un-English sense of the sumptuousness that binds it in to a compelling whole." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

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Product Details

  • Performer: Messiaen, Harry Christophers, Jolivet
  • Audio CD (October 1, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CORO
  • ASIN: B0001Z659O
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,292 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jason Overall on June 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
It is the Messiaen centenary year, which is a great excuse to explore his music. The recording not only gives a sensitive, ecstatic, luxurious, and even sexy rendering of the Cinq Rechants, it also helps place the piece in context by providing performances of very obscure pieces by Messiaen's contemporaries. Now La Jeune France is not just a footnote in Messiaen's biography for me, but an actual presence in my CD collection. Further, the works by Jolivet and Daneil-Lesur are equally enthralling. This recording will be of enormous value to anyone interested in the music of Messiaen.

From a choral technique standpoint, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have outdone themselves. All of the sensitivity, spontaneity, and unerring intonation that typifies their recordings of Taverner and Tallis are on tap for this music that is technically beyond the pale. It is hard to imagine music that could make more demands on singers, yet The Sixteen never seems bogged down in technique, just trying to sing the right notes. Rather, they obviously have the music internalized so well that they are able to sing with amazing expressiveness and nuance. The virtuosity becomes a background detail. Congratulations to The Sixteen on this remarkable achievement.
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