La Mer Bleue

Album cover art for upc 809730520921
Catalog: DDA25209

Chadwick, Roderick; Levy, Shir; Skærved, Peter Sheppard

This album is built around Messiaen, birdsong and impressionism. First, we have book 1 of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux, together with two newly written interludes and a postlude for two violins, transferring the song to the strings. Messiaen’s work is a journey towards sunlight, colour and company, from mountain to coastline, in the company of three feathered songsters. English composer David Gorton is best known for his uncompromising modernity but in his Ondine, he has produced a work much more accessible and although not specifically based on birdsong, it has many resonances with the Messiaen, and is an ideal partner to the earlier work; this is its first recording. With Szymanowski we reach the mainstream of 20th century writing, Romanticism hardening in light of the Great War and the October Revolution. This work, one of his greatest, is imbued with passion, longing, and in the words of Sorabji, “an elevated ecstasy of expression”. Roderick Chadwick, as both soloist and collaborator, has performed some of the most challenging works for piano; his recent Stockhausen disc was highly praised. He is a particular expert on Messiaen and in 2018 co-authored and published a book on the Catalogue d’oiseaux.

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