Olivier Messiaen, La Nativite du Seigneur


Few works have been received with so much criticism, only to become later a veritable monument during the composer’s lifetime.

The works of Olivier Messiaen are admirable for their poetry, their lyricism and spirituality; “La Nativité” is not only the joy of the birth of Christ; with Jésus accepte la souffrance (Jesus accepts suffering) it is already the “Nativité-Passion”.

Susan Landale
’s performance is one of strength and unity, the flow of the successive movements is handled with perfect flexibility, reaching certain summits which are in fact Messiaen’s own: Le Verbe in particular, and of course the final Dieu parmi nous, transcendent in virtuosity, liturgical in its thematic synthesis.  

Le Banquet céleste (1
926) and Apparition de l’église éternelle (1932) add power and serenity; the climate of apeasement becomes here a “post-meditation” to La Nativité.

Emotion and sincerity first of all, but transmitted to the listener by means that are both sure and clear”; these words of Messiaen, in the preface to La Nativité, virtually resume the artistic value of this recording.
A superb realisation, a classic.
(Diapason: Michel Roubinet 1987)




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