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Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jsus [DVD Video]
Messiaen Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jsus
DVD Video
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
2005     3hr 25min


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Movie Details

Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Classical
Studio: Accord
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 05/11/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 06/06/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 3hr 25min
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical,Import
Languages: French, English

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Movie Reviews

Roots.mists,icons,serializtions of modernity
scarecrow | Chicago, Illinois United States | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Messiaen fairly re-invented timbre and the piano after the war, His influences are vast but what sticks in composer's consciousness indelibly are his serializations of rhythm, the use of graduated linear motivic cells that can contract,withdraw become augmented or double in time, sped up in gradations,as nature itself, as distant sunlight slowly imperceptively traverses the planet, shines across the blue azures of the earth's oceans.
Messiaen traverses a human means of construction, what it means to be human mirrored in nature as close as possible,but it's curious he never found highly complex math, or latter fractal, topographical thinking as applicable to his musical work;his music attests to the frailties of the human being, and leaves nature alone to pursue itself, we are merely servants as the globe's religions suggests;As close as he gets technically was his lifelong fascination with the complexity inherent in birdcalls,their dynamic meanings and patterns of existence "nature's voice".Later the Arizona landscapes he frequnetly visited was his last source of inspiration.

This work also attests to the eternal forms of juxtapositions, linear richness, texture, harmonic colour and piano resonance ,in many respects; he had little interest in overall large-scale structure,(as for example Stockhausen found in his LICHT,or the late music of Morton Feldman) instead we find in "Vingt regards. . . " merely superimpositions, juxtaposing image-marked movements,like walking down the "stations of the cross" stopping/gazing at each iconic image of Christ's Cruxifiction; his materials are as time itself frozen in a stasis, unfolded,"pli selon pli" accosting various countless durational frames with this iconic stamp as here, the Catholic Liturgy, Creator(s), Sons, Spirits, Virgin, Angels, Love, Crosses,Words, Times, Joys, Silences, powers and yes Baby Jesus.

The opening "Regard du Pere" the Father;suggests the church pipe organ with the block chords like granite boulders of major inverted F# Major Chords, ascending upwards, where else? to heaven, with gentle octaves in questioning existence.
Various varigated colours embark on long distances here, where the agenda of the work never becomes overly labored or ponderous,and gentleness of the Virgin,"Regard de la Vierge"#4, a movement arresting in its beauty,self-contained; the piece always knows the Creator's "Time","Regard du temps"#9,and later #17 "Regard du silence"ends in an overwhelming cadenza-like virtuosity; how long materials and moments should last, and why they should last as long as they do. Messiaen's depp faith is what goves this music its content and longevity, for others composers influenced by Messiaen or claim to be, seem to lack an agenda many times, simply trying their hand to out-technicalize the discourse, trying to improve upon the serialization of rhythm as his star students, Stockhausen and Boulez,( also much later student George Benjamin found fascination for the discourse of harmony to be an eternal affinity.)

Fistfuls of chords also quite elegantly structured, and disbursed within the work is/are quite powerful, but then the agenda was for a mimiticism, to come a close as possible to the complexity affirmed in nature. Messiaen studied the complexity of nature, as giving himself challenges of technique throughout his long life. Spirit(s) of Joy also abound herein with vast celebrations of life and those who made life.

Roger Muraro simply plays wonderfully,aggressive where needed and is conceptually finds a scope over the vast distance of the work; the work's dedicatee, Yvonne Loriod,has close performative means with this aggressivity within the work as her pupil Pierre Aimard.Loriod recalls first playing this music,well other pieces with orchestra, where on first rehearsal Messiaen said "you need to go to the country, to see nature,to see how the music works"(paraphrasing). As you sit and listen to the entire work it does become impenetrable,nature is far more listener friendly,more forgiving of the impatience of the modern person, the modern constitution to get, to consume, to acquire as quickly as possible so not to miss the next round of experiences. Lacan would say it is our unconscious that makes us impatient with life and nature, and ourselves;where one experience never exhausts the human constitution for love, for experiencing the spirit, the powers negative and positive far above and below us; where you loose yourself within the work, and where you are, you can never repeat again as Messiaen will tell you how the complexities of birds is impossible to really notate.You can however dicipher the creative "DNA" of the composer here where he simply exhausts his materials, and you sense, he can never write again for the piano solo situation. He never did with this magnitude,but other have tried.
I am far from a spiritual person myself but I do regard humanity as the end of meanings, rather than kneeling before a higher Being we know nothing about.The timbres of the modern piano are enough to sustain me for an existence beyond what I know and can come to know.Repeated listenings does not help. The concept of the work the 20 ways of looking, has various multivariegated hermneutic meanings,and the work does question man's Being in "negative" like music, music that merely indulges in gestures, in hallucinatory moments of enrapture, a "cleansing" of the spirit before your Maker; but nature alone has this complexity as if looking at single icons through the various dimensions of a glas or iced=cube, or stain glass, smeared or distorted, or transmogrified, or imparted with an opaquenss of meanings."
Osvaldo Colarusso | Curitiba, Paraná Brazil | 07/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus by Messiaen is a so difficult music that only the great pianists use to play all the 20 pieces. In CD we have magnificent recordings like those of Haakon Austbö and Aimard, and of course Loriod, who premiered the cycle. Muraro was a pupil of Loriod, and a friend of Messiaen. His execution is perfect in the sense of the respect of the complicate rhythms and the expression. Loving the recordings of Haakon Austbö and of Pierre-Laurent Aimard I must confess that this performance is a great surprise. Muraro plays all the time with a profound interest , and we can't feel that we are hearing two hours of music for piano solo. He plays in a very old and little church, and the cameras, the light and all the images are superb. The sound is also fantastic. The second DVD, with the pianist speaking of his story , is very interesting too.
This DVD is a Monument . For the low price (less than two CDs of the recordings)we have the opportunity of hear and look for one fantastic performance . Bravo Mr Muraro."