Friday, 17 October 2008

La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ/RFH

About a third of the way through this I asked myself why this large scale work for orchestra and chorus wasn't as well known as the Turangalila. About two thirds of the way through I think I knew why. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely piece, full of lush feather-bed chords. But it lacks the playful liquidity of Turangalila. Rather, it moves along in dense blocks of sound. Whether it was down to Kent Nagano's interpretation or simply flaws in Messiaen's composition, we were left with sublime pockets of ecstasy that never really gathered momentum .

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