Messiaen: Organ Works Vol II (2 CDs)

Nourished by Messiaen’s beloved birdsong and Hindu rhythms, the Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité bring alive the deepest mysteries of Catholicism and are here performed with a visceral intensity by Michael Bonaventure. They are coupled with the powerfully abstract Livre d’orgue in the second volume of Delphian’s centenary survey of Messiaen’s complete published organ music, in which the early music is performed by Timothy Byram-Wigfield and the late works by Bonaventure. This powerfully idiosyncratic composer’s voice speaks here through an organ of immense range and apocalyptic power.

"Michael Bonaventure's does get Messiaen's music to lift off the page, even in the most rigorous pages of the Livre d'orgue. The organ of St Giles, Edinburgh has the power and range of colour needed, with the fierce chords at the opening of 'Les mains de l'abîme' fizzing with tension."


"Playing that fully embraces the Messiaen spirit in demanding works."

"Technical perfection aside, it is the sheer musicality of Bonaventure's interpretations that brings his performances alive, and which make complete poetic sense of even Messiaen's most abstract gestures. Moments that openly bow to serial dogma are given soulful shape; they sing rather than preach. And, where the composer's famous birdsong figurations make their many appearances, Bonaventure colours them with shades of ecstasy and lustre."

"Michael Bonaventure is a superb executant and colourist, and Delphian’s sound engineering is of an exceptionally high standard."

"Michael Bonaventure, at the organ of St Giles’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, pays due regard to the drama, the mysticism, the reverence and the colour of Messiaen’s writing, producing thoroughly involving mysterious and visceral accounts of this stunning music."

"The effect is quite spellbinding: intricate, harsh, beautifully articulated and with a vivid sense of darkness and light. Realising the formidable technical complexity of this music is the easy part; unlocking its linear musicality is the real challenge, and it’s one met impressively here."


"If an authentic French atmosphere is a little lacking, this is more than compensated by the strength and conviction of these superbly clear and articulate performances of some of Messiaen's most rhythmically and texturally complex music...Particularly striking are the slow-moving sections of dissonant harmonies finally bursting into pure diatonic chords, overwhelming in their mystic radiance."

Release date: April 8, 2002
Catalogue No: DCD34016
Total playing time: 2:13:08

Recorded on 1 December 2005 and 8 January 2007 in St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh
Producer & Engineer: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital editing: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter

Design: John Christ
Photography: Dr Raymond Parks

Album Booklet

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