Messiaen: Organ Works Vol III

The seeds for Messiaen’s final organ work were sown during an inspirational trip to Israel in 1984. Over the course of the following twelve months, the aging composer found improvisation leading him back to composition as he recovered from the exhausting labours that had produced his opera Saint François d’Assise.

The Livre du Saint Sacrement became Messiaen’s grand farewell to his own instrument, and Michael Bonaventure performs it from memory here on the Rieger organ at St Giles’ Cathedral, whose true acoustic preserves the clarity of Messiaen’s lines.

"Bonaventure is utterly compelling and can be heartily recommended."

"The more athletic passages (for example in the Alleluia final – originally entitled 'La Visitation') bounce along with a redeeming joy. Despite the generous acoustic the Rieger organ is recorded cleanly."

"Michael Bonaventure cajoles from the mighty Rieger organ of St Giles' Cathedral a formidable range of authentically Gallic-sounding colours in his commanding, thrilling and brilliantly executed performance."

"In Michael Bonaventure's performance on the Rieger organ of St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, the work plays for almost two hours. On disc it should be sampled in smaller quantities to appreciate the power of the best of the organ writing. Bonaventure certainly allows the music all the space it needs, but there's also a rhythmic energy to his playing that never allows it to hang fire for too long"

"This magnificent recording by organistMichael Bonaventure could very well be the recording capable of convincing the Messiaen detractors to switch camps...From the intimacy of individual pipes to the splendour of the plein-jeux, you can almost feel the presence of the cathedral's stone walls in your living room. Highly Recommended!!"


"the deep sense of reverence that he finds in the final bars – an extended musical genuflection – is very moving indeed"

"Michael Bonaventure plays the organ of St Giles', Edinburgh; yet the sound he draws from the instrument is as French as one could wish for"

Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venues: St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Recording dates: 9-10 January 2007
Physical format: Jewel case (slimline double)
Number of discs: 2
Number of tracks: 18
Release date: 30 June 2008
Album ID: DCD34076
Total playing time: 1:57:08

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