La Fauvette Passerinette: a Messiaen premiere, with birds, landscapes & homages

In 2012, leading pianist and Messiaen scholar Peter Hill made a remarkable discovery among the composer’s papers: several pages of tightly written manuscript from 1961, constituting a near-complete and hitherto unknown work for piano.

Hill was able to fill in some missing dynamics and articulations by consulting Messiaen’s birdsong notebooks, and gave the work’s first public performance in the autumn of 2013.<br> Here, then, he follows his acclaimed Bach recordings for Delphian with a return to the music in which he first made his reputation, setting this glittering addition to Messiaen’s piano output in the context both of the composer’s own earlier work and of music by the many younger composers on whom Messiaen was a profound influence – from Stockhausen and Takemitsu to George Benjamin, who like Hill himself worked closely with the composer in the years before his death.



"Hill places the new work within an exceptionally well-crafted recital in which Messiaen's music is a recurrent thread in a span of resonances, influences and affinities...Whether in Dutilleux or Peter Sculthorpe, Murail or Takemitsu, Hill's provides a masterclass in capturing a composer's idiom with warmth and humanity."


"Hill's realisation forms a rewarding substantial centrepiece to this outstanding recital disc. The whole point is to put Messiaen himself in a stimulating context...The appeal of the disc is greatly enhanced by the exceptional quality of the recording, with every facet of Hill's uncompromisingly extensive expressive range vividly captured."


"La Fauvette Passerinette represents a path Messiaen never followed further...As Hill’s performance shows, however, it’s an utterly convincing and thrilling piece of piano writing – a fierce, sustained 11-minute study as rigorous as Messiaen’s piano works of the late 1940s...Altogether, it is a hugely rewarding and important disc."

Recording venue(s): Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh
Recording dates: 23 March & 6 April 2014
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 16
Total playing time: 1:18:55
Album ID: DCD34141