Messiaen: Organ Works Vol I

Timothy Byram-Wigfield presents Messiaen’s ground-breaking Les Corps glorieux on the organ of St George’s Chapel, with its protean personality.

Byram-Wigfield is an ideal exponent of this work and its extremities: from his sensitive approach to its spiritual narrative, to his thrilling handling of its gargantuan climaxes, the listener cannot fail to be drawn into Messiaen’s world of colour. Images of the chapel and console adorn the booklet, complemented by an essay from acclaimed Messiaen biographer Nigel Simeone.

"One…welcomes the chance to hear an organist from the younger generation, playing an English instrument (Harrison and Harrison) and giving full weight to the music’s uncompromising intensity. It’s clear from the outset that this will be a strongly delineated reading, with well managed contrasts of registration given added clarity by the superb quality of the recording…This is a highly successful disc"

"The organ of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle has a suitably broad palette of colours and packs a punch."

"Timothy Byram-Wigfield is just such a musician. What is more, he communicates an unflinching confidence in the music: confidence in long held chords that are beautiful in themselves and therefore worth holding; confidence in monodies that possess a strange ability to suggest both harmony and texture; confidence in complex rhythms and dissonant harmonies; and, most of important of all, confidence that the music is always saying something, no matter how obscurely."


"Strange, perhaps, that so much Englishness delivers such convincing and delightful Messiaen; Le Corps Glorieux, is an uneasy corner of the oeuvre, which can easily sound flimsy, but here the interpretation is intelligent and rigorous, especially in the more diffuse monodic passages and the acoustic surprisingly – almost suspiciously – rich."

"This is glorious music, brilliantly performed. T B-W has clearly studied the composer and the compositions thoroughly to bring us what may be one of the definitive modern recordings of these highpoints in twentieth-century composition. The Windsor Harrison turns out to be a remarkably good vehicle for this oh-so-French of French composers, though I recall the Sidney Campbell designs being very much influenced by continental developments and requirements. Every track is special. Very highly recommended."


Release Date: 13 February 2006
Catalogue No: DCD34024
Total playing time: 1:04:58
Recorded on 20-22 September 2004 at St George's Chapel, Windsor
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineer: Adam Binks
24-bit digital editing: Adam Binks
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Margareta Jönsson
Cover Image: Messiaen at La Trinité, private collection of Nigel Simeone
Photography: Paul Baxter


Album Booklet

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