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Reviews: Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony - Chailly

Reviews: 3

Review by Dinko August 11, 2003 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This be some weird music making! Messiaen is modern, bizarre, and circus-like. Not dissonant, but not very attractive either.

Riccardo Chailly leads some nice performances by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) and Takashi Harada (ondes Martenot).

Well, whatever the worthiness of the music, the multichannel mix is what's of import in this particular release.

Producer Andrew Cornall writes in the booklet: "With the instruments wrapped around the listener as it was recorded, we hope that this kaleidoscopic and beautiful score, with its contrasts of immense energy, intensity and tranquility, brings Messiaen's vision into even greater relief."

In any case, Messiaen's vision perfectly allows itself to be propelled from all sides, weird orchestral noises coming from all speakers, in addition to the ondes Martenot sounds and the piano crashing.

Upper and lower frequencies are well defined. Some percussion may be too loud for the neighbours. The brass is a little too nasal for my taste but it fits the overall picture.

I don't think that this disc is demonstration quality for stereo. Nor do the instruments have a very nice tone as they can get in original DSD or high bitrate PCM recordings.

But when it comes to multichannel, this disc makes the case that aggressive multichannel mixing which completely surrounds the listener and attacks him sonically from all sides can be very effective, as opposed to simply providing a hall ambiance.

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Review by Monteverdi January 22, 2004 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Turangalila is bold and original music.
Having owned several excellent performances of Messiaen's splendid and challenging work over many years, I think this performance, now presented in multi-channel glory, is easily the one to embrace. And more than being a splendid performance, the fact of having it in surround format really seems to decode the music in a way I've not previously experienced.
Anyone at Decca up for a surround sound re-release of Chailly's Varese The Complete Works or Scriabin's "Preperation for The Final Mystery"?
©DAE 2004

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Review by peteyspambucket April 13, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is a very hypnotic piece. And haunting. It rewards you with repeated listenings. The quieter sensitive moments are gorgeous, while the outbursts are interesting and shattering. It has been very nicely recorded, although parts of the piece are quite dense and thickly orchestrated, the sound quality highlights the important instruments very well. Recommended!

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