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The Edge of Light - Messiaen: 8 Preludes; Pieces for Piano Quintet; Saariaho: Prelude, Ballade et al. / Gloria Cheng, piano. Calder Quartet

Album Summary

>MessiaenOlivier : Preludes (8) for piano, I/2
>MessiaenOlivier : Piece, for piano & string quartet, I/58
>Saariaho, Kaija : Prelude, for piano
>Saariaho, Kaija : Ballade, for piano solo
>Saariaho, Kaija : Je sens un deuxieme coeur, for viola, cello & piano
Performer Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

GRAMMY® Award winning pianist Gloria Cheng brings her probing and insightful style to a fascinating program that couples the brilliant and colorful works of Olivier Messiaen with the darkly radiant music of Kaija Saariaho. In addition to world première recordings of Saariaho's Ballade and Prelude, Cheng is joined by the genre-crossing Calder Quartet for Messiaen's Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes and Saariaho's powerful and deeply personal Je sens un deuxième Coeur.

Out West Arts
When it comes to the exciting young chamber music ensemble sweepstakes, there are few collectives quite as exciting as Los Angeles' hometown heroes, The Calder Quartet.

San Francisco Chronicle
Gloria Cheng is one of the heroes of the new-music world, an energetic and imaginative artist whose tastes range widely across the contemporary landscape.

Financial Times, 9th March 2013
By pairing [Messiaen's Préludes] with a Prelude and Ballade by Kaija Saariaho, Gloria Cheng points to family resemblances, and joins the Calders for Saariaho's uncharacteristically open-hearted Je sens un deuxième coeur.

The Independent, 24th February 2013
A third composer hovers, ghost-like, in pianist Cheng's beguiling recital with the Calder Quartet. Listen to Messaien's glassy chords and Saariaho's cool rhapsodies and you can almost hear him...Debussy is the daddy. Exquisitely shaped playing and bold musicianship in a compelling, haunting disc.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2013
The affinities [between the two composers] are powerful, and they make for a revealing disc. Cheng brings plenty of idiomatic colour to bear on Messiaen's early Preludes.

International Piano, July/August 2013
Saariaho's brief Prelude and Ballade revisit Chopinesque fantasy, adding a twist of fluttery Gothic excess, which Cheng judges to perfection.

BBC Music Magazine, May 2013
[Cheng's] long association with Messiaen's music bears fruit in a fluid approach to the early Preludes...With Cheng's fine touch paramount in first recordings of Saariaho's Prelude and Ballade, this disc is unlikely to gather dust.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
This release, titled "The Edge of Night", couples two very early works by Messiaen with three more recent pieces by Saariaho, two first recordings and a new performance of the piano trio I Feel a Second Heart. Ms Saariaho's solo piano Prelude (2006) calls Scriabin to mind more than the French Impressionists or Messiaen. Typically dense and knotty, it's skillful. The six-minute Ballade (2005) that follows was written for Emanuel Ax as one of a series of such pieces he commissioned from her.


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Works Details

>MessiaenOlivier : Preludes (8) for piano, I/2
  • Performer: Gloria Cheng (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Calder Quartet
  • Running Time: 34 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928-1929

>MessiaenOlivier : Pièce, for piano & string quartet, I/58
  • Performer: Gloria Cheng (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1991

>Saariaho, Kaija : Prelude, for piano
  • Performer: Gloria Cheng (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007

>Saariaho, Kaija : Ballade, for piano solo
  • Performer: Gloria Cheng (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Saariaho, Kaija : Je sens un deuxième coeur, for viola, cello & piano
  • Performer: Gloria Cheng (Piano)
  • Running Time: 16 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003