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Angela Hewitt plays Messiaen

Album Summary

>MessiaenOlivier : Preludes (8) for piano, I/2
>MessiaenOlivier : Études de rhythme (4), for piano solo, I/32-35
>MessiaenOlivier : Regards (20) sur l'enfant Jésus, for piano, I/27
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"...[Angela Hewitt's] new recital on Hyperion runs the gamut from the early, gorgeously Debussyish Preludes to the flamboyant mysticism of "Vingt Regards" and on to the postwar angularity of the Quatre etudes...Hewitt is an elegant, supremely tasteful player; she gives a courtly Baroque shape to Messiaen's phrases...The sound on this Hyperion dis is superb - airy, natural, nuanced..." -Ross, Fanfare

'Playing of the highest polish. Fastidiously balanced chords, every detail clear and clean. Rarely, if ever, can Messiaen's piano music have been played with such refinement' (Classic CD)

'Very fine' (Gramophone)

'Hewitt's combined precision and firepower can hold their own in any company' (Classic FM)

'A revelation' (The Scotsman)

'You don't have to believe in paradise to know for a fact that Messiaen's Eight Preludes are the kind of music one would hear there. To put it simply, you will adore these pieces if you like Debussy' (American Record Guide)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Hewitt has few equals in Messiaen. The very early Préludes (Messiaen was studying with Dukas when he wrote them) mightn't seem the ideal repertory in which to demonstrate this, but she plays them with exquisitely controlled colour, clarity and eager love for the music. In this performance they're full of luminous shot and shaded colours that are typical of the mature Messiaen, and in the final virtuoso number she seems even to have discovered an early draft for a theme in the Turangalîla Symphony. Her melodic lines are strong, her sonorities rich, but her loud playing is never noisy or forced. She has that crucial quality needed of a Messiaen pianist: patience. Patience to let a chord register and fade, patience never to pre-empt a climax. In the two Îlede feu pieces she shows that she can produce hardedged sonorities as well as subtle ones. And all her gifts as a Messiaen pianist are evident in 'Le baiser de l'Enfant-Jésus': the tempo is patient, the contemplation rapt, the embellishments delicately precise, with a magical change of colour as the sunlit hortus conclusus at the centre of the movement is reached. The recording is finely sensitive to the exceptional beauty of Hewitt's sound.



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Works Details

>MessiaenOlivier : Preludes (8) for piano, I/2
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany (01/21/1998-01/23/1998)
  • Running Time: 39 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928-1929

>MessiaenOlivier : Études de rhythme (4), for piano solo, I/32-35 :: no 1. Ile de feu 1
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany (01/21/1998-01/23/1998)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1949-1950

>MessiaenOlivier : Études de rhythme (4), for piano solo, I/32-35 :: no 4. Ile de feu 2
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany (01/21/1998-01/23/1998)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1949-1950

>MessiaenOlivier : Regards (20) sur l'enfant Jésus, for piano, I/27 :: no 4. Regard de la Vierge
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany (01/21/1998-01/23/1998)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>MessiaenOlivier : Regards (20) sur l'enfant Jésus, for piano, I/27 :: no 15. Le Baiser de l'Enfant-Jésus
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany (01/21/1998-01/23/1998)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>MessiaenOlivier : Regards (20) sur l'enfant Jésus, for piano, I/27 :: no 10. Regard de l'Esprit de Joie
  • Performer: Angela Hewitt (Piano)
  • Notes: Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany (01/21/1998-01/23/1998)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944