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- Published on Amazon.com
This is without doubt one of the most vigorous enlightened works of the 20th Century. When it was written in 1943,it was groundbreaking,innovative,it reflected a composer on the threshold of enlightening a generation of music creators from his studio in Paris. Messiaen himself was discovering the humanity of other world culture,its rhythms and modes,its scales in the midst of the greatest inhumanity of marching jackboots down the streets of Paris. Messiaen here virtually rethinks the timbre of the piano,and ups the anty,accelerates his concpetual premise with the inclusion of another piano. So this work then has a one-dimensional quality,even though Messiaen solicits every conceivable timbre this combination can submit to. This one-dimensional timbre makes the work all the more powerful and focused, as when documentary filmmakers engage in black and white. This is as close music gets to that genre. The work reflects Messiaen deep spirituality in Catholicism, and in particular the myths and reverence surrounding the figure of Jesus Christ. But Messiaen's view is one of a realist,almost akin to Pasolini's inflammatory rebellios Jesus in the Gospel According to St.Matthew, painting dark colours as in Amen de'l'Agonie de Jesus,where both pianos remain in the upper more strident registers with an incessant rhythm to project its dissonant chords. The opening Amen de la Creation, we begin in the Second Piano at the lowest end of the piano with an A-Major chord,heard here only for its roaring lugubrious sonority. A Major of what. The other piano is at the very highest register, so without a middle we tend to listen this separation allows. Messiaen was very fond of rhythm, and his music has a surface quality,he does not utilize counterpoint, no voice to voice, more layering of timbres. And the Two accomplice piano serve this quite well. In fact you can say Messiaen rediscovered rhythm and this work was the first serious one to exhibit his discoveries. The genre of Two pianos has gone on, the post-war generation of composers all have works as if its a requirement to practice composition in this century. Boulez,Pousseur,Zimmermann,Berio,Lombardi.Also here are two very capable performers ,Takahashi with his impeccable rhythmic precision and Serkin with a more impassioned demeanor make a good dialogue, good pianistic synergism.