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José Gallardo Alberni

Messiaen's Organ Work

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Hello!

I'd rather like to get the recording of Olivier Messiaen's organ works. Could you recommend me what is the best version for you? Is there the best integral, or ii's better to get partial CDs.

I know that Messiaen himself recorded its own version (I don't remember if it is an integral). Is this perhaps the best?

Thank you very much in advance!

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Olivier Latry at Notre Dame, Paris, the complete works, on Deutsche Grammophon, a box set is my choice, although Gillian Weir at Aarhus Cathedral has the advantage of being on individual discs, available on the Priory label.

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I've got Jennifer Bate's Intégrale, endorsed by Messaien himself. The set was recorded mostly at Beauvais Cathedral, although Messaien insisted on, I think, the Livre du Saint Sacrament being recorded at Saint-Trinité.

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I wouldn't buy the Bate! Messiaen's notation is very precise, yet Bate takes so many liberties. Messiaen's own recording is interesting (certainly in terms of notes!), but I'd say that the Latry or Weir would be the one to go for. I've got the Latry and the Bate myself, and know which one I prefer!

 

Best wishes,

 

Peter Stevens

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I've been listening to the Bate set again in the car over the last few days and am full of admiration for the brilliance of the Beauvais instrument and the clarity of Miss Bate's playing. I am not enough of a scholar to know what liberties she takes, though I note she does include the brief hiatus at the beginning of the toccata in "Dieu parmi nous", which some players omit.

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