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Bach BWV 671 played by Messiaen?

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Years ago, I recall a Saturday morning Radio 3 Record Review (or similar) programme in which Olivier Messiaen was heard playing BWV 671 Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist (Clavierübung 3).

At the point where Bach's music plunges into remarkable chromaticisms over the final statement of the chorale in the pedal (final 12 bars), Messiaen broke off and substituted his own startling improvisation, equally fantastic (in the proper sense of the word), but in a totally different aesthetic.

Did anyone else hear this broadcast, by any chance?  I have searched high and low through R3 archives on BBC Sounds, but have been unable to track it down.

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It's a shame that you haven't had a reply to your query, apart from perhaps a personal one which I know nothing about.  However it's such an interesting one that I'd put money on it that more than a few forum members will have spent time combing the web on your behalf - as you will doubtless have done yourself.  I've had a few attempts, though without turning up a direct answer.  However there were a couple of interesting ones which conceivably might lead to something:


In this one Hans-Ola Ericsson suggests that Messiaen might not always have played Bach very well if I understood his anecdotes correctly!  (He actually heard him playing Bach in Paris).


Scroll down to find the bit about the 1973 English Bach Festival in London, during which Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod gave a recital at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.  There's also a hilarious video where Messiaen apologises for his excessively informal appearance, owing to his taxi having driven off before he could retrieve his luggage!  However, is it possible that the BBC sound clip you mentioned might have been recorded during that festival?

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