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Various Artists / Frank Martin: Messe; Olivier Messiaen: Cinq Rechants / Rias Kammerchor / Daniel
Album:Frank Martin: Messe; Olivier Messiaen: Cinq Rechants / Rias Kammerchor / Daniel Collection:Classical
Artist:Various Artists Added:08/2004
Label:Harmonia Mundi Usa 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2004-10-11 Pull Date:2004-12-13 Charts:Classical/Experimental
Week Ending:5 Dec17 Oct
Airplays:11

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Album Review
Alex
Reviewed 2004-09-29 
Artists: Frank Martin, Olivier Messiaen (RIAS Kammerchor)
Album: Coll: Mess pour double choeur, Songs of Ariel, Cinq Rechants, O
sacrum convivium
Label: Harmonia Mundi

There's not a weak track here. I liked 1, 4, 7, 12, 13, 15, 16, but
especially 13. Be prepared to keep a sharp eye on the sound levels
with any of these tracks.

1-5) Mass for Double Choir: Surprised in subtle ways. If you're not
paying attention, it sounds like pretty choral music. The contrast of
the text with the music complicates the interpretation, making it
ambiguous and thought provoking. Shifts in tone and emphasis within
the movements kept me off balance.
1) Kyrie. Sounds like an evocation of mystery.
2) Gloria. Rather prim and restrained. Again changes character half
way through to establish a more reflective mood, then shifts again to
a more declamatory mode at the end.
3) Credo. Again plays against type. Instead of the usual march
through the credo, the choir lingers, with pretty harmonies, and
gentle rhythms. Picks up more energy toward the end.
4) Sanctus. Constantly shifting chant of "sanctus" set against the
remaining text. Markedly impressionistic. Seems to end 2/3 of the
way through, then takes up more fervent tone, centered around
"benedictus."
5) Angus Dei. Open soprano harmonies contrast with close harmony in
the male voices, complicating the idea of mercy contained in the text.
Resolves in the final bars.

6-10) Songs of Ariel. Songs sung by Ariel in The Tempest.
6) Declarative, then dissonant, then fades abruptly
7) Setting of the famous "Full fathom five my father lies…"
Beautiful, swaying music reminds me of kelp forests. Briefly annoying
"ding, dong" vocal bells at end of track, but still very good.
8) Lively, opens with sopranos, then the melody is passed back and
forth between the sopranos and altos, with a brief appearance by the
tenors, before ending abruptly.
9) Half-chanted, and full of tension, then shifts to pensive choir and
strident mezzo solo.
10) Much lighter, rapid soprano lines, bouncy tenors.

11-15) Cinq Rechants. One of Messiaen's last compositions, draws on
diverse sources, including medieval troubadour songs and Peruvian
harawi. The lyrics are in a made up language combining Sanskrit and
Quechua. You'd expect such a stew to be a lot weirder than it is.
What you get instead is a pretty post-impressionist choral piece, with
touches of humor thrown in. I like it.
11) Pretty, impressionistic soprano and alto solos, alternating with
percussive male ensemble.
12) Calmer and more reflective. A bit mysterious. As (11),
alternates between quiet and declamatory segments.
13) Soprano solo, then unearthly choral accompaniment, then Rite of
Spring, then back to soprano solo. At times sounds almost like Ligeti
(think 2001). Recommended.
14) Most more energetic than previous tracks, much of it half-chanted.
15) Contrast between energetic tenors, and reflective altos. Later,
really opens up, only to be pulled abruptly back again. Recommended.

16) O sacrum convivium. Beautiful and meditative. Subtle dissonances
keep the piece interesting.

Alex D.

Track Listing
 ArtistTrack Name
1.Martin, Frank Mass, For Double Chorus: Kyrie
2.Martin, Frank Mass, For Double Chorus: Gloria
3.Martin, Frank Mass, For Double Chorus: Credo
4.Martin, Frank Mass, For Double Chorus: Sanctus
5.Martin, Frank Mass, For Double Chorus: Agnus Dei
6.Martin, Frank Ariel Songs (5), For Chorus: Act I. Scène 2. Molto Tranquillo
7.Martin, Frank Ariel Songs (5), For Chorus: Act I. Scène 2. Très Calme
8.Martin, Frank Ariel Songs (5), For Chorus: Act Iv. Scène 1. Allegro Molto
9.Martin, Frank Ariel Songs (5), For Chorus: Act Iii. Scène 3. Allegro
10.Martin, Frank Ariel Songs (5), For Chorus: Act V. Scène 1. Allegretto Grazioso
11.Messiaen, Olivier Cinq Rechants, For 12 Voices, I/31: I. Modéré
12.Messiaen, Olivier Cinq Rechants, For 12 Voices, I/31: Ii. Bien Modéré
13.Messiaen, Olivier Cinq Rechants, For 12 Voices, I/31: Iii. Lent, Caressant
14.Messiaen, Olivier Cinq Rechants, For 12 Voices, I/31: Iv. Très Vif
15.Messiaen, Olivier Cinq Rechants, For 12 Voices, I/31: V. Vif
16.Messiaen, Olivier O Sacrum Convivium!, For Voices, I/18