Alex "Gene" Ross has kindly provided us with a nice overview of Messiaen centenary observances far and wide. Marcus Maroney has chipped in with details of an impressive Messiaen series that begins not quite two weeks from now in Houston; no surprise that the versatile and stylish Brian Connelly is in the thick of things, and how good to see Susanne Mentzer involved, as well.
(Psssst, Shepherd School of Music webmaster? It shouldn't have been as hard as it was to track down this page on your site with the complete details. Lucky thing Marcus listed the events on his blog.)
I'd like to nominate one more Messiaen event for consideration. John Scott, organist and director of music at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, is presenting Messiaen's complete organ works in a six-concert series that started yesterday (Oct. 4). The concerts, presented on Saturday afternoons at 4pm, are presented free of charge, though donations are accepted to defray the costs of printing David Gammie's outstanding program notes (which you can view as a PDF here).
This kind of effort is nothing new for Scott: last year he played the complete organ music of Buxtehude in a 10-concert series, and dispatched the complete organ works by Gyorgy Ligeti and Jonathan Harvey in another 2007 concert, which I reviewed for the Times.
Having just filed my Times review of yesterday's recital (which included Prélude and La Nativité du Seigneur), I won't hesitate to give the remaining programs my highest possible recommendation. The St. Thomas website has all the details, but what the heck, I'll list them here, as well.
- October 11, 4-5:10pm: Diptyque; Les corps glorieux
- October 18, 4-5:10pm: L’ascension; Offrande au Saint Sacrement; Le banquet céleste; Messe de la Pentecôte
- November 8, 4-5:10pm: Apparition de l’église éternelle; Verset pour la fête de la dédicace; Monodie; Livre d’orgue
- November 15, 4-5:15pm: Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité
- November 22, 4-5:45pm: Livre du Saint Sacrement
Addendum, Oct. 6: Eric Huebner, a bold and busy pianist, has reminded me of one more extremely worthwhile Messiaen event coming up here in Manhattan. On Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30pm in the cozy chapel at St. Bartholomew's Church (Park Avenue at 51st Street), Antares, one of the many groups in which Huebner is active, will play Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, the piece that invented this ensemble's configuration (clarinet, violin, cello and piano). Also included on the program are two pieces for violin and piano, Fantasie and Thème et variations, plus the Petites esquisses d'oiseaux for solo piano. Tickets are $35, seniors and students $20.
The Residents - The Bunny Boy (Santa Dog/MVD)
Phoenix Chorale - Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary (Chandos)
Grateful Dead - Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978 (Grateful Dead/Rhino)
Edouard Lalo - Le Roi d'Ys - Andrea Guiot, Jane Rhodes, Alain Vanzo, Robert Massard, Radio Lyrique Chorus and Orchestra/Pierre Dervaux (Gala)
Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8 (Columbia/Legacy)
Reformed Faction - Vota (Klang Galerie) and The War Against… (Soleilmoon)
Hector Berlioz - Harold in Italy; La Mort de Cléopâtre - William Lincer, Jennie Tourel, New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein (Sony Classical)