A Magical Recording
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hopefully Sony Classics will re-master this strangely deleted album so that is once again available in its original form. While portions of the recording can be found splintered on recordings by the individual composers, there is something very special about the selection of works contained here and one with such intelligent curating that the original statement deserves to be widely available.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is the unifying force here, selecting works by Takemitsu, Messiaen, Lutoslawski and Stravinsky in a manner that makes for a luminous exploration of some of the finest work by each composer. Beginning with Takemitsu's 'Vers, l'arc-en-ciel, Palma' for oboe d'amore, guitar and orchestra, Salonen employs the forces of John Williams on guitar, Gareth Hulse on oboe and the London Sinfonietta for an ethereal performance of this subtle, mystical work. He then turns to two movements from Messiaen's 'Turangalila-symphonie' with Paul Crossley at the piano and Tristan Murail at the Ondes Martenot supported by the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Lutoslawski's 'Les espaces du sommeil' from the recording by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with John Shirley-Quirk as soloist is played in its entirety. Messiaen's excerpted 'Des canyons aux etoiles' features Paul Crossley with the London Sinfonietta followed, oddly enough, by Stravinsky's opening to 'Le scare du printemps' that fits the sequential mood perfectly. And the recital closes with Takemitsu's 'To the Edge of Dream' for guitar and orchestra, again with John Williams as soloist.
True this recording was a compilation of previously recorded entire works, but the joy of the CD is the pairing of works as selected by Salonen in his usual intelligent and creative juxtaposition. It is a recording well worth searching for. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, March 06