Remember when I was telling you about all the Olivier Messiaen we heard at the Aspen Music Festival last summer?……..specifically the full performance of Vingt Regards Sur L’Enfant-Jésus (20 contemplations on the infant Jesus)? Well, it’s coming right here to St. Louis this Wednesday, 12/17, 7:30pm at the Pulitzer Foundation, http://www.pulitzerarts.org/events/concerts/idealdisplacements-messiaen/, when Molly Morkoski will perform the 2 hour solo piano work!
If you have never heard this piece performed “live”, let me tell you that it’s quite an experience for both performer and audience: immensely dramatic contrast of dynamics and emotion between movements, with relentless demands of technique and endurance imposed upon the pianist. And most importantly…. Vingt Regards is considered (by me, too) to be one of the greatest compositional achievements of piano writing in the entire repertory.
I hope all St. Louisans will come out to this hear this concert (and people in other towns can just be jealous), but in the meantime, have some fun at this video site of various performers playing movements from the piece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qt_ZcdwAXo&feature=related One pianist featured here, Roger Muraro, the New Music Circle brought to St. Louis about 10 years ago to perform the work.