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Album Review

Messiaen, Olivier – “Oiseaux Exotiques ” – [Candide]

Thurston Hunger   4/6/2006   12-inch, A Library

“Ornithologist” Messiaen not only the composer here, but
leading the recording and lending his second wife to the
piano bench. One the title piece, the birds realized here
have a wind-up quality when the more percussive playing is
invoked, but when the large ensemble sweeps in this piece
gets flying-defyingly heavy. Gongs shimmer in parts to
loosen up the wings. The main call is a three note branch
forked to step off into air. Loriod is trillingly thrilling,
evidently Messiaen’s score went to great pains to site the
rare fowl flowing through. “La Bouscarle” s Loriod solo and
has more mechanical, heavily foot-reverbed playing and
pausing at the start but settles into warm chord clouds
stacking with occasional precipitation of soft arpeggios.
Definitely avian in the use of repetiton 2-4 times of
phrases before cycling on to other sounds. Closing things
out with a “Reveil” violins now more prominent chirping
in, and ringing bell percussion. Loriod plying dissonant
half-note chordlets early on, later she’s playing very
rhythmically. Quick pluck and peck. Overall this has a
brighter coloring as would fit the sunrise of sounds in
a birdfield. Flock to this. -Thurston Birbrain

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