Mon, Fri 星期一、五 5:30pm
Monday and Friday: 5:30pm-6pm
A group of music critics guide you through some of the the most interesting new releases to keep you in touch with the latest fine music recordings.
Critic: Wong Kin-ting
While the German tradition observes a strict distinction between sacred and secular styles, the 19th-century Italian Mass can feel more akin to attending an operatic performance. Donizetti’s church music, consisting of at least a hundred items, has hardly been explored.
Individual movements were often later recycled by the composer, in cantata-like fashion, to form a complete Mass, and it is this ad hoc technique that Franz Hauk has used to create a new work, the Messa di Gloria and Credo in D. This includes an expansive Qui sedes with its violin solo written for the famous violinist-composer Pietro Rovelli, and is completed with movements by Johann Simon Mayr from whom Donizetti learned his compositional craft in settings of sacred texts.
Critic: Dennis Wu
This 25 CD set offers a comprehensive overview of Messiaen’s work with recordings made between 1956 and 2004 for the Warner labels EMI, Erato and Teldec. The performers include: Olivier Messiaen himself at the organ of the Church of la Trinité in Paris, his wife, the pianist Yvonne Loriod and other champions of Messiaen’s music such as Jeanne Loriod, Pierre Boulez, Marie-Claire Alain, Pierre Laurent Aimard and Sir Simon Rattle.
Olivier Messiaen was the most original and influential French composer since Debussy, to whose music he owed an enormous debt. At the age of ten he was given a vocal score of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande which opened up a new harmonic world from which he was able to develop his own highly personal harmonic language, based on seven “modes of limited transposition”. For him all sounds were colour. This, combined with his Catholic faith which he never doubted, produced what he described as a “theological rainbow”, his ideal music being an aural equivalent of sunlight streaming through a stained-glass window. He also developed his own rhythmic language derived from Hindu and Greek rhythms, his particular fondness being for non-retro-gradable (that is, perfectly symmetrical and self-contained) rhythmic units. Two aspects of nature touched him particularly deeply: mountains and birdsong. The influence of mountains can be heard in his use of monolithic, almost architectural, blocks of sound, and he transcribed and used birdsong as literally as possible in much of his music.