A listener’s guide to what, you say?

1fdab0e4cab07f7bb0f13bcd001d4314a6f67bbeLa Nativite du Seigneur: IX. Dieu parmi nous

by Olivier Messiaen; Robert Noehren – on the album “Organ Music – Bach, J.S. / Gherardeschi, G. / Buxtehude, D. / Lefebure-Wely, L. / Durufle, M. / Messiaen, O. / Sowerby, L. / Rorem, N.

Ah… people just keep cranking out beautiful music —  but then there’s no one to listen.


Yet another heretofore unheard track from Spotify’s ‘forgotten fifth’ — the roughly 4 million of Spot’s 20 million or so tracks that have never gotten a human play there.

Until now.

For the record, this mouthful of an 8 minute-or-so modernist organ fantasia by 20th century composer Olivier Messiaen is track 7 on this album, indicating at least one other brave soul (but perhaps six) have plumbed these deeply reverberant depths — and heights — there is something about this track that, in this listener’s usually unfevered imagination, paints a stark and stunningly acromanic* image of a huge Gothic cathedral, its far and upper reaches lost in shadow. Lots of forearm on the keyboard stuff… worthy of yet another remake of the Phantom of the Opera — but, of course, with Messiaen’s  bold and restless embrace of the musical moment.

Organist Robert Noehren struck these ears as well-worthy of the challenges implicit in this striking piece.

I also listened to “Fantasy for Flute Stops” by Leo Sowerby, performed by Catharine Crozier, a six minute plus exploration of the flute (and presumably other woodwind) stops on what very much seems to be  a very different instrument in a very different environment. The piece may well have presented special challenges to the performer, but, particularly after the Messiaen, it offers the listener a moderately charming, relatively charming six minutes.

Neologiphobe note: as used above, acromania is a form of madness induced by certain forms of acrophobia.