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Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, November 2012

Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum…is one of Messiaen’s strongest pieces…if you must have it this is a reasonable way to go.

Tombeau Resplendissant…[is] a terrific piece with a remarkable ending of quiet unison line fading out into oblivion. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

David Olds
The WholeNote, August 2012

Olivier Messiaen’s Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum…is a devotional work from 1964. The Orchestre National de Lyon gives a strong performance under the direction of Jun Märkl… © 2012 The WholeNote Read complete review

David Hurwitz, August 2012

Messiaen’s tone poems Le tombeau resplendissant and Hymne are early works…Jun Märkl and the Lyon orchestra turn in fine performances of both pieces.

In Le tombeau Märkl brings plenty of fire to the turbulent outer sections, then relaxes…for the tender central interlude. Given that this work was meant as a memorial tribute to the composer’s mother…Märkl’s gentler, sweeter view of the passage, which is mostly scored for strings, is very convincing.

Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum…is a fully mature work full of imaginative writing…It’s kind of like a pre-packaged cake mix: just follow the directions and the result usually turns out fine…the performance is basically very good. The birdsong imitations, by the woodwinds in particular, are realistic but also musical, and Märkl very carefully balances those thick, heavy, “colorful” chords that Messiaen loves so much. The concluding vision of the resurrection (of the dead) is appropriately overwhelming.

…the entire production is well engineered. In sum, a smartly planned and well executed disc, and a very nice addition to your Messiaen collection. © 2012 Read complete review, June 2012

The musical influences upon Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) are quite well known, ranging from birdsong to non-Western sounds to traditional Catholicism. They were bearing fruit even in works as early as Le tombeau resplendissant and Hymne, both of which are permeated by religious symbolism and Christian mystery. Orchestra National de Lyon plays all three works with sureness and skill, and Jun Märkl conducts them with care and a sense of their coloristic elements. © 2012 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2012

Commissioned by the French government to write a work to commemorate the dead of two world wars, Messiaen’s response was not the expected Requiem. Instead he composed a work on the transcendental nature of death, And I await the resurrection of the dead, using only woodwind, brass and metal percussion. He took as his inspiration the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and reflected Messiaen’s deeply held religious convictions. From student days he devised a unique style of composition that was without precedent, and if difficult for the listener to accept, the arrival of the exotic sounds created in the massive Turangalila-symphonie of 1948 cemented his place among the leading French composers of his time. Yet when Et exspecto was performed in 1964 audiences were again having to grapple with its language which was unintelligible to those that had yet to come to terms with the Second Viennese School. The very nature of its context meant the music was slow moving and often in blocks of sound without the lyricism that strings would have imparted. Yet however long it might take, I urge you to get to know the score, particularly when it is played with the dedication and understanding of Jun Märkl and the Lyon orchestra. Two early works from the 1930’s have a strange history, the music the Le tombeau resplendissant hardly reflecting its title, some commentators seeing the death of his mother as its instigation. Messiaen would not discuss it and withdrew the work after the first performance. Then score and parts for Hymne, from the following year were lost on their way to the printer, and only the possibility of a performance prompted him to reconstruct it from memory ten years later. Both have hard-hitting moments that are here wonderfully played and captured. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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