The Edge of Light
Music by Messiaen, Saariaho, Britten and Byrd
Monday, February 25, 2013
On our current album of the week, pianist Gloria Cheng is joined by the Calder Quartet on "The Edge of Light", a album of works by Olivier Messiaen and Kajia Saariaho. Messiaen’s earliest acknowledged work, Préludes for solo piano, anchors the album, along with Saariaho’s Je sens un deuxième coeur, performed with ravishing intensity by Cheng and The Calder Quartet.
The Amsterdam Sinfonietta presents three of Benjamin Britten’s early symphonic works on their latest recording. The album’s two vocal works, Les Illuminations, on poetry by Rimbaud, and Serenade, a collection of songs about the night, feature glowing performances from soprano Barbara Hannigan, tenor James Gilchrist and Jasper de Waal on horn.
The compositions of Joseph Byrd from 1960-1963 were audibly influenced by his friendships with Morton Feldman and John Cage, and include a work for antiphonal rubber balloons that was premiered by Yoko Ono, David Tudor and La Monte Young. They have been playfully recorded by members of the new guard of NYC-based contemporary musicians, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.