BBC Radio 3's Jeremy Thurlow in CD Review Building a Library around 9.30am (i.e. half an hour into the recording) yesterday reviewed recordings of Messiaen's "La Nativite du Seigneur," nine meditations for organ, composed in 1935 and regarded as his first masterpiece.
If Messiaen is new to you, this is a great way to be introduced to the idiosyncratic harmonic and rhythmic system of his music conveying emotion and sincerity. Jeremy Thurlow compares recordings by Olivier Latry, Dame Gillian Weir, Jennifer Bate, Marie-Claire Alain, Eriksen, Thierry, and Louise Marsh and selects his preferred choice: Dame Gillian Weir on Priory Records (details to be posted on the website tomorrow, Monday). One doesn't have to be a religious person to appreciate Messiaen. As Thurlow points out, contact between the everyday and the eternal is not just of interest to Christians but to everyone.