Explore the musical sound-world of French composer Olivier Messiaen in this collection of his organ works based on events from the life of Christ. The program booklet includes beautiful original artwork created especially for the recording, and insightful notes on the featured works. Recorded by the organists of the Arts Empowering Life Foundation, on the E.M. Skinner organ of the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA.
- “The three organists represented here each reside in Orleans, Massachusetts, and are affiliated with Gloriæ Dei Artes Foundation. SharonRose Pfeiffer plays six of the selections, including the Messe de la Pentecote; James E. Jordan, the L'Ascension suite; and David Chalmers, Dieu parmi nous from La Nativite du Seigneur.
The instrument itself is of extraordinary interest, consisting of components and pipework from fifteen (!) different E. M. Skinner instruments, assembled and restored by Nelson Barden & Associates. At approximately 100 ranks, it has a wonderful clarity and color, and the performers do it ample justice. A 22-page accompanying booklet gives much information.
All three performers are up to the formidable task of recreating Messiaen's music very much, one feels as he envisioned it. Recorded on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of Messiaen's birth, this CD is a fitting tribute.”
- “The publishers of the Gloriæ Dei Cantores series of CDs, is marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of French composer Olivier Messiaen with this sampling of his musical legacy for the pipe organ. . . . The 11 selections range from almost inaudible high-pitched musical sounds to thundering climaxes that employ all the resources of this immense Skinner pipe organ. There will also be in many of the passages plenty of frequencies aimed at your subwoofer(s). The organ is in the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA and has gradually grown out of 15 different Skinner instruments over the years. It has been restored to museum quality as a single instrument, but it is still not completely finished! When it is, it will consist of 11 divisions and 12,000 pipes. Even now, it is perfect for communicating the amazingly varied tonal colors Messiaen calls for in his works.”
- “Every time someone starts talking about Olivier Messiaen, I say oh sure sure he is great. Inside, I'm thinking: I don't know anything about this subject, I can't name a single piece by him, I don't own a single CD, I don't really get all this hysteria, and I'm hopelessly ignorant on this obviously important guy. So thank goodness for Paraclete Press. They have released a new CD to celebrate Messiaen's centenary. It is called The Mystical Colors of Christ. It has three essential works, recorded at the Church of the Transfiguration, Orleans, MA. The organists are James E. Jordan, David Chalmers, and SharonRose Pfeiffer. The sound quality is amazing and the compositions so wonderfully inspired. I'm excited to listen to this CD regularly for a month or so, so that I can get with the program here. But there is more than social status at stake. This music offers penetrating spiritual experiences as well, topically arranged: Trinity, Ascension, Nativity, and Pentecost. And the musical language here unites old and new in the most beautiful and challenging way. The organ doesn't transfer to CD too well in my experience. It is often music you have to hear live, in my view. But the engineers have done an excellent job here. So far as I can tell, this is the CD I've needed all along. Soon I'll be able to talk about Messiaen intelligently.”
The New Liturgical Movement