The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Acclaimed Van Cliburn Competition prize winner, UW-Madison pianist Christopher Taylor performs Messiaen’s COMPLETE “Twenty Looks at the Infant Jesus” in Milwaukee on Friday night, then in New York City on Tuesday night. Could a New Holiday Tradition be in the making?

December 6, 2012
4 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

This Friday night, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. in Milwaukee, the acclaimed University of Wisconsin-Madison pianist Christopher Taylor (below) will perform the COMPLETE sets of  Olivier Messiaen‘s work, “Vingt Regards sur L’Enfant Jésus,” at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 914 East Knapp Street.

ChristopherTaylorNoCredit

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students. They are available at the door and online at www.pianoarts.org or by calling 414-255-0801.

In addition, Timothy Benson, organist at Saint Paul’s Church will present a lecture and performance of Messiaen’s work on TONIGHT, December 6 at 7 p.m. at Saint Paul’s. Admission is free with a ticket to the December 7 concert.

Composed in 1944, “Vingt Regards” (Twenty Looks at the Infant Jesus”) by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1982, below) is a collection of 20 short contemplations on the infant Jesus by “God the Father,” “the Mother Virgin Mary,” the angels, wise men, birds from the heights, silence, time, the stars and the cross.

The music is a kaleidoscope of radiant colors, bird songs, mini-orchestral sounds, Christmas bells and Hindu drums. It is a difficult work technically and interpretatively, and is a specialty of Taylor, who won a bronze medal at the 1991 Van Cliburn Competition and can be heard playing an excerpt at the bottom of this posting.

For more information about the Milwaukee performance, visit: http://www.pianoarts.org/performances.html

Olivier Messiaen#1#

Based in Milwaukee, PianoArts’ mission is to foster appreciation and performance of classical music by identifying and mentoring a new generation of pianists with exceptional musical and verbal communication skills and by presenting them to diverse audiences. It also sponsors a major international competition every two years.

This concert is a timely performance of a work that has obvious ties to the holidays, Taylor will also perform the same daunting program in New York City next Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. as a holiday-related concert at the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art, to be performed in its Medieval Sculpture Hall.

For information about the New York performance, visit:

http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/concerts-and-performances/christopher-taylor?eid=3770

Could Christopher Taylor performing Messiaen become a New Holiday Tradition?

We could sure use one.

How about a performance here in Madison next year?


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