In February 2015, I was fortunate enough to take part in the celebrations for Olivier Messiaen day in St Andrews. Organised by the University of St Andrews Music Centre, the aim was to showcase a range of Messiaen’s vocal and instrumental works through recitals and talks across the town, from the Byre Theatre to St Salvator’s Chapel.
Accompanied by Jakub Gutkowski, I performed Chants de Terre et de Ciel, an absolutely beautiful set of six songs dedicated to Messiaen’s first wife, Claire Delbos, and his son, Pascal. The programme also featured the ensemble La Mort du Nombre and work for piano and voice Vocalise, both performed by students the University.
The day was a great success; it promoted interest in the fascinating works of this 20th century French composer and allowed young singers and musicians to gain experience in performing some quite challenging repertoire.
The University of St Andrews Music Centre thought the student recital so successful that they are now recording our programme for commercial release in July 2016! The recording will feature the same three works and will be distributed through the University’s CD label, Sanctiandree, which released ‘Salvator Mundi – The Purcell Legacy’ featuring the glorious St Salvator’s Chapel Choir last April (you can buy copies here).
In order to fund the distribution of our Messiaen CD, we are currently looking for funding. You can access our Facebook page here and we will have an online fundraising platform in place over the next few months, however if you would like to find out more in the meantime, you can contact me via e-mail or contact the University of St Andrews Music Centre directly.
Performing these works was a huge accomplishment as young performers and we are incredibly grateful to the University for letting us record our programme; we would welcome any and all donations, as well as opportunities and ideas for fund-raising. Please do support our exciting project!