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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66457
Recording details: September 1990
St Eustache, Paris, France
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Paul Niederberger
Release date: May 1991
Total duration: 13 minutes 39 seconds

'My vote for the best organ record of 1991 … another Herrick/Hyperion marvel' (Gramophone)

'Here is something truly spectacular. Hyperion's vivid recording of this magnificent instrument stands out as one of the best recordings of an organ currently available on CD' (The Good CD Guide)

'A treasure chest of sparkling jewels … polished and displayed to perfection' (Organists' Review)

Hymne à l'Univers
composer
1961

Hymne à l'Univers  [13'39]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This Hymne à l'Univers is prefaced by a quotation from the visionary theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin whose concern was with man's role in the Universe … 'Rien n'est précieux que ce qui est toi dans les autres, et les autres en toi' — 'The only precious thing is yourself in others, and others in you'.

Jolivet was a pupil of the avant-garde composer Edgar Varèse, but did not share his enthusiasm for serial technique. Even so, this piece, composed in 1961, has a tightly-knit structure. It begins with a combination of rhetorical proclamations with the unfolding of the material from which the piece is built — an angular construction in the pedals and a melody which convolutes itself around a narrow span of notes, rather in the manner of a chanted oriental prayer. It appears first as a dialogue of quiet flutes, and then the trompette starts another dialogue which builds up as the incantatory lines gather clustered chords. Then all is quiet again as the trompette re-adopts the chant,the angular pedal line providing a passacaglia-like repetition. The intensity grows until marching strides are reinforced by rhetoric as the music moves towards an apocalyptic final chord.

from notes by Ian Carson © 1991

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