1880 Cavaillé-Coll/Holy Cross Cathedral, Orleans, France.
1880 Cavaillé-Coll/Holy Cross Cathedral, Orleans, France.
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The Nativity of the Lord #0252

Our songs are without words, colorful portraits painted with tones alone. This week, Paul Manz spins tuneful improvisations around familiar holiday melodies, and then Olivier Messiaen infuses mere chords and rhythms with an almost iconic presence. Shepherds and Magi, heavenly hosts and eternal purposes hover above a mother and child in Bethlehem, as we meditate upon the magic of the season and the mysteries of faith. Nine recitalists, from Germany, Britain, Sweden, the United States and France retell the story of The Nativity of the Lord in a unique expression for holiday reflection.

PAUL MANZ: Preludes on Christmas Themes –Paul Manz (1965 Schlicker/Mount Olive Lutheran, Minneapolis, MN) Manz Music CD-923

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: The Virgin and Child, from La Nativité du Seigneur –Paul Jacobs (1949 Wicks/Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, MN) Pipedreams Archive recorded May 9, 2002

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: The Word, from La Nativité –Wolfgang Rübsam (1880 Cavaillé-Coll/Cathédrale Sainte-Croix, Orleans, France) Bayer BR100 004

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: The Children of God, from La Nativité –Marie-Claire Alain (1977 Kuhn/Hofkirche St. Leodegar, Luzern, Switzerland) Erato ECD-45470

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: The Angels, from La Nativité –Erik Boström (1949 Marcussen/Oscarskyrkan, Stockholm, Sweden) Proprius PRCD-9009

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Jesus accepts suffering, from La Nativité –Dame Gillian Weir (1929; 1993 Frobenius/Århus Domkirke [Århus Cathedral], Denmark) Priory PRCD921

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: The Magi, from La Nativité –Hans-Ola Ericsson (1987 Grönlunds/Luelå Cathedral, Sweden) BIS-CD-410

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: God among us, from La Nativité –Olivier Latry (1868 Cavaillé-Coll/Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France) Deutsche Grammophon 471 480