September 14, 2022

A Personal Notes from Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard on “Visions”

“Messiaen is a colour sorcerer, light architect and time illusionist. The acoustical drunkenness paired with the need to build a sound cathedral was for me a magnet from the first time I heard Visions. Pierre-Laurent and I played both parts respectively and it seems that this fact and constellation makes for a reading of complete commitment to building a structure from all sides, in and out. As with constructing physical bells, you have to allow alchemy of matter and ether to vibrate in a mystical way, and this is needed in today’s world -breath and visions should guide us on.”

Tamara Stefanovich

I played Visions de l’Amen from the age of fifteen, turned the pages when Yvonne Loriod and Messiaen performed it, worked on it with him, and played it countless times – invariably transported by the irresistible force of Messiaen’s vision. If having a home really means anything, then this piece is my home. The countless bells that intoxicate the Amen de la Création and the Amen de la Consommation find their musical complement in the compositions of the prophetic Enescu, the poetic Knussen and the radical Birtwistle. They resonate to show us how the sound of the bell, this initial shock with infinite harmonic deployments, is emblematic of Messiaen’s music.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Photo by: Sihoo Kim