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Célimène Daudet Messe noire Review

by March 12, 2020

Célimène Daudet Messe noire Review

Célimène-Daudet-cdCélimène Daudet is a concert pianist that is forging her way as an active and open-minded musician. Daudet performs as a soloist but also likes sharing the creative space with other artists. She has worked with choreographer Yuval Pick, the comedian Marie-Christine Barrault, and with the “Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois,” giving more than 100 performances of l’Art de la Fugue by J.S. Bach. The French and Haitian musician uses her dual heritages to express herself through her music genuinely. Her enticing tone and lyrical phrasing can be heard on her multiple recordings. Daudet’s recordings reflect her dedication to studying all the nuances of each composition. Several years of researching Bach’s music resulted in two albums A tribute to Bach (Arion 2011) and L’Art de la Fugue (Arion 2013). After researching a rare repertory on the First World War, she published Dans la Malle du Poilu (Arion 2013) in duo with violinist Amanda Flavier. In 2016 she recorded the first volume of an integral of Beethoven’s ten sonatas for piano and violin with the violinist Amanda Flavier, published by NoMadMusic. The Yamaha Artist is releasing a new album entitled, Messe noire.

About the Album

Messe noire focuses on works that echo one another, resounding across eras with a quasi-mystical correspondence that invites us into a Célimène-Daudet-hero-classicalconstant musical journey. Daudet started by gathering ‘the last Liszt’ and ‘the last Scriabin’ with the goal to place them on the same album. She explains, “To me, they both have a marvellously indescribable capacity to allow listeners to hear mystery, to create unique soundscapes, to explore ever further and farther, always to innovate and to extend the limits of a certain ending. Both question the conventions of harmonic language with drawn out chromaticism – one that goes almost to excess, inching close to its own demise – and the obfuscation of tonality, as well as Scriabin’s famous invention, the ‘mystic chord,’ which haunts most of his last works. We can therefore lose ourselves in exploration outside all form, skirting all rules, and necessarily giving ourselves over to the almost hypnotic sensation of getting lost in this extreme.” The album contains fifteen tracks with five Liszt Works and five Scriabin works.

Our Favorite Tracks

Liszt’s “Lugubre Gondola No. 2, S.200” opens with Daudet taking her time in letting the dark sounds float through the airwaves. The single melody line is played with lyrical intent. The theme is always carried with the intention to let the music speak. The foreboding sounds mix as Daudet keeps the music flowing and intact. Each section is carefully created to have the most sonic impact and dynamic character. Her use of dynamics is very expressive. Daudet has a magical touch on the keyboard.

“Cinq Préludes, Op. 74: III. Allegro drammatico” captures Daudet’s power and command of the piano. She is entirely comfortable with the Célimène-DaudetScriabin chordal dissonances and angular lines and precise rhythms. The power of her left-hand can be felt, but never overshadows the activity in the upper register. The melodic quality of Scriabin’s theme is always the focus. The different permutations and evolutions are brought out. Even though the piece is short in duration, Daudet performs it in a manner that has a shape and a sense of a musical journey.

In Conclusion

Messe noire is an intense collection of Scriabin and Liszt compositions held together by Daudet’s attention to detail and the similarities in the compositions themselves. The album flows as a whole body of works listen just as well as enjoying each individual selection. Daudet’s piano playing is muscular when needed and tender and melancholy when the music demands it too. Messe noire is a beautiful sculpting of music from start to finish.




Célimène Daudet


Messe noire



Release Date

March 13, 2020

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