Belfast Telegraph

Double act deliver a stunning performance of defiant masterpiece

"A DEFIANT affirmation of faith in the face of man's inhumanity".

That's one commentator's description of Visions de l'Amen, the work for two pianos written by Olivier Messiaen shortly after his release in 1941 from a German prisoner-of-war camp.

The words could apply equally to much of Samuel Beckett's literary output, making Messiaen's masterpiece an astute choice for performance at this year's festival.

It was given an exceptional interpretation by the leading French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and rising star Tamara Stefanovich. Stefanovich was once Aimard's pupil, but their combination in Visions de l'Amen was a meeting of equals, both players totally immersed in Messiaen's swirling tapestry.

This superlative performance would have graced any concert platform in the world and delighted all in St Macartin's Cathedral.

TERRY BLAIN

Belfast Telegraph

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