Ms. Kessel has chosen carefully seven Messiaen works and added quite appropriately Takemitsu's "Rain Tree Sketch II In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen". The Messiaen pieces span a period of 50 years beginning in 1929 and show the composer's evolution over time.
Every work is a gem; not all of them have been recorded a great deal, and Susanne Kessel gives us poetic, authoritative interpretations. She captures the essence of Messiaen in ways that, compared to many earlier performances, seem virtually effortless in their flow and conversational phrasings. All the more impressive this is, since many of the works are by no means easy to play well. Listen to her versions of three of the Regards works and you may like me be amazed at her fluidity with Messiaen's complicated language. She soars where some others have remained closer to the ground.
Of course Messiaen's solo piano works are among the most important, influential, and beautiful of all that were composed last century. Susanne gives you a tantalizing glimpse of why that is so, with such conviction that I for one wish she would tackle the whole corpus.