This recording was conceived by pianist Matthew McCright by pairing music from two periods of Olivier Messiaen's compositional life that are linked by the pianist Yvonne Loriod. Messiaen heard Loriod perform the Préludes, and she became his muse for countless compositions, including Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus, which was dedicated to her, and later, his second wife. McCright has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific as a piano soloist and chamber musician. A member of the piano faculty of Carleton College, McCright has premiered numerous new pieces, many written for him, and has collaborated with such composers as Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Augusta Read Thomas, and Paul Dresher, among many others. He studied at Westminster College, the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Minnesota.