Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art and Literature / Edition 1

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Overview

The volume assesses Messiaen's position as a creative artist of the twentieth century in the light of the latest research. In the process, it identifies some of the key myths, confusions and exaggerations surrounding the composer which often mask equally remarkable truths. In attempting to reveal some of those truths, the essays elucidate a little of the mystery surrounding Messiaen as a man, an artist, a believer and a musician. Specifically, the volume covers Messiaen's attitudes and associations to Cocteau, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Dutilleux and Toesca, as well as exploring his teaching techniques, the Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie, Messiaen's harmony, performing and transcription techniques, composing for ondes Martenot, his association with ballet, Saint François d'Assise and the influence of his faith. Messiaen himself contributes directly in the form of a speech that he gave about the tapestry-maker Jean Lurçat, and the collection also includes the first literary translation of L'âme en bourgeon
the garland of poems written by Messiaen's mother, Cécile Sauvage, when she was expecting him. The composer described these poems as 'the only influence' in his life, making L'âme en bourgeon a fascinating centrepiece to a rich and rewarding collection of essays.

When Olivier Messiaen died in 1992, the prevailing image was of a man apart
a deeply religious man whose only sources of inspiration were God and Nature and a composer whose music progressed along an entirely individual path, artistically impervious to contemporaneous events and the whims both of his contemporaries and the critics. Whilst such a view contains alarge element of truth, the past ten years has seen an explosion of interest in the composer, and the work of a diverse range of scholars has painted a much richer, more complex picture of Messiaen. This volume presents some of the fruits of this research for the first time, concentrating on three broad, interrelated areas: Messiaen's relationship with fellow artists
key developments in the composer's musical language and technique, and his influences, both sacred and secular.

The volume assesses Messiaen's position as a creative artist of the twentieth century in the light of the latest research. In the process, it identifies some of the key myths, confusions and exaggerations surrounding the composer which often mask equally remarkable truths. In attempting to reveal some of those truths, the essays elucidate a little of the mystery surrounding Messiaen as a man, an artist, a believer and a musician. Specifically, the volume covers Messiaen's attitudes and associations to Cocteau, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Dutilleux and Toesca, as well as exploring his teaching techniques, the Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie, Messiaen's harmony, performing and transcription techniques, composing for ondes Martenot, his association with ballet, Saint François d'Assise and the influence of his faith.

Messiaen himself contributes directly in the form of a speech that he gave about the tapestry-maker Jean Lurçat, and the collection also includes the first literary translation of L'âme en bourgeon
the garland of poems written by Messiaen's mother, Cécile Sauvage, when she was expecting him. The composer described these poems as 'the only influence' in his life, making L'âme en bourgeon a fascinating centrepiece to a rich and rewarding collection of essays.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754652977
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/7/2007
  • Series: Music and Literature Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Editors' note
Introduction, Christopher Dingle and Nigel Simeone
Messiaen and Cocteau, Stephen Broad
L'Harmonie de l'Univers: mystical and literary influences on the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, Edward R.B. Forman
Messiaen and Dutilleux, Caroline Potter
Les Noces and Trois Petites Liturgies: an assessment of Stravinsky's influence on Messiaen, Matthew Schellhorn
From Fête des Belles Eaux to Saint François d'Assise: the evolution of the writing for ondes Martenot in the music of Olivier Messiaen, Jacques Tchamkerten
The performance history of Messiaen's Quatre études de rythme, Peter Hill
Messiaen's chords, Allen Forte
The record of realism in Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques, Robert Fallon
Musical analysis according to Messiaen: a critical view of a most original approach, Jean Boivin
Messiaen the bibliophile, Gareth Healey
Observations on time in Olivier Messiaen's Traité, Andrew D.J. Shenton
L'Âme en bourgeon, Cécile Sauvage (translation and introduction by Philip Weller)
Lurçat, Olivier Messiaen
Dancing Turangalîla—Messiaen and the ballet, Nigel Simeone
Frescoes and legends: the sources and background of Saint François d'Assise, Christopher Dingle
The music of Olivier Messiaen and Catholic liturgy, Père Jean-Rodolphe Kars
Index.
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