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  • In the Press | Olivier Messiaen

    Concerts, Events & Book Reviews TURANGALÎLA SYMPHONIE Guildhall Symphony Orchestra Nicholas Collon, conductor, William Bracken, piano, Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot. Barbican Hall, London. 23rd November 2022 As Edward Bhesania states in his concise but informed programme notes, Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphonie remains ‘one of the great milestones’ of 20th –century orchestral music. However, after the first performance in 1949 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein and a few follow up performances in America and Europe, it’s taken a good half a century for the work to become a staple repertoire piece, not least of course by the rarity of Ondes Martenot players globally. Over the past 20 years, younger orchestras have taken up the challenge, some to great acclaim including the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Junge Deutsche Philharmonic and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and now, among those at the top must surely be the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra. Their performance on the 23rd November under the assured guidance of Nicholas Collon really ‘raised the roof ‘ of the Barbican Hall. There was no cutting back on Messiaen’s stipulated resources, full strings including 10 double basses and full percussion line up that certainly didn’t hold back in the climaxes. That said, Collon also coaxed the more delicate timbres to great effect for example the ‘flower theme’ in the woodwind and the caressing ‘love theme’ in the 6th movement, ‘Jardin du sommeil d’amour’. This movement also produced some fine thoughtful piano work from postgraduate student William Bracken who thoroughly immersed himself in the part and playing from memory created a sense of drama and occasion throughout. Cynthia Millar continued to provided an innate sense of balance and clarity to the Ondes Martenot role and judging by her beaming smile during the lengthy applause at the end, clearly enjoys working with the younger generation on a work that has been so close to her heart for many years. I would have preferred to see the vibraphone, celeste and keyed glockenspiel in front of the stage behind the piano thereby creating a tightly knit ‘gamelan’ section that Messiaen was keen on. Of course this orchestra has not had the historical experience of working together as a seasoned unit and there were a couple of rough edges, but my goodness, they certainly conveyed the exciting exuberance and rhythmic commitment that Messiaen would have loved. ©M.Ball The 23rd November was special because those that could make it earlier were treated to a performance of Harawi in Milton Court Concert Hall just across the road from the Barbican Hall by mezzo soprano, Alexandra Achillea Pouta and pianist, Élisabeth Pion , thus giving us the opportunity to experience two thirds of Messiaen’s Tristan trilogy in one night (the remaining third being Cinq Rechants). What an occasion! To say that Harawi is one of Messiaen’s more deeply personal works is an understatement. Essentially it is a work that explores love and death in a somewhat surrealistic world that is influenced by folk music of Peru, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. At the time of writing Messiaen’s personal life was in much turmoil having to cope with his wife’s debilitating and declining illness while at the same time a developing relationship with Yvonne Loriod that would eventually culminate in their marriage in 1962. This demanding hour long song cycle was treated with the utmost sensitivity from both Alexandra Achillea Pouta and Élisabeth Pion both of whom brought integrity, personality and clear expressive and emotional engagement to the performance. MB © 11/2022 Des Canyons aux Étoiles... Utah Symphony directed by Thierry Fischer. June 2, 2022. OC Tanner Amphitheater, Springdale, Utah, USA. From the moment I got news of this concert I knew I had to go. Utah had been on my bucket list of places to visit with Messiaen connections for a very long time so this was an opportunity not to be missed. I arranged a 'package' that would include flights, hire car (essential) and hotel and I set off on a whistle stop five day tour that culminated in the concert at the OC Tanner Amphitheater, Zion Park, Utah. Prior to the concert I managed to take in all the sites and areas that so inspired Messiaen throughout the writing of Des Canyons aux Étoiles. .. he described them as 'the most marvellous natural phenomenon in the United States'. Of course, Messiaen's beloved birds feature throughout the work and these are species found in the area as well as elsewhere but there are three movements dedicated to these 'natural phenomenon' that are Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon and Zion Park. So with trusty GPS and hire car I found my way to all these sites and walked in the footsteps of Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod who, in 1972 was surely as awe struck as I was on this occasion. It is one thing seeing these places in books and photos but one really has to be there in person to fully appreciate the immensity, the striking shapes and above all, the colours of the rock formations that are truly breathtaking and unique. The concert on June the 2nd was scheduled to begin at 8.30pm and from 7.30 audience members were shuttled up the winding road from Springdale town to the amphitheater at the foot of the canyon and spot on 8.30, Thierry Fischer appeared and gave a short introduction before the strains of a solo horn set the mood for the first movement Le désert . As is becoming more and more customary, the solo horn was positioned towards the rear of the audience to give a sense of distance and remoteness. Horn player Stefan Dohr gave good time and space for the sound to travel and deflect off the walls of the stage both in this movement and his solo sixth movement 'Appel interstellaire ' where, once our ears were accustomed to the acoustic, every dynamic detail was audible. Commissioned in 1971 to celebrate the bicentenary of the Declaration of Independence, Des Canyons aux Étoile ... uses a modest orchestra, just 44 players, due to the confined space available at the world premiere in Alice Tully Hall but Messiaen's masterful orchestration draws out the raw power of the subject material with vivid immediacy. The score demands a very high standard of virtuosity from all players and the Utah Symphony under Thierry Fischer certainly delivered on all counts. The work also includes important solo parts for horn (mentioned above), xylorimba (Keith Garrick), glockenspiel (Eric Hopkins) and piano (Jason Hardink) all of their parts consisting almost entirely of bird songs. Both Keith Garrick and Eric Hopkins were superb in their roles and Jason Hardink really took this work under his wing (no pun intended!) and made it his own. Without the hinderance of a score, Hardink conjured the avian choruses admirably in the two solo piano movements (IV-Le Cossyphe D'Heuglin and IX-Le Moqueur polyglotte ) and as the ensuing darkness fell on the canyon rocks behind the amphitheater, his sense of naturalism was almost spiritual. Outdoor musical events are always tricky to mic up and balance successfully but the sound team at OC Tanner did a great job with subtle amplification of all sections of the orchestra except the percussion which, from where I was sitting just got slightly lost at times. Nonetheless, having the backdrop of the canyon that Messiaen so loved and experiencing the Utah sky turn slowly from dusk to black, it really was unforgettably - From the Canyons to the Stars... Cedar Breaks Bryce Canyon 13 February 2020. Igor Levit and Markus Hinterhäuser, pianos perform Visions de l'Amen. Milton Court Hall, Barbican, London This was the second in Igor Levit’s series of concerts as the Barbican featured artist and was the first of two concerts that included works for two pianos. Levit’s partner for Vision de l’Amen was Markus Hinterhäuser. Visions de l’Amen was written in 1943 and first performed in Paris during the Occupation by Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod at the Concert de la Pléiade on May 10 that year. Messiaen made no attempt to divide the material between the two pianos and piano one was consciously written for the pianistic talents of Loriod who, even at a young age was able to juggle musical complexities with ease. So her part was assigned the bells, birdsong, rhythmic canons in several layers and so on and piano two (Messiaen’s role) was to supply the thematic material and emotional power. For almost two decades the work remained the sole domain of composer and pupil until Irén Marik and John Ranck made a recording c.1956 and performed it at the Deepest Valley Theatre, USA in 1965 then the Labèque’s took it on in 1969 under Messiaen's supervision. Lately of course many couples have ventured into Messiaen’s world of creation, spinning planets, the agony of Jesus and Jugement, desire and consummation, some with variable results it has to be said. Levit and Hinterhäuser began Amen de la Création with suitable solemn majesty and unlike many recent performances by others, tempo was effective and delivered a sense of Time and Eternity. Levit’s double rhythmic pedal carillon pieced the darkness with just enough light and gave us a hint of things to come. The minim rest had just expired from movement one when Hinterhäuser segued into No.2 Amen des étoiles, de la planète à l’anneau – a brutal dance of the planets in octaves that is eventually joined by the swirling rhythmic and polymodal complexities of piano one. Apart from some over pedaling in piano two, tutti was impressive and the relentless energy and exhilaration heightened the drama. The third Vision, Amen de l’agonie de Jésus focuses on the suffocating confines of the Garden of Gethsemene and Messiaen said of this movement: “God, who’s beyond time…came in order to suffer with us. And I express this in my music…God is above us and still He comes to suffer with us.” This was written at a time when Messiaen’s brother Alain was still in a German prisoner of War camp and his first wife Claire was suffering a debilitating and degenerative mental illness. The music ‘cries’ and shreds the emotions to an almost unbearable degree and the interlocking writing was nuanced and well projected by both performers. Amen du Désir explores two themes of desire. The first slow, ecstatic and longing of a deep tenderness, the second passionate and explosive. Piano two states the opening love song while a sense of clock time is introduced by piano one quietly chiming octave ‘Ds’ where Levit, with legs astride and making eye contact with members of the audience was somewhat distracting. I found Hinterhäuser’s tone a little harsh at times and Messiaen’s detailed dynamics within the chords failed to convince but Levit’s crystalline accompaniment in the development was sensual and played with ardent warmth. As the movement progressed the playing became a little sullied towards the climaxes spoiling the impression at times. Amen des anges, des saints, du chant des oiseaux transports the listener to the angelic sphere beginning with the angels and saints where the music is pure and sparse and phrasing by both pianists was effective and well shaped. Messiaen’s birdsong was still undeveloped in 1943 but he had a clear idea of the birds that would feature here, albeit in a stylized manner. Levit’s birds were not flawless but a sense of joyous freedom pervaded. Amen du jugement is horrific in character with more bells, this time the ‘bell of evidence’. Both performers created a sense of terror and awe and together with Amen de l’agonie de Jésus these were the most successful of the movements in terms of spiritual energy between the two players. Again, a quick segue launched us into Amen de la Consommation where the opening tempo was as fast as the closing tempo should have been. There are three clearly defined tempo increments in the movement that are designed to drive the music forward adding ecstatic joy and excitement that brings the work to it’s exuberant conclusion. Instead Levit and Hinterhäuser bulldozed their way through with scant regard for dynamic detail and less for the important articulation in piano one at the ‘Un peu plus vif’. Visions de l’Amen is a work that requires two souls who are on an equal spiritual plane and have reached that level of intuition that the playing becomes ‘one’. I did not get that impression from this performance that seemed rather workman-like and over reliant on the score. Levit’s Beethoven is masterful but Levit’s visions were not Messiaen’s Visions. BBC PROM - 13 28th July 2019 Des canyons aux étoiles… Nicolas Hodges (piano) Martin Owen (horn) David Hockings (xylorimba) Alex Neal (glockenspiel) BBC Symphony Orchestra Stephen Bryant (leader) Sakari Oramo , conductor It was with much excitement that I awaited the opening bars of Messiaen’s vision of ‘the resurrected in Paradise’ and ‘the beauties of the earth (its rocks, its birdsong) and the beauties of the physical sky and of the spiritual sky’ as Des canyons aux étoiles… is perhaps the most under-performed of all Messiaen’s orchestral pieces. Written for the bicentennial of US independence, it is the longest of Messiaen’s orchestral work (outdoing Turangalîla Symphonie by two movements and about 20 minutes) but using far less forces than the Symphonie – for example, one double bass as opposed to ten and stripped down woodwind and brass. It does, however retain a major part for piano but no Ondes Martenot, instead solo parts for horn, xylorimba and glockenspiel. I was not disappointed. The performance remained gripping throughout its 12 movements presenting a vast array of musical colours that conjured the vast desert and rocky imagery of the Utah landscape, and its unique ornithological aviary. From the outset of movement one (Le désert), the solitude of the horn solo, scampering scorpions and isolated birdsong immediately drew the listener into Messiaen’s sound world and the almost tinnitus inducing bowed crotales, piccolo and violin harmonics created the deafening silence of the desert. Colour has always been at the heart of Messiaen’s orchestral writing and the BBCSO delivered a vivid palette of hues throughout guided by the baton-less Sakari Oramo who just needed to take a little more time in the slow eighth movement (Les ressuscités et le chant de l’étoile Aldébaran) and the final carillon features in movement twelve (Zion Park et la Cité Céleste) to allow the music to breathe and the detailed textures to fully flourish. Horn soloist Martin Owen took full advantage of the Royal Albert Hall acoustic in Appel interstellaire with well judged pauses and animated communication with the audience. The score is peppered with new and experimental (for Messiaen) sounds including the eoliphone (wind machine), geophone (sand machine), cross bridge bowing in the strings and in movement five (Cedar Breaks et le Don de Crainte) a trumpet blowing into the mouthpiece only, creating strange glissandi that straddles the borders of mystery and the comic. Also, Messiaen’s musical alphabet (first used in his Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte-Trinité) appears several times to spell out the biblical quotations that link the spiritual and physical elements in the work. The two solo piano movements (Le Cossyphe d’Heuglin – The white-browed robin and Le Moqueur polyglotte – The Mockingbird), were played with unshaken security and clear sense of musical architecture by Nicholas Hodges and the ‘bird’ interplay between piano and glockenspiel (played by Alex Neal ) was simply enthralling in Les ressuscités et le chant de l’étoile Aldébaran. David Hockings (xylorimba) is well known for his virtuosity and this was demonstrated laudably in movement eleven (Omao, Leiothrix, Elepaio, Shama) as well as some enthralling duet work with glockenspiel. For those audience members who felt they couldn’t quite stay the course, a great opportunity was missed to experience Messiaen’s vision as a whole in this rare and beguiling performance. ©M.Ball ​ © M.Ball Further review: Prom 13 Review of the the first British performance of Harawi. Interestingly given by Roy Bywood 'tenor' and John Boorman, piano. February 9th 1953 More reviews of Harawi kindly submitted by Nicholas Armfelt Quatuor pour la fin du temps and Messiaen's Maths On 26th March 2017 Concerts Penzance presented a Humphry Davy Science & Music Lecture on the subject of the mathematics and numerology in the first movement of Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Liturgie de cristal). This was followed by a complete performance of the Quatuor given by students of the Royal Academy of Music London. The often highly animated Marcus du Sautoy (Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford) delivered the lecture to a packed audience at Penwith College, Penzance, Cornwall. Sautoy is well placed on the subject being a former trumpet player and keen Messiaen enthusiast who has first hand knowledge of performing some of Messiaen’s work. He devised a visual animation (the Island) that used various shapes and forms including cogged wheels to demonstrate and draw comparisons with the number system that Messiaen used in Liturgie de cristal that for the uninitiated worked extremely well. His background knowledge of Messiaen was substantial although I became a little uncomfortable with the amount of emphasis placed on the use of serialism in Messiaen’s music. That aside the lecture remained engaged and highly communicative throughout. After the interval a complete performance of the Quatuor was given by Charles Dale-Harris (clarinet), Kate Oswin violin), Ghislaine McMullin (cello) and Joseph Havlet (piano). It must be said that this is a heck of a work for seasoned professionals to take on so all power to the elbows of these four fine players for this undertaking. It is not only the technical virtuosic ensemble playing needed in movements such as Vocalise pour l’ange qui announce la fin du temps and Danse de la fureur that is challenging but more the mental, spiritual concentration of the two Louange movements and the overall architecture of the entire work. The four musicians here remained highly committed despite some mechanical issues with the clarinet at times. Ghislaine McMullen’s Louange a l'éternité de Jésus was compelling with no distortion of line or intent. Contrastingly there was a real sense of energy and thrill in Danse de la fureur where the quartet captured the score with vivid immediacy. I am constantly heartened by the wealth of quality music making in the most south western corner of the UK and especially the genuine enthusiasm and interest shown for the music of Messiaen due in no small amount to the efforts of musicians such as Nigel Wicken and in the case of this concert, Tim Boulton and Concerts Penzance. ©M.Ball Pierre-Laurent Aimard performed Catalogue d'Oiseaux (complete) at Aldeburgh Festival UK 19 June 2016 When news broke several months ago that Pierre-Laurent Aimard would perform Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux at the Aldeburgh Festival in its entirety, not in Messiaen’s written order and in one day from dawn to dusk and beyond, many seasoned concertgoers and Messiaen devotees thought the idea was bonkers and it would never work. How wrong they would be with the whole day sold out and over subscribed soon after booking opened. Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Roger Muraro and Michel Beroff are three pianists most closely associated with Messiaen’s piano music and all were pupils of Yvonne Loriod and the couple often referred to them as their (musical) children. So having Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival) in the driving seat for this special event meant that there was no doubt whatsoever that it would not work. Aimard chose to place the pieces of the Catalogue by the time of day associated with the bird songs, so the concerts were presented thus: 4.30am Dawn – 1.00pm – Afternoon – 7.30pm – Dusk and 11.00pm – Night. 4.30am 'Dawn' Concert Hall Cafe. ©Sam Murray-Sutton I have to say that after performing in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis the previous evening, it was somewhat of a struggled to get myself up and arrive in Snape for the first concert at 4.30am. (Hardy twitchers were at the reed beds at 3.30 and before the sun rose). However, any sense of fatigue soon dissolved as we the audience took our seats in the Snape Maltings Concert Hall Cafe facing the window and looking out on the reed beds as the sun rose to the strains of Messiaen’s Traquet Stapazin (Black-eared Wheatear), La Bouscarle (Cetti’s Warbler) and Traquet Rieur (Black Wheatear) all mingling with the Suffolk dawn chorus. At 1.00pm in the Britten Studio the ‘Afternoon’ concert revealed Le Buse Variable (Buzzard), L’alouette Calandrelle (Short-toed Lark), Le Loriot (Golden Oriole) and Le Merle Bleu (Blue Rock Thrush). The 7.30pm ‘Dusk’ concert was presented at RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve outside on Whin Hill with Les Chocards des Alpes (Alpine Chough), Le Merle de Roche (Rock Thrush) and Le Courlis Cendre (Curlew). Finally back at the Britten Studio, ‘Night’ concluded with La Chouette Hulotte (Tawny Owl), L’Alouette Lulu (Woodlark) and La Rousserolle Effarvate (Reed Warbler). What was most striking throughout the day was Aimard’s complete sense of focus (not to mention stamina) in the three locations and how each acoustic space could respond to Messiaen’s aural ‘paintings’. These works are not merely transcribed songs of the titled bird but rather their entire natural habitat and the relationship with other birds within that habitat are all represented, so natural phenomena such as tranquil lakes and rushes, rugged mountain terrain, crashing waves of the sea, howling wind etc. all form part of the canvas. To present the Catalogue over a 19 hour period is impressive enough but to perform with such nuanced playing, emotional power and unshaken security was just astounding. Le Merle Bleu (Blue Rock Thrush) was simply breath-taking and left me speechless with its glittering and fluid passage work and sense of drama whereas La Chouette Hulotte (Tawny Owl) truly sent shivers up the spine with its depiction of ‘darkness, fear and beating heart’ with a call that at times sounds like (in Messiaen’s words) ‘a child being murdered’. A long way from the peaceful setting of La Bouscarle (Cetti’s Warbler) heard both by Aimard’s poised and piquant playing and ‘live’ by the bird itself in the reed beds at Snape. Presenting the 7.30pm ‘Dusk’ concert at RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve outside on Whin Hill was a risky masterstroke given the unpredictability of the English summer but one that paid off. Yes there was a vexing wind that kept Aimard’s page-turner on her toes but the effect and musical impression was magical. Special mention must go to the BBC. Musical events in the open air are notoriously difficult to control in both volume and sound quality, but the BBC team got it just right. Having Tom McKinney announce throughout the day was also fitting as he has, (according to the booklet notes) been bird watching all of his life. The Festival book was lavish but just a shame that Messiaen’s descriptions were not printed in full for each piece. In between the concerts, other events took place in and around Snape including Nigel Paterson’s film: Dawn Chorus: The Sounds of Spring, a Festival church service, a concert by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge at Blythburgh Church, an RSPB Walk and an illuminating talk by Christopher Dingle (Messiaen specialist and musicologist) and Nigel Collar (ornithologist). 1.00pm 'Afternoon' Britten Studio ©Matt Jolly For many years Yvonne Loriod’s account of this work had remained definitive, but Pierre-Laurent Aimard took it to a higher plane setting a tough benchmark for pianists such as those attending his master-classes during the previous week. It was Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s final year as artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival and thanks must be given for the diversity of art and music that he brought to Suffolk over eight years but perhaps none more so than that of the 19th June 2016 where the entire landscape and natural beauty of Suffolk played a significant part in Messiaen’s and Aimard’s vision. ©M.Ball 7.30pm 'Dusk' RSPB Minsmere © Matt Jolly 11.00pm 'Night' Britten Studio, Snape. © Matt Jolly Review of the all-Messiaen concert. St. Mary's Church Penzance, Cornwall. UK 4th June 2016. Featuring Malcolm Ball (ondes Martenot) and Peter Humphrey (piano), with Nigel Wicken (organ). 1. 5 Leçons de Solfege (1934) Nos.l,2,3,5,4. Ondes & piano. 2. O sacrum convivium (1937) soprano (Laura Nicholas) &Nigel Wicken (organ) 3. Two piano pieces played by Peter Humphrey: La colombe (1929) and Rondeau (1943). 4. Le merle noir (1952) flute & piano - (Pippa Drummond, flute; Paul Comeau piano). 5. Feuillets inedit s (unpublished pages) ondes & piano. 6. L'alouette lulu (1957) piano- (Peter Humphrey) 7. Vocalise (1935) Ondes & piano 8. Premiere communion de la Vierge (1944) piano. 9. Oraison des belles eaux (1937) Ondes & piano. 10. Joie et clarte des corps glorieux (1939), Nigel Wicken (organ) *** This all-Messiaen concert was a unique musical event, and it was applauded with great enthusiasm by an audience of over 70 people. A glance at the items in the programme with their dates shows that these are works from the earlier half of the composer's career, the latest in date being L'alouette lulu composed in 1957 when Messiaen was aged 49. The concert included authorized arrangements for ondes Martenot and piano along with some other fine works that have hitherto seldom been performed. None of the pieces is particularly obscure or difficult for the listener. Indeed the intention was for this to be a concert of attractive and accessible music, much of it extraordinarily beautiful - music that deserves to be heard more often. Many people will know of Messiaen's use of the Ondes Martenot in three of his greatest works: Trois petites liturgies de la Presence divine, Turangalila, and Saint François d'Assise. The pieces in this concert, however, were adaptations of the high melodic line of some smaller works, pieces originally written with pedagogical intent - sight-reading exercises or examination tests. In their modest way they often exemplify Messiaen's characteristic melodies, harmonies and rhythms. What is remarkable is their quality, and also their delightful deftness and charm. The 5 Leçons de Solfege (1934) for ondes and piano formed an ideal start to the concert. These sight-reading pieces, originally for soprano but readily adaptable for flute or for ondes, are easy on the ear, some sprightly, others with a mildly melancholy and wistful charm. We were not challenged with any of the loud swoopings and whoopings characteristic of the Ondes in parts of the large orchestral works. This evening we experienced the quieter and ethereal qualities. O sacrum convivium (1937), beautifully sung by the soprano Laura Nicholas accompanied by Nigel Wicken on the organ. This version is rarely performed, though the a capella version is often sung by cathedral choirs. This was a spellbinding and very moving performance. The four piano solos, admirably played by Peter Humphrey, were all remarkably different from one another. La colombe (1929) was delicately evocative; Rondeau (1943) came across as exciting and dazzling with a delightful lightness of touch; La premiere communion de la Vierge (1944) communicated a beautiful and deeply spiritual experience. L'alouette lulu (1957) was wonderful: velvet-dark chords representing night, magical high descending trills of the woodlark, the more percussive brilliance of the nightingale. Le merle noir (1952) for flute (Pippa Drummond) and piano (Paul Comeau) was sensational in its virtuosity and brilliance. The audience was bowled over by it. Of the pieces for ondes and piano, which constituted the bulk of the concert, it was the Oraison des belles eaux that built up to the most sustained intensity. Malcolm Ball and Peter Humphrey achieved an extraordinarily subtle, well-graduated, and compelling melodic and chordal progression. The emotion was overwhelming. The concert concluded with Joie et clarte des corps glorieux (1939) played on the organ by Nigel Wicken using the exact stops and registrations that are indicated in the score. The "joy and radiance" resounded in the church, an exhilarating and fitting culmination. Nicholas Armfelt (June 2016) Turangalîla Symphonie Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. Gustavo Dudamel conductor, Yuja Wang, piano, Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot Royal Festival Hall London. 16th January 2016 Some might say there was something more dazzling than the Lumiere Light Festival showing over London on the 16th of January and that was the appearance of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela under Gustavo Dudamel at London’s Southbank performing Messiaen’s mighty Turangalîla Symphonie. Messiaen loved to ‘dazzle’ and we were certainly treated to an aural and visual feast from the moment piano soloist Yuja Wang strode onto the Royal Festival Hall stage sporting a sparkling micro mini dress with matching shoes only out shone by her dazzling and scintillating performance of this quasi piano concerto. Ms. Wang is well known for her concerto performances of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Shostakovich etc. but not later 20th century works such as this. She may not have this music completely in her bones as Pierre-Laurant Aimard and indeed she seemed a little over reliant on the score at times, but she played the most demanding passages with unshaken security and a kaleidoscopic dynamic sense. This was particularly evident in movement 6 (Jardin du sommeil d’amour) where Messiaen had just started to develop his birdsong writing. Her delicate touch and ‘improvisatory’ approach allowed Messiaen’s birds to flit effortlessly over a cushion of strings and Ondes Martenot melody. As attractive and, again, dazzling her six inch stiletto heels and three inch platform shoes were, they did impair her pedaling at times where some resonances were abruptly cut short and not fully controlled. This was a minor glitch in an otherwise quite staggering performance. Turangalîla Symphonie is new fair for the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and Dudamel added to their repertoire in 2015. This team with Yuja Wang and Cynthia Millar have performed the work in Barcelona, Luxembourg, London and will play in Cologne on the 24th January. The work is not new to ondist Cynthia Millar, having played it countless times over many years now. Her performance here demonstrated just how well attuned her ear is to tonal and dynamic balance of her instrument with the rest of the orchestra. Dudamel stuck rigidly to Messiaen’s orchestral numbers that are inflated in all departments including 10 double basses. I have heard this piece where reductions were made and it really spoils the effect, balance and colour, but not so on this occasion. He conducted with precision and passion coaxing out the delicate ‘flower motif’ played by woodwinds, contrasting this with the burnished white-hot fortissimo ‘statue theme’ in the brass. He also stuck well to Messiaen’s revised tempi with just movement 5 (Joie du sang des étoiles) taking a few bars to settle. I felt the tam tam was a little cautious in the climaxes and the staggered positioning of the metallic instruments (vibraphone, celeste and keyed glock) did not create the intended gamelan effect that Messiaen wanted. Bruce Hodges’ progamme notes were rather too generalised and contained a few minor inaccuracies. He alluded to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde but failed to place Turangalila within Messiaen’s own Tristan trilogy (Harawi, Turangalîla Symphonie and Cinq Rechants). This said, the ‘force’ was certainly with Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the vitality and energy that the orchestra is famous for was 95% evident. I reserve 100% for the performance given by the National Youth Orchestra of GB under Sir Andrew Davis in a 2001 BBC Prom. © Malcolm Ball BBC Proms Friday 7th August 2015 Royal Albert Hall, London. Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) Orchestration realised by Christopher Dingle (b. 1971) Un oiseau des arbres de Vie (Oiseau tui) (1987/8, orch.2013/14) world premiere. ‘On either side of the river is the tree of life…’ (Revelations 22:2) ‘Bless the Lord, all birds of the air’ (Daniel 3:80) For those of us who felt that Peter Hill’s recent and exciting discovery of the piano piece ‘La fauvette passerinette ’ was the last piece of Messiaen’s manuscripts to see a new light of day since the composers’ death, image our thrill to hear of this 4 minute gem that emerged from the work desk in Paris! This said, many scholars and enthusiasts have known about ‘Un oiseau des arbres de Vie (Oiseau tui) ’ as Chris Dingle pointed out in the highly illuminating Proms Extra talk that was shared with Peter Hill. Messiaen planned for a pair of movements in ‘Éclairs sur l’Au-delà… ’ that featured the tui bird from New Zealand and the lyrebird from Australia. The lyrebird remained in the finished work but Messiaen, reluctantly decided to omit the tui from Éclairs. He had, however, written all the music for the movement in a three stave short score and characteristically approved this by marking ‘Bien’ to note its completion. Thanks to Peter Hill who was granted a copy from Messiaen’s widow Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, Chris Dingle set about the daunting task of orchestrating the movement. It would be very hard to find another as well qualified as Chris to undertake such a task with his boundless knowledge of Messiaen’s final works (especially Éclairs) and a thorough understanding of the orchestral palette used by Messiaen. The song of the tui is remarkable for its vast vocal range as well as being a great imitator of, not just other birds, but also many environmental sounds it hears such as percussive knocks and clicks, swooping glissandi and even the human voice. As one who has been fortunate enough to see and hear this bird first hand (on Tiritiri Matangi Island NZ) I can confirm it is one of the most vocally adept of all the avian species. The result is a 4-minute virtuosic tour de force in all the orchestral departments. Messiaen’s beloved trio of marimba, xylorimba and xylophone featured prominently and executed with great aplomb by the percussionists of the BBC Philharmonic. The tui’s song flits around the orchestra of multiple woodwind, brass and strings at great speed and dazzling metrical complexity often culminating (and concluding) by ‘tumbling’ onto three cellos. The wood blocks are featured in an almost concerto-like capacity and there are smacks of ‘Oiseaux exotiques ’ with repeated tutti stabs, but as Chris Dingle pointed out, the music contains clearly recognisable ‘Messiaen’ but at the same time colours and traits new to his birdsong writing. And it is ‘colour’ that really dazzled us in the Royal Albert Hall this evening by craftsman of 20th (and 21st) century composer/orchestrators. Mozart kicked off the first half with the not too often heard Idomeneo – ballet music and although not 20th century, Messiaen considered Mozart a great colourist who’s influence remained with him throughout his life. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet gave a glittering and moving account of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major as well as the breath-taking Etude de concert by Pierné by way of an encore, Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements , Colin Matthews’s delicate and translucent orchestration of Oiseaux tristes from the piano suite Miroirs by Ravel and Ravel’s own orchestral masterpiece La Valse concluding the proceedings. The BBC Philharmonic was on top form in all departments driven by the effervescent Nicholas Collon who coaxed out all the subtle nuances in this feast of nature and colour. © M.Ball Peter Hill and Christopher Dingle ©M.Ball Turangalila Symphonie Philharmonia Orchestra. Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Valérie Hartmann-Claverie, Ondes Martenot. Royal Festival Hall London. 28th May 2015 The last time I reviewed the Philharmonia performing Turangalîla Symphonie was back in 2008, Messiaen’s centenary year when they performed the work in sunny Southend-on-Sea, Essex (see below) and the only change in personnel in this performance was ondist Valérie Hartmann-Claverie (Jacques Tchamkerten was in the ondes chair in Southend). This was the final concert in the Philharmonia’s series “City of Light – Paris, 1900–1950” and if you want to go out with a bang then Turangalîla is the ideal choice. But before the mighty Symphonie, we were treated to some sonorous delights of a different kind beginning with Debussy’s Syrinx for solo flute and indeed it could be said that the orchestra ‘grew’ throughout the evening with Simon Coles alone on stage followed by the rarely heard La damoiselle élue for female chorus, mezzo and soprano solo and orchestra, then Turangalîla where the RFH stage was bursting at the seams. From the opening bars of the Introduction it was clear that Messiaen’s ‘baby’ was in safe hands as of course it has been with Salonen for many years now. The orchestral colours so important for Messiaen were clearly defined here and exquisitely balanced throughout. The keyboards (celeste, keyed glock and vibraphone) were positioned correctly at the front of the stage but sadly the mallets used on the vibraphone were too soft to convey the clanging gamelan effect that Messiaen intended. Salonen’s tempi were well judged throughout but for (and this was the case in 2008) the 9th movement where Messiaen revised the tempo from quaver 100 to 80. Salonen produced a rather jaunty jog rather than the mysterious strange and ethereal atmosphere created by ondes, percussion, keyboards and 13 solo strings. If the tempo is too fast the timbral detail and rhythmic personalities are lost or at least thrown into relief. This aside, Salonen and the orchestra produced an epic performance with soloists Valérie Hartmann-Claverie playing entirely from memory with great command and expressive intensity and Pierre-Laurent Aimard setting the whole piece alight with his stunning virtuosity and consistent engagement befitting in this glittering finale to the ‘City of Light’. © MB Messiaenfestival Orgelpark 22 February 2015 Het Orgelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Fête des Belles Eaux for 6 Ondes Martenot’s Fabienne Martin, Pascale Rousse-Lacordaire, Philippe Arrieus, Haruka Ogawa, Dominique Kim, Augustin Viard. Quatuor pour la fin du temps Thomas Dieltjens, piano Benjamin Dieltjens, clarinet Aki Sauliere, violin Raphael Bell, cello This concert was the culmination of a Messiaen festival organised by Johan Luijmes, (artistic director) and his team at the colourful and attractive Orgelpark venue in Amsterdam. Previous concerts in the series featured such luminaries as Ralph van Raat performing Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus , Berry van Berkum performing Les Corps Glorieux and Musici Nederlands Kamerkoor Klaas Stok with Marcel Verheggen performing Apparition de l’Eglise Eternelle, O Sacrum convivium, L’Ascension, Cinq Rechants, Le Banquet céleste . Although I was unable to attend the entire festival I was determined to make the trip to Amsterdam on Sunday the 22nd to see and hear this performance of Fête des Belles Eaux by ‘Vecteur Ondes ’ (Fabienne Martin, Pascale Rousse-Lacordaire, Philippe Arrieus, Haruka Ogawa, Dominique Kim and Augustin Viard). This piece is so rarely heard live that any performance that is only a short plan trip away is most definitely worthwhile. Messiaen was one of 20 composers commissioned to write a piece in 1937 for a festival of sound, water and light (a ‘son et lumière’) that took place along the river Seine in Paris and after seeing and hearing Maurice Martenot’s new electronic invention in 1928 he opted for a piece featuring 6 Ondes Martenot’s. The performance began after dark where fireworks in the sky were mirrored by jets of water combined with the harmonies of the music. Nowadays we settle for the six Ondists seated in a semicircle in the comfort of a concert hall, as was the case on the 22nd. The virtuosic first Ondes part (the role originally played by Ginette Martenot the inventors’ sister and later Jeanne Loriod) was superbly executed by Fabienne Martin who coaxed the most expressive qualities and emotional intensity from the instrument in movements 4 and 6. The musical material for these two movements later found its way into the Quatuor. Pascale Rousse-Lacordaire guided the overall performance clearly and concisely resulting in excellent ensemble and dynamic expression throughout. Those of you familiar with the oak coloured wooden cabinet style that Maurice Martenot produced together with the eye catching lotus leaf shaped ‘palme’ loudspeaker would have been slightly disappointed as all the performers used the Ondea, a modern version of the original that has no such ‘art nouveau’ qualities. This is not a problem, as the sound quality and characteristics of the Ondea is very close to that of the original Martenot instrument and of course much more reliable, but being a little old fashioned, I just like the aesthetic of the original instrument. However, the metallique speakers (a resonating gong) were used to create the highly effective shimmering in the 6th movement. Also, it wasn’t until 2003 that the new score of Fête des Belles Eaux was published and the timbre registrations were written for the series 7 Ondes Martenot that only includes 3 speakers: Principle, Reverberation and Metallique (D1,D2 and D3). This was a memorable performance of the highest quality that clearly demonstrated the organic, human expressive quality of these instruments that have stood the test of time and sets it aside from modern day synthesizers. The second half of the concert was given over to a scintillating performance of Quatuor pour la fin du temps perhaps Messiaen’s most performed work. If this is the case, then it is still extraordinary how every performance brings something different to the work. Benjamin Dieltjens, Aki Sauliere, Raphael Bell performed their respective ‘solo’s’ with rapt intensity all underpinned by Thomas Dieltjens’ secure, no nonsense pianism that totally captivated the audience throughout. A true Amsterdam standing ovation for both performances was thoroughly deserved. As an extra ‘treat’ there was a running video of an interview with Messiaen and Dutch maestro Reinbert de Leew centred on a performance of La Transfiguration de notre-Seigneur Jésus Christ – what more could we ask for? All thanks to Johan Luijmes and Karlijne Swart for their tireless efforts and hospitality. ©M.Ball Time Stood Still in Wivenhoe Many of you reading this article would never have heard of Wivenhoe, a small town and ‘civil parish’ (as Wikipedia puts it) nestled in northeastern Essex. However, if I mention Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England, the numbers shoot up. Wivenhoe is a mere 3 miles south east of Colchester where the Roman River Music Festival has been delighting people with top quality performances as well as a strong out reaching educational programme since its foundation in 2000. The concert given on the 30th September 2014 at St. Mary the Virgin Church, Wivenhoe brought together four extraordinary musicians to perform Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps (Quartet for the End of Time) - Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay, violin (standing in at short notice for Jennifer Pike), Guy Johnston, cello, Mark Simpson clarinet and Tom Poster, piano. Mark Simpson, former BBC Young Musician and Composer of the Year, opened proceedings with Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Cradle Song with Tom Poster, first prize winner at the Scottish International Piano Competition and keyboard sections of BBC Young Musician of the Year. With dimmed lighting to almost dark the duo created exactly the right atmosphere for the evening and their poised and piquant playing conveyed just enough unsentimental lyricism that this miniature gem requires. Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor showcased the virtuosic talents of Guy Johnston (another BBC Young Musician of the Year) Tom Poster and Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay (concert master of the Phiharmonia). This was a compelling performance played with a sense of spontaneity and often-breathtaking dramatic intensity that prompted spontaneous audience reaction between movements. The almost tangible telepathy between these musicians produced enthralling climaxes and changes of texture and mood without being confrontational. After a well-deserved break, all four musicians joined together for Messiaen’s most performed work. From the opening bars of Liturgie de cristal it was clear that a special ‘chemistry’ was at work, which is surprising and rare for a group who I suspect, have not worked together as a unit for very long. This was chamber music at its very finest. Mark Simpson’s clarinet seemed, at times, to come from another world in ‘Abîme des oiseaux’ . The long sustained tones truly did come from nothing and grew to a shattering fortissimo but with perfect tonal control throughout as were the fiendishly difficult 7 note echo figures that stride the entire range of the instrument and where many players come to grief. I have heard Messiaen’s Quartet many (many!) times but never before have I experienced the ‘Danse de la fureur pour les sept trompettes’ played with such unabashed fury! ‘Louange à l’éternité de Jésus’ and ‘Louange de l’immortalité de Jésus’ for cello and piano and violin and piano respectively, demonstrated perfect timbral and temporal control from Tom Poster allowing Guy Johnston’s cello and Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay’s violin to float effortlessly in the heights. This was a rare spiritually engaging performance where time really did seem to stand still. There was just a slight hint of tonal ‘fluff’ on the final violin note but by that time we were all on a higher plane. All power to the elbow of Orlando Jopling for programming such a wonderful event in this quaint corner of the Essex countryside. We all eagerly await 2015! St. François d’Assise in Madrid. 13th July 2011 Instalación: Emilia e Ilya Kabakov Disposición escénica: Giuseppe Frigeni Figurinista: Robby Duiveman Iluminador Jean Kalman Director del coro: Andrés Máspero El angel: Camilla Tilling Saint François: Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester El leproso: Michael König Frère Léon: Wiard Withold Frère Massée: Tom Randle Frère Éllie: Gerhard Siegel Frère Bernard: Victor von Halem Frère Sylvestre: Vladimir Kapshuk Coro Titular del Teatro Real y Coro de la Generalitat Valenciana SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden - Freiburg Musical Director: Sylvain Cambreling Since the historical Paris premier of St François d’Assise in 1983 there appears an evolution of two particular trends when staging this immense musical epic. On the one hand directors stick pretty closely to Messiaen’s sometimes detailed production notes while on the other hand some stray so far that if it were not for the music one might sometimes wonder if we’re watching the same work. Teatro Real’s Madrid offering most definitely falls into the former catagory. Madrid’s artistic director Gerard Mortier continues his ‘dream’ of staging St Francois wherever he goes. Directing team Emilia and Ilya Kabakov brought their gigantic tilting dome first seen in the Ruhr Triennale production of 2003 to the Madrid Arena (this and the musical forces were deemed too large to house in Teatro Real’s theatre at opera square in the centre of Madrid). Adapted sports spaces such as the arena are never ideal for ‘acoustic’ musical events even with the large forces employed by Messiaen. The orchestra and choir were reasonably well focused and balanced but some solo roles that were played out on the raised bridge platform to the front and sides struggled with projection at times in particular Gerhard Siegel as Brother Elías. Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester was convincingly immersed throughout as St François and performed with rapt intensity at times. Tom Randle is always a pleasure to see in the role of Brother Masseo bringing a sense of spontaneity to the part although he had considerably less to do in this production than the Nederlandse Opera where he last appeared in the role. Camilla Tilling is by far my favourite Angel. She is familiar with this part now and one is totally transported by her firmly centered non-operatic sound with a purity found nowhere else. Her ‘Noh’-like movements are exactly as Messiaen wished and this is true of the entire production which was meditative rather than sensational – minimal rather than spectacular. Messiaen’s sense of time and tempo are often hard to grasp but musical director Sylvain Cambreling guided the 170 odd performers with security and expressive understanding. The expanded SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden- Freiberg produced some fabulous textures and colours. However, discipline and etiquette was less impressive with members of the brass section holding conversations and even coming and going off stage became a distraction at times. The static ‘stained glass’ dome added coloured lighting throughout -sometimes changing imperceptibly. This plus the candle-lit lighting in the choir gave the whole space an atmospheric spiritual feel. ‘Static’ is the adjective that keeps surfacing in relation to this production and at times one just wished for slightly more animation from characters or stage direction particularly in the Sermon to the Birds where Messiaen’s music is so highly animated we, the audience just had to use a little too much of our own imagination. A huge bird cage completed the stage design with live doves that appeared to respond to light intensity and became animated when lit and less so when in shade. It was therefore a shame that they were not fully lit in the final 2 minuets of the opera – it would have been heart warming to see them joyously flapping to the illuminated brilliance of the final C major chord! It was also a shame that some of the Spanish opera going clientele could not stay the course as they would surely have been spiritually rewarded at the end of this highly successful production that may never be seen again in Spain for many years. © Malcolm Ball St. François in Amsterdam Saint François d’Assise. De Nederlandse Opera, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam. 1-6-2008. “Know the joy of the blessed by gentleness of colour and melody…and may there be opened for thee the secrets of glory!” These are the words sung by the Angel in Messiaen’s ‘musical spectacle’ (his description) and unlike some recent stagings of Saint François d’Assise , Der Nederlanse Opera production focuses on the words colour and melody with Pierre Audi and his production team ever mindful of Messiaen’s intentions. From the opening scene (La Croix) the lighting and set designs are inventive and appropriate without us having to delve into the recesses of our minds to work out what is going on. The huge expanded Residentie Orkest sprawled from the rear of the stage with musical director Ingo Metzmacher plying his craft from centre stage with great authority and control throughout and thus the orchestra became a genuine character in the opera. Remarkably this sonic powerhouse of 100 plus musicians never once over-powered the voices, a testament to the genius of Messiaen’s orchestration, the sensitivity of Ingo Metzmacher and the acoustics of the Muziektheater. Camilla Tilling (L’Ange) gave a compelling performance both vocally and theatrically. The 5th tableau (L’Ange musicien) in particular left the entire Muziektheater audience utterly breathless and mesmerised with her exquisite vocal line complemented by the ‘other-worldliness’ of the three Ondes Martenot’s and moving with the elegance and ritual of a Noh actor fulfilled Messiaen’s every wish. Angelo Figus’s costumes reflected Messiaen’s vision appropriately without compromise or over indulgence and only the Leper costume lacked a little impact in terms of repulsiveness. Rod Gilfry (Saint François) delivered just the right amount of humility when needed in this mammoth role and despite a troublesome throat at times managed to portray vocally the Saint’s despair, anguish and joy to great effect. All the Fransiscan Brothers responded well to their individual characterization’s, however it was Tom Randle (Frère Massée), who is depicted as rather naïve and innocent, was in danger of ‘stealing the show’ with his witty interactions and mannerisms. Indeed the one ‘masterstroke’ of Pierre Audi’s production was to introduce a group of children in the ‘Sermon to the birds’ where Randle really came into his own with the children clearly enjoying the playful banter. For me this scene communicated and worked far better than any ornithological wildlife film footage ever can. Great use was made of the space and various levels in the Muziektheater with minimal but effective scene changes smoothly articulated. The choir of De Nederlandse Opera were really made to feel an integral part of the production and not just a static sound source at the back of the stage. Their disciplined and well drilled performance driven by Martin Wright. Pierre Audi has brought Saint François d’Assise into the 21st century while at the same time retaining the spirit of Messiaen’s intentions and has succeeded in highlighting the human and spiritual world of Saint François that made the 5 hours of this opera seem like a celestial ‘moment’. ©Malcolm Ball A selection of reviews and highlights from 2008 - Messiaen's centenary. Messiaen in Cambridge 5th March 2008 West Road Concert Hall Turangalila Symphonie CUMS 1 Orchestra – Matthew Schellhorn piano – Jacques Tchamkerten Ondes Martenot – Baldur Brönnimann Guest conductor. When the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain tackled Turangalila Symphonie at the 2001 Proms to much deserved acclaim, we all marvelled at how an orchestra made up of people no older than 19 years of age could bring so much musicality, verve and excitement to this work in the midst of, it has to be said, some rather workman like performances presented by some seasoned professional orchestras around this time. It is generally accepted that NYO is the cream of our musical youth with the highest standards of teaching and coaching, so could any other aspiring young person’s ensemble achieve such standards? The answer is most definitely ‘yes’ as was experienced by the Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) concert at West Road Concert Hall. Baldur Brönnimann directed with authority if lacking a little dynamism and ensemble, after some slight shaky moments during movement two, gained cohesion and confidence. There was plenty of power when needed despite the somewhat reduced numbers in some sections. Messiaen specifies (rather optimistically!) for example 10 double basses rather than the 7 here although there was no loss of bottom right from the opening bars in the lower strings. The woodwind section was clear, bright and well articulated especially the capricious bassoon and piccolo in Chant d’amour 2 and the clarinets positively blossomed in the ‘flower theme’ with beautiful tone and control. Only the brass section suffered a little from depletion and the stratospheric D trumpet was missed in the climactic bar before the final Trés lent of the Final. Special mention should be made of the percussion section who in a restricted and confined space covered everything with great aplomb. Soloists Matthew Schellhorn and Jacques Tchamkerten are becoming quite a ‘team’ now and who wouldn’t want this pair as part of any Messiaen ‘team’? Matthew began the evening’s proceedings with a lucid and fact packed presentation of the Symphonie that concluded with Jacques Tchamkerten introducing the Ondes Martenot with both Matthew and Jacques performing a few bars of Jardin du sommeil d’amour demonstrating how sensitive Jacques Tchamkerten is as a player and the Ondes Martenot is as an instrument. Matthew Schellhorn’s total command of this virtuoso piano part was never more aptly apparent than in the cadenza at the end of Joie du sang des étoiles – totally breathtaking! This was a special evening for CUMS and one that all involved should be proud and hold dear to their hearts for a long time. A great achievement. 22nd March 2008 King’s College Chapel. Apparition de l’Église éternelle - Trois petites liturgies de la presence divine CUCO – Peter Stevens organ - Choral Scholars of Clare College - Choral Scholars of Gonville and Caius College – Matthew Schellhorn piano – Jacques Tchamkerten Ondes Martenot – Stephen Cleobury conductor. We knew we were in for a special evening right from the opening bars of Apparition de l’Église éternelle given by Peter Stevens at the mighty King’s organ. Peter Steven’s well controlled crescendo culminating in the Harrison and Harrison awesome 32’ almost literally made the earth move for us! This is the kind of building to hear this work and Stevens made the most of the massive space and reverberation that was both moving and awe-inspiring. Even more special was Stephen Cleobury’s handling of Trois petites liturgies de la presence divine . With such a strange combination of instruments, this is a difficult work to balance dynamically and presents a challenge to any conductor even in the best concert halls let alone a lively and unforgiving acoustic such as King’s. However, Stephen Cleobury is well accustomed to the reverberation in the chapel and his timed pauses were just enough for us to savour the huge climaxes and not lose momentum. Tempos were exactly right. Bright without being rushed and the slow tempos, mystical without being turgid. The Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra played with precision and style throughout and combined with the solo piano and Ondes Martenot parts, Messiaen’s stained glass effects were as dazzling as the King’s Chapel windows themselves! Everything was crystal clear from the gently tapping maracas to the earth shattering tam tam crescendos. Again, the Schellhorn/Tchamkerten ‘team’ performed with typical style, sensitivity and character, never over playing and always with the utmost musical awareness. The real ‘stars’ of the evening though were undoubtedly the ladies of Clare and Gonville and Caius Colleges. There are nowadays many recordings of Trois petites liturgies de la presence divine however very few can boast perfection in terms of balance and vocal presentation that Messiaen himself envisioned. I strongly believe that this choir, on this occasion did. Singing and chanting in unison as the vocal part requires here can have as many pitfalls as complex harmonic performing but this choir with it’s crystalline diction and faultless intonation was way up there with the finest. Praise indeed, but praise well deserved. ©Malcolm Ball Turangalila Symphonie Philharmonia Orchestra. Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Jacques Tchamkerten, Ondes Martenot. Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on Sea. 15 February 2008 Southend-on-sea is not the first location to spring to mind when thinking of a performance of Messiaen’s mighty Turangalila Symphonie . However, if one thinks of the gayety of children playing on the sun-kissed seafront in summer, the noisy cacophony of the fairground and young lovers strolling along the promenade at night bathed in Southend’s famous multi-fluorescent and colourful illuminations (second only to Blackpool) the heart of Turangalila isn’t that far removed! The Philharmonia are key players in the South Bank Centre Messiaen Festival driven by the tireless and seemingly unflagging Pierre-Laurent Aimard as artistic Festival director. This team has and will be presenting Turangalila many times throughout the year and it was refreshing to experience such an event in the Essex seaside town. The main draw back to mounting such a concert at the Cliffs Pavilion is that by nature it is more suited to musical theatre where the orchestra is positioned below in front of the stage whereby audience members seated in the stalls (which is un-raked until half way up the auditorium) can hear a good balance of vocal on stage and music from a ‘pit’ position below. Having a full orchestra on stage meant that those in the first part of the stalls experience some imbalance because brass, percussion and some woodwinds that are behind the strings consequently get a little lost. Having said this, I’m sure that these balance problems did not arise if seated in the circle or the boxes. Because of the restricted room on stage the orchestra was somewhat reduced in numbers and even then the percussion department especially seemed to lack the necessary elbow room needed to project some moments in the music and it was a shame that all the 'gamelan' type instruments (keyboard percussion) could not be altogether (the vibraphone being at the side). Esa-Pekka Salonen did a sterling job of holding everything together in what must have seemed an almost straightjacket situation. Salonen knows this music well now and drew out some beautiful nuances from woodwind and strings as well as some amazingly exciting tutti moments. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve heard the last chord of Joie de Sang des Étoiles held for so long since the early days of Maurice La Roux! There was one slight breathtaking moment of the panic kind when in Turangalila 2 the tam tam seemed to take forever to enter and crescendo before the final seven bars. Only the ninth movement: Turangalila 3 I thought lost a little mystery due to a rather too well paced tempo. I have found Jacques Tchamkerten to be one of the most sensitive ondists around. His playing was always well balanced even in the fortissimo climaxes, which in the wrong hands can be ear splittingly loud. Pierre-Laurent Aimard makes the virtuoso piano part look effortless now and one is reminded of Yvonne Loriod in her hey day with that total and absolute involvement with not just the piano part but the entire orchestral canvas. What is more extraordinary about Aimard is the mental and physical work-load of performing the complete Vingt Regards and goodness knows how many Turangalila’s in such a short space of time, as well as overseeing the entire Messiaen Festival. A truly super-human task and we in Great Britain should be so thankful that this Messiaen and Loriod taught Frenchman chose to grace us with his presence for the centenary. The good people of Southend were treated to a particularly fine bonus in the form of a pre concert talk and performance of Quatour pour la Fin du Temps no less, given by soloists of the Philharmonia (Barnaby Robson, clarinet, James Clark, violin, David Cohen, cello) and Messiaen aficionado Matthew Schellhorn, piano. This was a heart felt and meaningful performance full of colour and tight ensemble. Despite what looked like Barnaby Robson suffering from the British winter he draw some stunning colours and dynamics from the clarinet in Abime des oiseaux where notes seemed to literally emerge from the depths! So, fish and chips and candyfloss aside, Messiaen was put firmly on the Southend-on- sea menu on Friday the 15th. Let’s hope for more here in the future. © Malcolm Ball Book reviews Messiaen l'empreinte d'un géant. Catherine Lechner-Reydellet ISBN-10: 2840495112 - ISBN-13: 978-2840495116 Pub. Editions Seguier in French. Nicholas Armfelt writes: If I tell you that Catherine Lechner-Reydellet writes in a slightly awkwardly poetic French and that she makes a terrible lot of blunders ("François" instead of Pascal Messiaen), dozens (literally) of proper names mis-spelt ("Aymard", Charles "Yves" etc. etc.), you may expect my judgement of the book and its editor to be pretty negative. However the bulk of the book is fascinating and informative because she has assembled a whole lot of "témoignages". These 'witnesses" all write very well about their recollections of Messiaen. You get a brief biography of the contributor and a list of his/her works. The "témoignages" take a couple of pages each. Lots and lots of witnesses, all of them interesting, covering a wonderfully wide range of subjects. Messiaen as conductor(!), for example. And so very many of them praise Messiaen as an incredibly good pianist. Contributors include Louis Thiry, Raffi Ourgandjian, Sigune von Osten, Georges Prêtre (on the first performance of Chronochromie)..etc. I was terribly moved by the testimony of Odette Gartenlaub, the very first pupil to be inscribed in Messiaen's class at the Paris Conservatoire in 1941, the touching letter from Claude Delvincourt telling her that she had to leave because she was Jewish, and the three imploring letters from Messiaen asking her (without success) to rejoin after the Liberation. The book includes numerous letters by Messiaen and by Yvonne Loriod, all of them reproduced both in Facsimile and printed transcription. Of particular interest is the long section by Gaëtan Puaud on the Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije. OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Oiseaux exotiques Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone Series: Landmarks in Music Since 1950 Ashgate ISBN: 0 7546 5630 6 This is the fourth in the series ‘Landmarks in Music since 1950’, series editor Wyndham Thomas and published by Ashgate. The others being: Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 – Louis Andriessen: Da Staat and Gyorgy Kurtág: The Saying of Péter Bornemisza op.7. A fifth volume, Nicholas Maw: Odyssey is to be published in 2008. Each book features a general introduction of the work under discussion, details of commission and composition history, contextual discussion of stylistic, generic and international influences and precedents, an analysis of the work, survey of its reception, a bibliography and discography and most importantly a CD recording. OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Oiseaux exotiques shows Ashgate’s ongoing commitment to the work of Messiaen and the well-honed team of Hill and Simeone provide a highly readable and communicable account of this seminal work. Even in the analysis (Commentary) chapter of the book where often in these textbooks language and technical detail soar to heady heights understood only by those in revered university chambers, this is pitched ideally and is approachable from enthusiasts as well as students and academia. Although the book is centred on Oiseaux exotiques, Hill and Simeone give detailed accounts of Messiaen’s life and work leading up to its composition and first performance. Facts that hitherto have never found their way into the biographies and text books in the past. Of particular interest here is the origins and birth of Domain Musical where, in typical Hill and Simeone style, they unearth detailed facts and dates mapping its development under Boulez and the setting up of the concert series at the Petit Marigny Theatre. We are also treated to a lengthy précis of Oiseaux exotique’s predecessor Reveil des Oiseaux and for the first time in print we see Messiaen’s preliminary bird notations transcribed from his many cahiers and trace their development into the works. There are audio examples of these on the accompanying CD played impeccably by Peter Hill. The complete performance of Oiseaux exotiques is taken from the original Vega recording that was made at the world premiere in the Petit Marigny Theatre 1956. In the chapter: First Performance, Reception and Publication, Hill and Simeone draw our attention to some American… I almost hesitate to call them composers, who were working with similar and sometimes the same bird recordings Messiaen was using around the same time. Jim Fassett who became director of CBS Radio’s music department in the 1940s produced an LP with the title Music and Bird Songs. Fasset had an obvious interest in ornithology and was enthused by the songs of the Wood Thrush, Cardinal etc but he manipulated the songs by slowing them down and changing the pitch to produce his own rather banal popular song melodies. Much worse than this and excruciatingly embarrassing to listen to was Johan Dalgas Frisch’s work where birdsongs were admirably collected as field recordings but then were added to tunes such as Sukiyaki and Swanee River! We have only to thank heaven that Messiaen never went down that road! We are beginning to see a wealth of Messiaen material now leading up to the centenary in 2008 and a good deal of this is ‘British made’ thanks to the likes of Christopher Dingle, Stephen Broad and of course Nigel Simeone and Peter Hill. The book is presented in the usual high quality Ashgate style with beautifully set musical examples. Perhaps the only one wish is that a few plates of the actual birds would not have gone a miss in such a study although a small internet trawl will reveal these unlike the treasured material contained within these leaves. ©MB ​ ​ MESSIAEN by Peter Hill & Nigel Simeone. Yale University Press ISBN 0-300-10907-5 (2005) This is very ‘special’ book. ‘Special’ because unlike most books that have been written about Olivier Messiaen this is the first to reveal the almost day to day working life of one of the twentieth century’s most important musical giants. We know there is something ‘special’ in store just by the book’s cover photograph of Messiaen – to my knowledge rarely seen. Pianist Peter Hill and musicologist Nigel Simeone have long associations with both Messiaen and more especially Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and Peter Hill is well known for the almost definitive study of the music of Messiaen, The Messiaen Companion (see bibliography ). Nigel Simeone has written many accounts and delved deep to produce some of the most authoritative writings on Messiaen and French music generally. Where previous accounts have sought to analyse Messiaen’s oeuvres with sparse accounts of his private life, Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone for the first time have been granted access to his private papers and diaries all made possible by the permission of the composer’s widow Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen. And by ‘private life’ I don’t mean what Messiaen had for breakfast or the colour of his socks but rather facts about his childhood, relationships with his mother, father, brother, aunts and working companions throughout his life, all contribute to a greater understanding of the character and temperament of the man. Hill and Simeone tread a very bold path from before Messiaen’s birth, through that special mother son relationship into his teens, the passionate but troubled first marriage to Claire Delbos and the birth of their son and the first meeting with Yvonne Loriod, (who went from Messiaen’s page turner to second wife and major interpreter of his piano music), and traces Messiaen’s spiritual and indeed physical journey up to his death. There are some very moving, often heart-wrenching letters from Messiaen to Claire during the war years and his time in Vichy and the book reveals the intense love, passion and yearning Messiaen had for Claire and his son Pascal always overlooked and by passed by in earlier biographies as Messiaen was fiercely guarded when it came to his private life. The other ‘special’ feature of this book is the publication of many photographs hitherto unseen but for the immediate family. Some of these early photographs at Petichet (Messiaen’s summer retreat near the Alps in south east France) are charged with a romantic enchantment showing father, mother and son like any other family's holiday snapshot such as the one with Messiaen simply sitting in a deck chair reading. Later in the book though it is interesting that Hill & Simeone chose to present photos of Claire and Yvonne on facing pages (pp. 110-111) where Claire’s image is one of forlorn almost vacant desperation and that of Yvonne young and radiant at the piano. One almost feels the stress and irrepressible emotions Messiaen was experiencing through the 40s and 50s a time of the most tortuous personal life but also a time that yielded a plethora of music starting with Visions de l’Amen through to the Catalogue d’Oiseaux. Apart from the archive photographs previously unseen I found Peter Hill’s own photographs most interesting for example the Messiaen family house at Nantes, the Grenoble shots and those of Fuligny. The diaries and papers highlight the initial thoughts and framework of many works and give a fascinating insight into how pieces such as Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jésus, La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ and Livre du Saint Sacrement evolved and grew to their definitive proportions. There were moments in the book that had me laughing out loud especially when Loriod and Messiaen were departing for London and the taxi that dropped them at the Gare de Nord drove off with their suitcase in the boot which had both of them shouting after the taxi to no avail. Then when Jeanne Loriod suffered an electric shock from her Ondes Martenot when rain got in it at a rather doomed attempt at Turangalila Symphonie in the open air. I know one shouldn’t laugh but I gather she was unharmed - just alarmed! I also shed a tear when reading the accounts of Messiaen’s declining health and the excruciating pain he must have been in when completing his final works. This really is a case of a man suffering for his art to bring joy to others. And one mustn’t forget the suffering of Yvonne Loriod. Not only the mental suffering caused by the ill health and eventual death of her husband but her own life threatening illness in 1963 resulting in two blood transfusions and hysterectomy with the couple having to face the fact that they would never have children. The book highlights the punishing concert schedules Loriod and Messiaen undertook, taking them all over the world performing the most demanding programmes which must surely have had an adverse affect on their health. Having said this, the couple did always look forward to their summer retreat at Petichet where Messiaen would do most of his composing and at the same time unwind and get back to nature. Apart from the diaries and private papers, Hill & Simeone have drawn on many other sources and accounts from latter day researchers for example Stephen Broad, Jacques Tchamkerten, Jean Boivan as well as personal communications from Loriod and close friends such as George Benjamin and Roger Muraro. Those of us who have experienced Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone in talks or lectures will know just how engaging and communicative they are and this is reflected in the tone and pace of the writing throughout – totally captivating. I spotted just a couple of minor misnomers. One was photograph 166 which states: Messiaen and Gary Kettel when in fact it is Messiaen and James Holland. The other is note 10 pp185 - the first recording of Visions de l’Amen was recorded by Contrepoint (Granti neuf E. Ploix-Musique Disquaires, 48 Rue St. Placide, Paris) on 78s then transferred to LP by Dial in New York a couple of years later. My one thought was that perhaps the book ends all too suddenly. The final tribute by Boulez is most definitely apt but I felt I wanted to know a little more of Messiaen after his death. For example the decision to elect Naji Hakim as successor to Messiaen at Trinite, the work of Loriod-Messiaen completing the Traité, archiving Messiaen’s music and papers and so on – or maybe I was so enthralled I just wanted to read on and on!! Yale have produced a book of the highest quality and Hill and Simeone have achieved a work whose contents many of us thought Olivier Messiaen had taken to that great rainbow in the sky. Bravo Peter and Nigel! © Malcolm Ball Olivier Messiaen: A Bibliographical Catalogue of Messiaen's Works. By Nigel Simeone. (Musikbibliographische Arbeiten, 14.) Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1998. [xix, 249 p. ISBN 3-7952-0947-1. DM 142.] The first thing that strikes the reader about this book is the obvious amount of work that has gone into it: painstaking research in the Bibliothèque Nationale, for example, as well as in "publishers' archives or hire libraries . . . and other public and private collections in France and England" (p. v). Yet there is some confusion from the start. On the spine, the title is First Editions of Messiaen; on the front cover, it is Olivier Messiaen: Catalogue of Works; and on the title page, it is Olivier Messiaen: A Bibliographical Catalogue of Messiaen's Works: First Editions and First Performances. Clearly, the publisher could not put the whole of the latter on the spine; on the other hand, a catalog and a bibliography are two different things. Nigel Simeone tells us in the introduction that this is not a "systematic work catalogue" (p. v), but he does give two purposes for his book: first, "to provide detailed bibliographical information about the first . . . editions of Messiaen's published works," and second, to provide "information about the dates and places of composition, the scoring, and the first performances of Messiaen's works" (ibid.). He achieves both of these objectives admirably. There are further problems with the bibliography Simeone provides on pages 231- 32. A complete list of books and articles, even limited to literature in English and French (as here), would seem an excellent idea, yet here we find only two pages of references. The author does explain that he has included only materials consulted for the present volume, so it is understandable that a large number of works had to be omitted. Yet it is hard to imagine why, for example, the work of Robert Sherlaw Johnson, one of the first important writers on Messiaen in English (along with David Drew), does not appear. Toward the end of the book are two appendixes. The first is titled "'Un musicien, un artist . . . un mystique.' Reviews in Le Courrier musical and Le Ménestrel, 1930-39." The materials cited here are especially interesting since they reflect public and critical opinion of Messiaen's early works during his ascendancy to international acclaim. Appendix 2 is a list of printing records of Messiaen's works by the publishers Durand & Cie and Alphonse Leduc. The main catalog is arranged under the headings "Published Works" (pp. 1-184), "Unpublished Works" (pp. 185-96), and "Shorter Writings" (pp. 197-202). The first section includes longer texts such as Vingt leçons d'harmonie (1939), the two-volume Technique de mon langage musical (1942), and the vast Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie (1949-92). The list progresses chronologically, from Le banquet céleste of 1928 to Concert a quatre, unfinished by Messiaen at the time of his death in 1992. The information Simeone provides in the entries includes title, date of composition, scoring, dedication or superscription, and first performance; for first editions, he gives the publisher, edition, collation, plate number(s), date, wrappers, format, engraver, and printer. Under "Shorter Writings," Simeone lists the three conference booklets (Brussels, Notre Dame, and Kyoto) and a large number of Messiaen's reviews. Apart from the few misgivings noted above, this is an excellent research tool that belongs in academic music libraries and on the bookshelf of anyone having a keen interest in one of the twentieth century's greatest composers. David Morris University of Ulster Copyright © 2000 by the Music Library Association, Inc. All rights reserved. For the End of Time. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet By Rebecca Rischin Published by Cornell University Press Ithaca and London Never before has there been such high profile attention focused on Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time , what with Bryan Davidson’s innovative new play War Music and Rebecca Rischin’s illuminating account of the events surrounding the creation, premiere and the quartet’s life after the premiere. Up until a few years ago it was Messiaen’s own accounts and testimonies surrounding the work that entered the history books. Rischin however exposes many myths and flaws in Messiaen’s recollections and, perhaps more importantly, the reasons for these ‘exaggerations’ of the facts (not least the 3 string cello myth!). Rischin presents with great fluidity and clarity a time line of facts backed up by original war records and data that has come to light since Messiaen’s death. For example the order in which the movements of the Quartet for the End of Time appeared and the location in which they were composed shed new light on a piece that is one of the 20th century’s great musical legends. It is well known that in the POW camp Stalag VIIIA in Gorlitz, Messiaen befriended a German officer who was sympathetic to his needs and supplied Messiaen with writing materials etc. necessary for composing the Quartet for the End of Time. Indeed it was the same officer who played such an important part in the lives of all 4 members of the quartet as again Rischin reveals. Curiously it was only a year before Messiaen died that he actually revealed the name of this officer. How the Quartet for the End of Time was performed at all in the surroundings of a Nazi POW camp is made even more remarkable by the fact that Henri Akoka, the clarinettist for whom the work was written, was Jewish. ​ Rebecca Rischin has created a work of great substance by securing interviews with all family members of each of the quartet’s performers – the Pasquiers (those of the famous Trio Pasquier) – the Akoka family – and even the elusive La Boulaire who after the war became an actor and assumed a new identity, and of course Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and her archive materials left by Messiaen himself. Rischin explores in great detail each player’s personality, philosophical and political ideologies and how it affected their relationships throughout the time of their captivity. She draws on the not inconsiderable archive of Hannalore Laurewald which contain photos, documents and plans of Stalag VIIIA (many of which are reproduced in the book) and to my knowledge never before published. She also manages to track down prisoners who were in the audience at the time of the premiere of Quartet for the End of Time, some of whom recall the event with great passion and tearful recollection. ​ All the members of the quartet that premiered Quartet for the End of Time have now passed on so, as in Holocaust testimonies, it is left to their families, friends etc and to the foresight of organisations like the Shoah foundation in the case of the Holocaust and books such as this by Rebecca Rischin to illustrate the accurate background behind events that indeed have shaped 20th century history. Back to top

  • French composer Messiaen | Olivier Messiaen 20th Century music

    Olivier Messiaen "My faith is the grand drama of my life. I'm a believer, so I sing words of God to those who have no faith. I give bird songs to those who dwell in cities and have never heard them, make rhythms for those who know only military marches or jazz, and paint colours for those who see none". (Olivier Messiaen) © Copyright protected 1908 - 1992 © Copyright protected Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen 1924 - 2010 Bio READ MORE © Copyright protected © Malcolm Crowthers OLIVIER-EUGENE-PROSPER-CHARLES MESSIAEN (b. Dec. 10, 1908, Avignon, France.d. April 27, 1992, Clichy, near Paris), Olivier Messiaen was the son of Pierre Messiaen, a scholar of English literature, and of the poet Cecile Sauvage. Soon after his birth the family moved to Ambert (the birthplace of Chabrier) where his brother, Alain was born in 1913. Around the time of the outbreak of World War 1, Cecile Sauvage took her two sons to live with her brother in Grenoble where Olivier Messiaen spent his early childhood, began composing at the age of seven, and taught himself to play the piano. On his return from the war, Pierre Messiaen took the family to Nantes and in 1919 they all moved to Paris where Olivier entered the Conservatoire. © Copyright protected New items in the 'Yvonne Loriod' page New items in the 'In the Press' page Crowdfund Alert!!! See here for full details of how to be part of this unique Messiaen project by Fugue State Films Des Canyons aux Étoiles... Performed by the Utah Symphony directed by Thierry Fischer under the stars and in the canyon at Zion Park which was one of the places that most influenced Messiaen at the time of writing. See: In The Press here Mount Messiaen The story and reminiscences ( here) . Rescue of MESSIAEN HOUSE in FULIGNY - Aube - Champagne area. This is the house where Messiaen's aunts lived and where he spent his summer vacations for many years. Here he notated his first bird songs and composed, among others, Preludes for piano, Le Banquet Céleste, Le Banquet Eucharistique, Les Offrandes Oubliées, Le Tombeau Resplendissant... and many more sketches that would find themselves in later works. Messiaen continued to visit his aunts and this house throughout his life. The current owner has decided to sell this house and the couple who wish to buy it intend to demolish it in view of the costs for its restoration. The Association LA QUALITE DE VIE reacted immediately, and is doing everything possible to have this "house of character" become an historical monument. The idea is to have this house bought by those who are interested in the world of BIRDS, in HERITAGE, in CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, in the ORGAN, in Olivier MESSIAEN... A FOUNDATION LE CHANT DES OISEAUX DE FULIGNY will make this place a concentration of Culture : "the grown-ups" and "the school children" will be able to learn to recognise the birds, their song, their life... One can imagine a specialised media library... and in a small auditorium one can listen to all the music and songs of the bird world... And maybe a care centre for injured birds and animals... In order to save the house and the property please help by purchasing a share of the SCI (Société Civile Immobilière) at 50 euros and help us to make this house an Historical Monument. This acquisition does not involve any financial risk. It does not concern future investments, that will be the responsibility of the future FONDATION LE CHANT DES OISEAUX DE FULIGNY, which will be the counterpart of LA MAISON MESSIAEN in Isère. Michel Gueritte, who himself has family connections with the Messiaen's, is spearheading this project so if you wish to partake and help, please email Michel at: michel.gueritte@gmail.com Read more here . !Two publications worthy of note! see Bibliography page HERE The Cleveland Museum of Art invited Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod to perform a two-piano concert on October 13, 1978, in the Gartner Auditorium. The Museum has recently unearthed the recording made of the occasion. See news page . A prayer composed by Olivier Messiaen A rare document submitted by P. Jean-Rodolphe Kars HERE Matthew Schellhorn's special film for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2021 HERE 15th January 1941 QUATUOR POUR LA FIN DU TEMPS at Stalag VIIIA Gorlitz by Messiaen and fellow musician prisoners Henri Akoka, Étienne Pasquier and Jean Le Boulaire. The memorial and visitor centre at the site of Stalag VIIIA Rodrigo De la Prida introduces Messiaen's Modes for Electric Guitar See Media page Robert Grenier (bass) rehearses with Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod see Writings page Tom's Messiaen vlog - Episode 1 Organist Tom Bell is keeping a video diary as he prepares Messiaen's Livre du Saint-Sacrement for a performance scheduled for November 2020. In his weekly vlog he will be exploring the learning process, the music itself, and the questions around how you perform it. Messiaen commissioned sculptor Josef Pyrz to create a work on St. François d'Assise see Gallery page St. François and a passing bluebird. A rare and happy flash by Jim Frazier. This sculpture was made by FRANK C. GAYLORD and is located in the city of CHICAGO-ILINOIS/USA. Special Offer! This Limited Edition publication explores the 20 year history of the Festival Messiaen au pays de la Meije. The book pays tribute to the commitment of its founder and artistic director, Gaëtan Puaud and editor/author Raphaëlle Blin highlights the artistic, social and political experiences that maintained and supported creative music making and activities in the landscape that was so dear to Olivier Messiaen. The 160 stunning photographs by Colin Samuels and the testimonies of the performers, composers, musicologists, volunteers and members of the public reveal all the uniqueness of this adventure. ​ 1998-2018: born of the utopian idea of playing the work Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum for orchestra by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) according to his wish, at the foot of the glacier in front of which he liked to compose, the Messiaen festival in the land of Meije has become an essential place of contemporary musical life, bringing together the greatest performers and composers. A book of more than 300 pages with magnificent photos and images by Colin Samuels , retracing the 20 years of the festival with many testimonies of artists and of festival-goers. With Swiss binding and soft cloth cover : a signed copy to the UK or anywhere in Europe for £31 or €35 including shipping. Any other country including USA and Japan: £36 or €40 includes shipping. Orders can be made directly from Colin Samuels via Paypal at: paypal.me/ColinSamuels Multiple copies or questions, please email Colin at: colinsamuels@yahoo.com ​ Check out the 'writings and articles ' page that includes contributions from Père Jean-Rodolphe Kars ~ Thomas Lacôte ~ Nicholas Armfelt ~ Jeffery Wilson and more. In the Press READ MORE Reviews of events, concerts, books & CDs. Any contributions to this page would be welcome. So if you would like to submit a review of any Messiaen related feature please get in touch. Contact Us Thanks for submitting! Submit Events etc. READ MORE © Copyright Concert Calendar ~ CD New Releases and more!!

  • Events - CD releases | Olivier Messiaen

    Events, CD & DVD Releases Contact Us Submit 2022 Go To 2023 2 January 2022 5pm Christof Pulsch La Nativite du Seigneur. Zionskirche Bethel, Bielefeld, Germany. 5 January 2022 8.15pm Alexander Ivanov, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. St Severin Church, Sylt Geestkern, Keitum, Germany. ​ 6 January 2022 7pm Orjan Horn Johanssen, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Church of the Holy Spirit, Copenhagen, Denmark. ​ 6 January 2022 6pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. Paulinum-Aula and University Church St Pauli, Leipzig, Germany. 7 January 2022 7.30pm Sachin Gunga, La Nativite du Seigneur. Portsmouth Cathedral, UK. 7 January 2022 7pm Christof Becker, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. Marienstiftskirche, Frankfurt, Germany. 8 January 2022 8pm Colin Walsh, organ La Nativite du Seigneur Lincoln Cathedral, UK. ​ 9 January 2022 4.30pm James Bowstead, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur . Wakefield Cathedral, UK. ​ 9 January 2022 4.30pm David Leigh, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. ​ 9 January 2022 6pm George Inscoe, organ . Norwich Cathedral, UK. ​ 13 January 2022 I.00 pm Philippa Mo, violin, Matthew Schellhorn, piano perform Fantaisie . Imperial College, London, UK. 13 January 2022 7.30pm D’Arcy Trinkwon, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur (Dieu parmi nous) St Andrew’s Church, Maple Rd, Surbiton KT6 4DS UK. 18-19 January 2022 8pm Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife/Michael Boder perform L'Ascension . Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife 19 January 2022 7.30pm Organists of Durham Cathedral perform La Nativite du Seigneur. Durham Cathedral, UK. ​ 20 January 2022 7pm Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra/Lothar Zagrosek perform Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. ​ 20 January 2022 7.30pm Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Domingo Hindoyan perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, UK. ​ 20 - 21 January 2022 8pm SWR Sinfonieorchester/Teodor Currentzis perform Les Offrandes oubliees. Leiderhalle, Stuttgart and January 23, 2022 7pm Konzerthaus, Freiburg, Germany. ​ 21 January 2022 4.30pm 'Messiaen and Old Melodies'. Joshua Ryan organ, Messe de la Pentecote introduction by Roderick Chadwick. Dukes Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. 7.00pm. Le Merle Noir Roderick Chadwick piano. Angela Burgess Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. ​ 22 January 2022 6pm Porto Symphony Orchestra Casa da Musica/Stefan Blunier Steven Osborne, piano, Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie Suggia Music Room, Casa da musica, Porto, Portugal. ​ 22 January 2022 6.30pm Timothy Rivalde, organ a Nativite du Seigneur. Chichester Cathedral, UK ​ 23 January 2022 8pm Pierre - Laurent Aimard, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Cologne Philharmonie, Germany. 23 January 2022 5pm Julian Haggett and Alice Smith, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, UK. ​ 23 January 2022 7pm Richard Morgan, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. Fredrikstad Domkirche, Fredrikstad, Norway. 23 January 2022 7.30pm Guildhall School Musicians perform Quartet for the End of Time. Barbican Centre, London, UK.​ ​ 26 January 2022 6.30pm Jannika Gustafsson, violin, Margreet Houtman, clarinet, Natalia Goldman, cello, Anna Christensson, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Sundbyberg Church, Sundbyberg, Sweden. ​ 27 January 2022 9pm Ensemble Iri da Iri perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Faraggiana Theatre, Novara, Italy. ​ 28 January 2022 8pm Het Collectief: Julian Herve, clarinet, Wibert Aerts, violin, Martijn Vink, cello, Thomas Dieltjens, piano peform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Concertgebouw, Bruges, Belgium. ​ 28 January 2022 8pm Michael Kieran Harvey, piano & Emily Sheppard, Derek Grice, James Anderson. Quartet for the of Time . Castray Esplanade, nipaluna/Hobart, Australia. ​ 28 January 2022 7.30pm Julian Chan, piano. Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus (excerpts). Dukes Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. ​ 29 January 2022 7pm James Thomas, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. Ely Cathedral, UK ​ 30 January 2022 11am Symphoniker Hamburg, Europa Chor Akademie Gorlitz/Sylvain Cambreling David Kadouch, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot perform Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Laeiszhalle,Grosses Saal, Hamburg, Germany. 30 January 2022 8.15pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ​ 30 January 2022 8pm Alden Wright and Andrew Wyatt, organ La Nativite du Seigneur. Truro Cathedral, Cornwall. UK. ​ 4 February 2022 7.30pm Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center perform Quartet for the End of Time . Alice Tully Hall, New York, USA. ​ 5 February 2022 2.30pm Momo Kodama, piano performs Catalgue d'oiseaux excerpts - La Chocard des Alpes; Le Loriot; Le Merle blue; Le traquet rieur; L'alouette Lulu . Auditorium du Musee, Grenoble, France. ​ 6 February 2022 11am "Entre plumes et lumiers" Cassandre Marfin, piano performs excerpts from Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and Catalogue d'oiseaux. Centre Culturel de Verviers, Verviers, Belgium. ​ 9 February 2022 8pm Eun Joo Ahn, violin, Jung-A Bang, piano perform Fantaisie . Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, USA. ​ 15 February 2022 8.30pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Philharmonie de Paris, France. ​ 18 February 2022 Paul Jacobs, organ performs L'Ascension . Symphony Hall, Boston, USA. ​ 21 February 2022 6.30pm students from the organ department of Royal Academy of Music perform La Nativite du Seigneur. Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. ​ 21 - 22 February 2022 8pm National Theater Orchestra Mannheim/Alexander Soddy perform L'Ascension . Rosengarten-Mozart Hall, Manheim, Germany. ​ 23 February 2022 7.30pm Reinis Zarins, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus. Wigmore Hall, London, UK. ​ 24 - -25 February 2022 8pm SWR Symphonieorchester/Ingo Metzmacher perform Eclairs sur l'au-dela . Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany. ​ 25 February 2022 7.30pm Colin Andrews, organ performs Livre du Saint Sacrament. Madonna Della Strada Chapel, Chicago, USA . ​ 26 February 202 7pm SWR Symphonieorchester/Ingo Metzmacher perform Eclairs sur l'au-dela. Rosengarten, Mannheim, Germany. ​ 27 February 2022 3pm Miho Hashizume, violin, Keith Robinson, cello, Daniel Gilbert, clarinet, Donna Lee, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time. Shrine Church of St Stanislaus, Cleveland, OH, USA. ​ 3 March 2022 8pm Joel Bardolet, violin, Marc Heredia, piano perform Theme et Variations . Petit Palau, Barcelona, Spain. ​ 9 March 2022 7pm Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo soli tba perform Des Canyons aux etoiles. .The Helsinki Music Centre, Concert Hall, Finland. ​ 10 March 2022 7.30pm Jean-Samuel Bez, violin, Jean-Luc Therrien, piano perform Fantaisie . Arnold Schoenberg Centre, Vienna, Austria. ​ 10 March 2022 8pm Flurina Stucki, soprano, John Parr, piano, Leonce Lupette, readings, Harawi . Deutsche Opera Berlin in the foyer. Germany. ​ 10 March 2022 8pm Tim Brackman, violin, Jelmer de Moed, clarinet, Pieter de Koe, cello, Rik Kuppen, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Palace Church, The Hague, Netherlands. ​ 10 March 2022 6.30pm Da Camera Young Artists perform Quartet for the End of Time . Audrey Jones Beck Building, Houston, Texas, USA. 11 March 2022 (8pm), 13 (11am), Bielefelder Philharmoniker/Alexander Kalajdzic perform Un Sourire . Rudolf-Oetker-Halle, Bielefeld, Germa ny. ​ 11 March 2022 Alfonso Gomez, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Palace Church, The Hague, Netherlands. ​ 12 March 2022 12.00 Matthew Schellhorn performs ‘Le Loriot’ (‘Golden Oriole’), ‘Le Traquet stapazin (‘Black-eared Wheatear’), ‘Le Courlis cendré’ (‘Curlew’), Cantéyodjayâ. Faculty of Music Cambridge University, UK. 13 March 2022 8pm Bert den Hertog, organ performs Livre du Saint Sacrament . Elandstraatkerk, The Hague, Netherlands. ​ 17 March 2022 8pm Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Charles Sy, tenor, Stephen Gosling, piano, Lorraine Campet, violin perform La Mort du Nombre . DeSingel Blauwe Zall, Antwerp, Belgium. ​ 17 March 2022 7:30 pm Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Bertrand de Billy, perform Les offrandes oubliées . Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland. ​ 18 March 2022 8pm Annelien van Wawe, clarinet, Franziska Holscher, violin, Victor Julien-Laferriere, clarinet, Severin van Eckardstein, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . De Bijloke Muziekcentrum, Ghent, Belgium. ​ 18 March 2022 8pm Marie-Pascale Talbot, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Conservatoire de Caen, France . ​ 20 March 2022 4pm Alice Sara Ott, piano, Ji-Yoan Park, violin, Karine Jean-Baptiste, cello, Jerome Voisin, clarinet perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Auditorium Radio France. Paris, France. ​ 20 March 2022 11:00 Claire Dassesse violin, Benoit Willmann clarinet, Olivier Morel cello, Deborah Lee piano, perform Quatuor pour le fin de temps. Bätiment des Forces Matrices, Genf, Switzerland. ​ 21 March 2022 2.30 - 4pm Messiaen, musician of light, joy and love - Gaetan Puaud. Campus Centre Loire Amphi 400, Faculty of Pharmacy, 9 rue Bias, Nantes, France. ​ 22 March 2022 5.00pm Huw Watkins Trio. Prelude No.6 . Wigmore Hall, London, UK. ​ 23 March 2022 8pm Jean Johnson, clarinet, Baiba Skride, violin, Alban Gerhardt, cello, Steven Osborne, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du Temps . Konzerthaus, Berlin Small Hall, Germany. 24 March 2022 8:00 pm Elbphilharmonieorchester Hamburg, Cond. Ingo Metzmacher, perform Les offrandes oubliées. Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany. ​ 25 March 2022 , 7.30 Elbphilharmonieorchester Hamburg, Cond. Ingo Metzmacher, perform Les offrandes oubliées. Muk-Konzertsaal, Lubeck, Germany. ​ 25 March 2022 8pm Jonathan Biss, piano and members of St Paul Chamber Orchestra perform Quatuor pour la fin du Temps. Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata, USA. March 26th, 2022 7pm Capri Theater, North Minneapolis, USA; March 27th, 2022 3pm St Andrews Lutheran Church, Mahtomed, USA. ​ 27 March 2022 18:00 Elbphilharmonieorchester Hamburg, Cond. Ingo Metzmacher, perform Les offrandes oubliées . Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany. ​ 27 March 2022 6pm Bertrand Chamayou, piano. Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus. Oslo Opera, Norway. ​ 28 March 2022 7.30pm Mei Yi Foo, piano Bartosz Woroch, violin Rosie Biss, cello and Tom Verity, clarinet perform Quartet for the End of Time. Dora Stoutzker Hall, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales, UK. ​ 28 March 2022 7.30pm Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Fartein Valen in Stavanger concert hall, Norway. ​ 30 March 2022 7.30pm Christoph Croise, Jana Ozolina, Anna Gagane, Lukas LOss, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Basel Infinity Festival Pauluskirche, Basel, Switzerland. ​ 31 March 2022 6pm Ruby Throat/Lina Hirst Christos Fountos, piano. Cinq Rechant; Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Peacock Room, King Charles Court, London UK. ​ 2 April 2022 7.30pm London Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Gardner perform Le tombeau resplendissant . Royal Festival Hall, London, UK. ​ 2 April 2022 7.30pm Melvyn Tann, piano, Sascha Rattle, clarinet, Jessie Ann Richardson, cello, Michael Trainer, violin perform Quartet for the End of Time . Charleston Music Festival, Charleston Farmhouse, E Sussex, UK. ​ 3 April 2022 4pm Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus. Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 3 April 2022 11.15am Geneva Lewis, violin, Sam Armstrong, piano, Theme and Variations . Oxford Coffee Concerts Holywell Music Room, Oxford, UK. ​ 5 April 2022 8pm Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. France. Postponed to June 15th ​ 8 April 2022 8pm Ralph van Raat, piano Bird Music by Olivier Messiaen (excerpts from Catalogue d'oiseaux and Petites Esquisses d'oiseaux)Leiden (exact location tba) ​ 8 April 2022 1pm Arabella Teniswood-Harvey, Michael Kieran Harvey, pianos, Visions de l'Amen . The Ian Potter Recital Hall, The Hedberg, University of Tasmania, Australia. ​ 9 April 2022 5pm Markus Hinterhauser and Mari Kodama, pianos. Visions de l'Amen. Schloss Elman, Elman, Bavaria, Germany . ​ 10 April 2022 3pm Jerilyn Jergensen, violin, Cullan Bryant, piano, Fantaisie. Packard Hall, Colorado College Department of Music, Colorado Springs, USA. ​ 10 April 2022 11am Katja Adveeva and Nicolas Le Roy pianos, Visions de l'Amen . LES AMIS musiquetheatre, Carouge, Switzerlan d. ​ 10 April 2022 7pm Corey Mackey, clarinet, Haerim Elizabeth Lee, violin, Juliette Herlin, cello, Michael Bukham, piano, perform Quartet for the End of Time. Van Cliburn Concert Hall, Texas Christian University, Texas, USA. ​ 11 April 2022 8.30pm Renaud Capucon, violin, Kian Soltani, cello, Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet, Helene Mercier, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Festival de Paques Camp des Milles, Aix-en-Provence, France. ​ 12 April 2022 1pm Geneva Lewis, violin, Sam Armstrong, piano perform Theme et Variations . Wigmore Hall, London. UK. ​ 13 April 2022 8pm Robert Plane, clarinet and Gould Piano Trio, Quartet for the End of Time. Ilkley Concert Club: Yorkshire, UK. ​ 14 April 2022 7.30pm Orchestre de l'opera National de Paris/Gustavo Dudamel, Un sourire . Great Hall, Musikverein, Vienna, Austria. ​ 15 April 2022 7pm Trio Palladio, Anton Dressler, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time. The Small Hall, Dzintaru Kocertzale, Jurmala, Latvia​. ​ 18 April 2022 12 noon Eberhard Lauer, organ performs Les corps glorieux . St Marien-Dom, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 21 - 22 April 2022 , Oberlin College & Conservatory 'Music of Messiaen ' mini-fest April 21st 12 noon discussion on the music and influence of Messiaen with Timothy Weiss, Jonathan Moyer and Jason Hardink at Birenham Innovation and Performance Space in the Hotel at Oberlin. April 22nd 7.30pm Fridays at Finney Collection Des Canyons aux etoiles... Contemporary Music Ensemble/Timothy Weiss Jason Hardink, piano, followed at 9.30pm, after a Q & A, by Meditations sur les Mystere de la Sainte Trinite Jonathan Moyer, organ. 22 April 2022 8pm Messiaen Quartet Copenhagen - Viktor Wennesz, clarinet, Malin William Olson, violin, Carl Osterlind, cello, Kristoffer Hyldig, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Malto Spring Festival, Teatrue Manoel, Valletta, Malta. ​ 23 April 2022 2.30pm and 6.30pm Omega Ensemble perform Quartet for the End of Time Sydney Opera House, Australia. ​ 24 April 2022 3pm Lisanne Soeterbroek, violin, Marc Vossen, cello, Banjamin Dieltjens, clarinet, Steven Osborne, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. AMUZ, Antwerp, Belgium. ​ 24 April 2022 4pm Sophie Delphis, mezzo, Emma Luyendijk, piano perform Harawi . Amherst Presbyterian Church, Amherst, VA, USA. ​ 27 April 2022 7.30pm Tom Bell, organ performs Livre du Saint Sacrament . Westminster Cathedral, London, UK. Further details here . ​ 27 April 2022 5.30pm Caroline Eyck, theremin, Denys Proshayev, piano perform Vocalise-Etude . Harburg Music Community, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 27 April 2022 1pm Olivier Messiaen, Birds and Colour - Performing Nature. Le Merle Noir; Le Merle Blue; Abime des oiseaux Megan Rowlands, flute, Tom Verity, clarinet, Richard Casey, piano, Ian Costabile, lighting. The Tung Auditorium, Kirkby, Liverpool, UK 28 April 2022 7pm Omega Ensemble perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank, Melbourne, Australia. 29 April 2022 8pm Raphaelle Moreau, violin, Raphael Severe, clarinet, Edgar Moreau, cello, David Kadouch, piano performs Quatuor pour la fin du temps . 26th Festival de Paques Salle Elie de Brignac-Arqana, Deauville, France. ​ 29 April 2022 7.30pm Ramin Arjomand & Alexandra Saraceno, pianos, Expectation, Emancipation, Eternity: Exploring Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen . Renee Weiler Concert Hall, New York, USA. ​ Calendar Messiaen organ cycle commences at Paulinum - Aula and University Church of St Pauli Leipzig, Germany as follows - 27 April 2022 , 6pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ Les Corps glorieux 6 May 2022 7.30pm Students of the Church Music Institute of the University of Music and Theatre, Livre du Saint Sacrament 26 May 2022 11am Daniel Beilschmidt, organ L'Ascension 6 June 2022 7.30pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ, Messe de la Pentecote 23 September 2022 7.30pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ, Livre d'orgue 21 October 2022 7.30pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ, Meditations sur le Mystere de la Sainte Trinite 4 December 2022 11am, 18 December , 11am, 2 4 December , 3 and 5pm, 25 December , 11am, 1 January , 11am movements from La Nativite du Seigneur organist tba. ​ ​ 2 May 2022 9pm. Thomas Bloch, Ondes Martenot and Dimitri Vassilakis, Piano perform, O Sacrum convivium, Préludes (La Colombe, Un reflet dans le vent, Les sons impalpables di rêve), Vocalise-Étude, Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jésus (No.XI -IX and XV), Feuillet inédit, St François d'Assise (Le prêche aux oiseaux Acte 2 Tableau 6 extracts), Monodie en 1/4 tons pour une onde seule, Concerto for ondes et orchestre (cadenza) [Jolivet], Fêtes des belles eaux (l'eau) . Collégiale Saint-Gengoult, TOUL, France. 5 May 2022 8pm Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Brad Lubman Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano perform Reveil des oiseaux .hr-Seneshall, Frankfurt, Germany. 6 May 2022 8pm Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Brad Lubman Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano perform Reveil des oiseaux. deSingel. Antwerp, Belguim. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ 8 May 2022 7.30pm Irena Troupova, soprano, Jan Dusek, piano perform Harawi . Novomestska radnice, Prague, Czech Rep. ​ 8 May 2022 4pm Nicolas Baldeyrou, clarinet, Mario Brunello, cello, Alina Ibragimova, violin, Samson Tsoy, piano. Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Gagosian, Le Bourget in Richard Serra's "Transmitter", France. ​ 9 May 2022 8pm Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Brad Lubman Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano perform Reveil des oiseaux. Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 10 May 2022, 8pm Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Brad Lubman Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano perform Reveil des oiseaux . Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. 11 May 2022 7.30pm Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid/Ruben Gimeno perform Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum . Auditorio Nacional de Musica: Sala Sinfonica, Madrid, Spain. ​ 11 May 2022 8pm Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Gustavo Gimeno perform Les Offrandes oubliees; Hymne au Saint Sacrament. Palau de la Musica, Barcelona, Spain. ​ 12 May 2022 7.30pm Christoph Korn, clarinet, Enrico Palascino, violin, Peter Albrecht, cello, Anano Gokieli, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . silent green, Berlin, Germany. ​ 13 May 2022 8.30pm Concert et Conference Messiaen : Gaetan Puaud, biographer, Thomas Lacote, organist at La Trinite. Sainte Trinite, Paris, France. ​ 14 May 2022 7.30pm Stephen Gutman, piano performs Petites Esquisses d'oiseaux . Stoke Newington Contemporary Music Festival, The Old Church, Stoke Newington. UK ​ 15 May 2022 10.30 Soloists of the Teatro la Fenice in Venice perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Festival Biblico Treviso. Auditorium Santa Croce, Treviso, Italy. ​ ​17 May 2022 7pm Madeline Capistran, violin, Eric Kutz, cello, Christine Bellamy, clarinet, Miko Kominami, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time . Hall of Mirrors - Paramount Theatre, Iowa, USA. ​ 22 May 2022 8pm Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Sir George Benjamin Cedric Tiberghien, piano perform Oiseaux exotiques . Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 23 May 2022 7.30pm Byol Kang, violin, Hugo Rodriguez-Herrero, clarinet, Simone Drescher, cello, Cheng Zhang, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time . Zionkirche Berlin, Germany. ​ 24 May 2022 7pm Osana Rapita and Myroslav Dragon, pianos perform Visions de l'Amen . Lyudkevych Concert Hall, Lviv, Ukraine. ​ 25 May 2022 10pm Johannes Schroder, organ performs L'Ascension. St Boniface Church, Weisbaden, Germany. ​ ​26 May 2022 1.30pm Paul Provost, organ performs L'Ascension. The Quire, Southwell Minster. UK. ​ ​26 May 2022 11.15am Tobias Leschke, organ performs L'Ascension. St Aloysius, Iserlohn, Germany. ​ ​ ​26 May 2022 1pm Matthew Owens, organ performs L'Ascension. Belfast Cathedral, Northern Ireland. ​26 May 2022 4pm Nils Larsson, organ performs L'Ascension. Katarina kyrka, Stockholm, Sweden. 27 May 2022 6pm Maximilian Schnaus, organ performs L'Ascension. Katharinenkirche, Berlin, Germany. ​ ​ 29 May 2022 12 - 5pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, performs Catalogue d'oiseaux . The Calder Terrace/or Concert Hall, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. ​ 31 May 2022 & 1 June 7.30pm and 5 June , 6pm Munster Symphony Orchestra/Golo Berg perform Hymne . Theater Munster, Germany. ​ 2 June 2022 (7.30pm), 4 (8pm) Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Ludovic Morlot Steven Osborne, piano, Deborah O'Grady, Video Artist perform Des Canyons aux etoiles... Beranoya Hall, Seattle, USA. ​ 2 June 2022 8pm Utah Symphony Orchestra/Thierry Fischer Jason Hardinck, piano, Stefan Dohr, horn, Keith Carrick, xylorimba, Eric Hopkins, glockenspiel, Des Canyons aux etoiles... O.C. Tanner Amphitheater, Zion National Park, Utah, USA. ​ ​ 3 June 2022 7pm Manuel Ramos, violin, Adolfo Ramos, cello, Manuel Hernandez, clarinet, Alejandro Barranon, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time. Auditorium Blas Galindo, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Coyoacan, Ciudad de Mexico. ​ 4 June 2022 7pm Paul Schoenfield and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra soloists perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Brewhouse, Seefeld, Austria. 4 June 2022 11.30am Sinfonie Orchester Munster/Golo Berg perform Hymne . Martinikirche, Munster, Germany. ​ 5 June 2022 4pm Jonathan Dimmock, organ. Messe de la Pentecote. Church of the Madeleine, Paris, France. ​ 5 June 2022 6.30pm Jonathan Allsopp, organ performs Messe de la Pentecote . The Quire, Southwell Minster, UK. ​ 5 June 2022 8pm NDR Vokalensemble/ Klaas Stok. Cinq Rechants . Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 5 June 2022 8pm NDR Vokalensemble/Klaus Stok perform Cinq Rechants . Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. ​ ​ 5 June 2022 , 7.30pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ. Messe de la Pentecote . Paulinum - Aula und Universitatskirche St Pauli, Leipzig, Germany. ​ 5 June 2022 5pm Tom Bell, organ performs Messe de la Pentecote . Blackburn Cathedral, UK . ​ 6 June 2022 12 noon Eberhard Lauer, organ performs L'Ascension; Messe de la Pentecote . St Mary's Cathedral, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 6 June 2022 7pm Eckhard Manz, organ performs Messe de la Pentecote. Pfarrkirche St Johann, Freiburg im Breisgan, Germany. ​ 8June 2022 2pm BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Giulia Contaldo perform Les Offrandes oubliees . RNCM International Artist Diploma Concerti, Manchester, UK. ​ 9 & 12 June 2022 Ojai Music Festival (exact date, time, venue tbc). Julia Bullock, soprano, Conor Hanick, piano in a production directed by Zack Winokur perform Harawi . California, USA. ​ 15 June 2022 8pm Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. France. 18 June 2022 9pm Nicola Benedetti, violin, Mark Simpson, clarinet, Laura van der Heijden, cello, Tom Poster, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time . Aldeburgh Festival Blythburgh Church, Suffolk, UK. 19 June 2022 5pm Hansjorg Albrecht, organ L'Ascension, Collegiate Basilica, Waldsassen, Germany. ​ 19 June 2022 11am Nataliya Abryutina & Arvid Gast, organ, Lisa Wegmann, clarinet, Jakob Kammerlander, violin, Aaron Schroer, cello, Fabian Luchterhandt, piano perform Les Corps Glorieux; Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Jakobikirchof, Lubeck, Germany. ​ 23 June 2022 7pm London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle perform Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum . St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK. ​ 23 June 2022 7pm Sebastian Manz, clarinet, Boulanger Trio perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Kultur-und Kongresszentrum, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany. ​ 24 June 2022 Quentin Guerillot, organ performs L'Ascension . Festival Saint-Denis, Basilique Saint Denis, Paris, France. ​ ​ 24 June 2022 7pm Oliver Crofts, clarinet, Rachael Kwa, violin, Oliver Russell, cello, Matthew Garvie, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time . Abbotsford Convent, Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford VIC, Australia. ​ 26 June 2022 3pm Cape Chamber Music Collective - Jose Dias, piano, David Bester, violin, Annelize de Villiers, clarinet, David Pinoit, cello, Quartet for the End of Time . Old Nectar Gardens, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch, South Africa. ​ 29 June 2022 7.30pm Akoka: Refraiming Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time . Oregon Bach Festival Beall Concert Hall, USA. ​ 30 June 2022 8pm SWR Sinfonieorchester/Jonathan Stockhammer Thierry Lentz, horn, Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Frank-Michael Guthmann, cello perform Couleurs de la Cite Celeste; Appel interstellaire; Oiseaux exotiques; Louange a l'eternite de Jesus. E-Werk, Freiburg, Germany. ​ 30 June 2022 9pm Cantando Admont perform Cinq Rechants . Festas de Lisboa 2022 Centro Cultural De Belem - Pequeno Auditorio, Portugal. ​ ​ 1 July 2022 10pm Lotte Betts-Dean, soprano, Joseph Havlat, piano performs Harawi . West Cork Chamber Music Festival, St Brendan's Church, Ireland. ​ 1 July 2022 7.30pm Ensemble Modern, Hochschulorchester der HfMDK/Michael Wenderberg Kathrin Isabelle Klein, Miharu Ogura, Ueli Wiget, pianos. Couleurs de la Cite Celeste; Le Courlis cendre; Oiseaux exotiques . Hilf Kirche, Frankfurt, Germany. ​ 4 July 2022 11am Joshua Ryan, organ performs Les corps glorieux. Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. ​ 6 July 2022 Pianists from Chetham's School of Music perform Catalogue d'oiseaux . 11am Books 1 & 2, 12 noon Books 3 & 4, 2pm Books 5 & 6, 3pm Book 7. The Stoller Hall, Manchester, UK. ​ 7 July 2022 8pm Bahia Symphony Orchestra/Carlos Prazeres Marly Montoni, soprano, Poemes pour Mi . Castro Alves Theatre, Sao Paulo, Brazil. ​ 10 July 2022 5pm WAB 107 Sinfonieorchester der Hochschule fur Musik Nurember/Guido Johannes Rumstadt. L'Ascension . Collegiate Basilica, Waldassen, Germany. ​ ​14 - 15 July 2022 8pm SWR Symphonieorchester Damen des WDR Rundfunkchors Damen des SWR Vokalensembles/Pablo Heras-Casado Christoph Grund, piano, Jacques Tchamkerten, ondes Martenot perform Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Liederhalle, Stuttgart; July 16 , 8pm Konzerthaus, Freiburg; July 17, 7pm Rosengarten, Mannheim, Germany. ​ 14 July 2022 8pm Orchestre de Paris/Esa-Pekka Salonen Bertrand Chamayou,piano and Nathalie Forget, ondes martenot, perform Turangalila Symphonie . Aix-en-Provence Festival Grand Theatre de Provence, France. 17 July 2022 4pm Music from Copland House ensemble. Neuberger Quartet for the End of Time . Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, USA. ​ 18 July 2022 7.30 Hebrides Ensemble performs Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes and Quartet for the End of Time – Louange a l’Immortalité de Jésus . Belfast Waterfront, Northern Ireland. 30 April - 2 May 2022 Symposium, Concerts, Films, Exhibition Olivier Messiaen at TOUL. Including Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus (extracts) ​ Click image for full programme details. 8 May 2022 10am to 10pm A Messiaen Marathon concert day to save the ' Maison des MESSIAEN' in Fuligny organised by Michel Gueritte the grandson of Messiaen's Aunt Madeleine who lived with her sister in the house that Messiaen frequently visited and composed some of his early works there . The programme will include Thomas Bloch, Ondes Martenot and Dimitri Vassilakis, Piano will perform all the duet works listed in the concert on the 2nd of May (above). There will also be organ works and more - see full details here . Saint Pierre Church, in Bar-sur-Aube, France. Messiaen Festival in Pays de la Meije from July 20 to July 30. From July 20 to 30, 2022, in La Grave, with among others, Bertrand Chamayou, Barbara Hannigan, Thomas Kientz, Milan Pala, Katarina Pala, Chœur Spirito, Jenny Daviet, Alphonse Cemin, Orchestre national de Cannes, Tito Ceccherini, Gaëtan Puaud, Alain Louvier, Pascal Dusapin ​ ′′ Vers la lumiére " details on festival-messiaen.com July 20 2022 7pm Emma Johnson, clarinet and Friends (including Raphael Wallfisch, cello) perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . St Teilo's Church, Llandeilo, Wales UK. July 29 2022 8.30pm Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Comminges Festival Basilica of Saint-Just, Valcabrere, France. ​ July 29 2022 7pm Rieko Aizawa, piano, performs Preludes for piano . Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn, NYC, USA. ​ 1 August 2022 11am Momo Kodama, piano performs Catalogue d'oiseaux , extraits. Auditorium Centre Marcel Pagnol - La Roque d'Antheron, France. ​ 2 August 2022 11am Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Centre Sportifet Culturel Marcel Pagnol - La Roque d'Antheron, France. ​ 14 August 2022 8pm Messiaen Evening - organ, piano and chamber music by Olivier Messiaen . Students and teachers of the University of Siegen St Martin's Church Siegen, Germany. 14 August 2022 9pm Soloists of the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana: Irina Roukavitsina, violin, Paolo Beltramini, clarinet, Felix Vogelsang, cello, Monica Cattarossi, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Agora, Lugano, Switzerland. ​ 14 August 2022 5pm Soliskoret Ung/Grete Pedersen perform Cinq Rechants . Davos Festival, Davos Congress Centre, Davos, Switzerland. ​ 15 August 2022 6pm Kirill Gerstein, piano, Leila Josefowicz, violin, Paul Watkins, cello, Carol McGonnell, clarinet. Quartet for the End of Time. Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Lensic Performing Arts Center, USA. 17 August 2022 1.15pm Simon Smith, piano, Tom Hankey, violin, Calum Robertson, clarinet, Christoff Fourie, cello, Quartet for the End of Time . Edinburgh Fringe Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland. ​ 22 August 2022 10pm, 23 , 8am, 2pm, 5pm, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano performs Catalogue d'oiseaux (performed in four stages over 24 hours)Festival de Lanaudiere, Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre, Canada. ​ 24 August 2022 8pm Jennifer Lien, soprano, Adrian Poon, tenor, Shane Thio, piano perform Harawi. The 10th Singapore Lieder Festival Victoria Concert Hall Dance Theatre Dance Studio, Singapore ​ 26 August 2022 (9pm), 28 th, 11am, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen Yuja Wang, piano, Cecile Lartigau, Ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie . Salzburg Festival, Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Austria. ​ 26 August 2022 7.30pm (?) Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot. Turangalila Symphonie . Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway . ​ 2 September 2022 7.30pm The Swedish Radio Choir/Kaspar Putnins perform Cinq Rechants . Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden. ​ 3 September 2022 (time tbc), Rachael Wilson, soprano, Virginie Dejos, piano perform Harawi . Ruhrtriennale, Geblasehalle, Landschaftspark, Duisburg-nord, Germany. ​ 3 September 2022 12 noon Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus. Festival Ravel Hernani, Fondation Chillida Leku, Spain. ​ 3 September 2022 5pm Conference sur Olivier Messiaen par Bruno Messina. Festival Ravel Saint-Jean-De-Lus, Chapiteau Harriet Baita, France. ​ 3 September 2022 7.30pm Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Michael Francis perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Rosengarten, Mozartsaal, Mannheim, Germany. ​ 4 September 2022 3pm Merz Trio and Oskar Espina-Ruiz, clarinet perform Quartet for the End of Time . Music Mountain, Falls Village, CT, USA . ​ 4 September 2022 3.30pm Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine/Jean-Francois Heisser Jean-Loup Chretein, horn, Jean-Frederic Neuburger, piano perform Des Canyons aux etoiles... Festival Ravel Bayonne, Scene National du Sud-Aquitain, France. ​ 5 September 2022 8pm Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bertrand Chamayou has replaced Yuja Wang, piano who has cancelled due to illness,Cecile Lartigau, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. ​ ​6 September 2022 7.30pm Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bertrand Chamayou has replaced Yuja Wang, piano who has cancelled due to illness, Cecile Lartigau, Ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Lucerne Festival, KKL Luzern, Konzertsaal, Switzerland. ​ 10 September 2022 7pm Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh/Kevin Fitzgerald Daniel Pesca, piano, Mark Houghton, horn, Jeremy Branson and Hannah Weaver, percussion perform Des Canyons aux etoiles... Levy Hall at Rodef Shalom, Pittsburgh (time and venue tbc),USA. ​ ​ 11 September 2022 7.30pm Chandos Symphony Orchestra/Dan Watson perform L'Ascension . The Forum Theatre, Malvern, UK. 14 - 15 September 2022 8pm Orchestre de Paris/Esa-Pekka Salonen Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot. Turangalila Symphonie . Philharmonie de Paris, France. ​ 15 September 2022 8pm Gulbenkian Orchestra/Pedro Amaral perform Chronochromie . Grande Auditorio, Lisbon, Portugal. ​ 16 September 2022 8pm Gulbenkian Orchestra/Pedro Amaral perform Chronochromie. Main Building - Grand Auditorium, Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal. ​ 17 September 2022 7pm Bielefeld Philharmonic/ Alexander Kalajdzic Nohad Becker, soprano, Katrin Adelmann, violin, Imke Frank, cello, Susanne Heilig, clarinet, Younghwi Ko, piano perform, O sacrum convivium; Les Offrandes oubliees; Poemes pour Mi; Un sourire; Timbre-durees; Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Rudolf Oetker Hall, Bielefelder, Germany ​ 17 -18 September 2022. An Olivier Messiaen Colloquium (part of the European Heritage Days). Chaired by Jerzy Stankiewicz the Polish musicologist, including lecturers, musicologists, artists and Messiaen specialists. Great EXCEPTIONAL concert by organists Michael Matthes and Pascal Vigneron with two organs in the Saint-Pierre church in Bar-sur-Aube, September 17, 2022 at 8:30. Works by Handel, Dupre and Messiaen. There will be a visit to the Maison des Messiaen in Fuligny, Champagne, France. 18 September 2022 11.30am Shiho Uekawa, clarinet, Anette Behr-Konig, violin, Hannah Weber, cello, Lauma Skride, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Haus im Park, Bremen, German y. ​ 18 September 2022 6pm Alfonso Alberti, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Basilica of Santa Barbara, Mantova. ​ 20 September 2022 8pm Igor Levit and Markus Hinterhauser, pianos perform Visions de l'Amen . Old Opera House, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. ​ 21 September 2022 8pm Orchestre National de Lille/Joshua Weilserstein perform Les Offrandes oubliees. Tennis Club, Audruicq; 22 8pm Le Zephur, Hem; 23 8.30pm Theater Raymond Devos, Tourcoing; 24 8pm Complexe Sportif, Sainghin-en-Melanfois, France. 22 September 2022 7.30pm BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers/Ryan Wigglesworth Sophie Bevan, soprano. perform O sacrum convivium; Poemes pour Mi. City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. 22 September 2022 1 pm. Alan Kay, clarinet, Doori Na, violin, Alberto Parrini, cello, and Quynh Nguyen, piano, perform Quartet for the End of Time at Elebash Concert Hall, 365 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10116, USA. 23 September 2022 8pm Yann Ghiro, clarinet, Laura Samuel, violin, Rudi De Groote, cello, Ryan Wigglesworth, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland, UK . ​ 23 September 2022 7.30pm Meadows Wind Ensemble/ Jack Delaney soloist tba perform Oiseaux exotiques . Owen Arts Center, Dallas, USA. ​ 29 September 2022 8pm Lucile Dollat, organ performs Apparition de l'Eglise eternelle; Joie et clarte des Corps glorieux. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France. ​ 29 September 2022 7.30pm Wind Ensemble/Jonathan Caldwell Annie Jeng, piano perform La ville d'en-haut . UNCG Auditorium, Greensboro, NC, USA. ​ ​ ​2 October 2022 6pm Miguel Perez Inesta, clarinet, Hulda Josdottir, violin, Ilmari Hopkins, cello, Marina Johansson, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time . Arquebus War History Museum, Tysvaer, Norway ​ ​ ​3 October 2022 5pm Messiaen as the "Rhythmician" Lecture Recital by Yi Zhang. Swarhout Recital Hall at Ku, Lawrence, KS, USA. ​ ​ ​4 October 2022 8pm Mark Kaplan, violin, Futuba Niekawa, piano, Peter Stumpf, cello, Gabor Varga, clarinet perform Quartet for the End of Time. Auer Hall, Indiana University Bloomington, USA. ​ ​ ​5 October 2022 7pm Lobkowitz Trio, Karel Dohnal, clarinet perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Festival Duchovni Hudby, Corpus Christi Chapel, Konvikt, Czechia. ​ ​​6 October 2022 7.30pm Tamara Stefanovich, piano. Prelude No 2 'Chant d'exstase dans un paysage triste'; Catalogue d'oiseux (2 pieces); Vingt Regards (4 pieces); Canteyodjaya. Kings Place, London. UK. ​ ​ ​7 October 2022 7pm Dan Zhu, violin, Florent Heau, clarinet, Henri Demarquette, cello, Pascal Godart, piano. Quatuor pour la fin du Temps . Salle Paderewski, Lausanne, Switzerland. ​ ​7 October 2022 8pm Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Mikko Franck. Les Offrandes oubliees. Philharmonie de Paris, France. ​ ​7 October 2022 7.30pm The Royal Danish Orchestra/Sylvain Cambreling Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, perform Oiseaux exotiques . DR Koncerthuzet, Copenhagen, Denmark. ​ ​ 8 October 2022 8pm Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Barbara Hannigan Bertrand Chamayou, piano perform Oiseaux exotiques . Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France. ​ 9 October 2022 2pm Barbara Paterson, soprano, Gabriela Glapska, piano perform Harawi . Great Hall, Worcester Bouleva rd, Christchurch, New Zealand. ​ 15 October 2022 7pm Lobkowitz Trio, Karel Dohnal, clarinet, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Podzimni Festival Duchovni Hodby Corpus Christi Chapel, Konvikt. Czechia. ​ 15 October 2022 7.30pm Siobhon Stagg, soprano, Timothy Young, piano perform Poemes pour Mi. Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 20 October 2022 9pm Alexandra Wood, violin, Joely Koos, cello, Katharine Spencer, clarinet, Huw Watkins, piano, Quartet for the End of Time. Southwark Cathedral, London, UK. ​ 21 October 2022 8pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Mendelssohn-Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany. ​ 21 October 2022 8.30pm Andromeda Quartet perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Cervignano del Friuli, largo Bradaschia House of Music, Italy. ​ 23 October 2022 11am Samika Honda, violin, Nicolas Hugon, cello, Jeremy Oberdorf, clarinet, Emmanuel Christien, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Cite de la Musique, Paris, France. ​ 23 - 24 October 2022 7.30pm Presented by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble perform Poemes pour Mi. Berkeley Piano Club, Berkeley, USA. ​ 23 October 2022 4pm Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, soprano, Dan Sato, piano, Hendricks Chapel's Choir/Jose "Peppie" Calvar. "Music of Olivier Messiaen" O sacrum convivium; Harawi; Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus (selections) . Syraceuse University, Hendricks Chapel, USA. ​ 24 October 2022 7.30pm Moran Katz, clarinet, Siwoo Kim, violin, Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello, Michael Boriskin, piano, Quartet for the End of Time . Copland House, 1201: Elebash Recital Hall, New York, USA. ​ 25 October 2022 12.30pm John Wolfe, organ performs Livre du Saint-Sacrament (selections). The Church of the Transfiguration, New York, USA. ​ 27 October 2022 7.30pm Tom Bell, organ performs Messe de la Pentecote . Springboard Organ Festival, Oundle School Chapel, Peterborough, UK. ​ 27 October 2022 7pm Karl Nordstoga, organ, L'Ascension . Sandefjord Art and Culture Church, Nor way. ​ 30 October 2022 6pm Martin Strohhacker, organ performs L'Ascension . St Margareta, Dusseldorf, Germany. 30 October 2022 8pm Quartetto Messiaen, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Chiesa di San Giovanni, Matera, Italy. ​ ​​1 - 5 November 2022 Olivier Messiaen International Competition of organ performance. concours@olivier-messiaen.eu . Lyon, France. ​ ​ ​2 November 2022 7.30pm Julstrom Quartet, Quartet for the End of Time . Western Illinois University, College of Fine Arts and Communications Recital Hall, USA. ​ ​ ​ 3 November 2022 7.30pm London Sinfonietta perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. UK. ​ ​ ​3 November 2022 7pm Japart Ensemble: Aya Hasegawa, Violin, Aurelien Sabouret, cello, Vincent Penot, clarinet, Yoshiko Otsu, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Honegger Conservatoire du Havre, Amphi Woollett, France. ​ ​ ​4 November 2022 (7.30pm), ​ ​ 5 (6.30pm), ​ ​6 (5pm), Tonhalle Orchester Zurich/Paavo Jarvi perform L'Ascension . Grosse Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland. ​ 4 November 2022 8.30pm Ciro Longobardi, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus. Teatro Municipale Valli, Reggio Emilia, Italy. 5 November 2022 3pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano performs Catalogue d'oiseaux. Tokyo Opera City, Concert/Recital H all, Japan. ​ 5 November 2022 7pm Merz Trio and Oskar Espina-Ruiz, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time . First Presbyterian Church, Morehead City, USA ​ 5 November 2022 7.30pm Tiffany Du Mouchelle, soprano, Eric Huebner, piano perform Poemes pour Mi . University of Buffalo Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, Buffalo, USA. ​ 5 November 2022 7pm Merz Trio, Oskar Espina-Ruiz, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time. First Presbyterian Church, Morehead City, NC 28557, USA. ​ 6 November 2022 8pm Julia Bullock, soprano, Conor Hanick, piano, Harawi (semi-staged). Ojai Music Festival, Libbey Bowl California, USA. ​ 6 November 2022 6pm Tianwa Yany, violin, Kilian Herold, clarinet, Valentino Worlitzsch, cello, Markus Bellheim, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Kasseler Musiktage Martinskirche, Kassel, Germany. ​ 7 November 2022 7.30pm Ayano Ninomiya, violin, Somin Kim, clarinet, Lluis Claret, cello, Pei-Shan Lee, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time. Jordan Hall, Boston, USA. ​ ​ 10-11 November 2022 8.30 Orquestra Filarmonica de Minas Gerais/Jose Soares perform L'Ascension. Minas Gerais Hall, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 10 November 2022 8pm Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich/Paavo Jarvi perform L'Ascension . Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. 10 November 2022 from 4.30pm XXIV International Chopin & Friends Festival, Train Stop No 2: Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992), 4.30pm lecture about O. Messiaen, 5.30pm movie presentation about Quartet for the End of Time , 7pm concert d'Arc-en-ciel Quartet: Yoonah Kim, clarinet, Mari Lee, violin, Mihai Kramer, cello, Henry Kramer, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Bruno Walter Auditorium, Lincoln Center, New York, USA. ​ 10 November 2022 8pm Alfonso Alberti, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus. San Calimero Via San Calimero, Milan, Italy. ​ 11 November 2022 7.30pm Academy Symphony Orchestra/John Wilson perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. ​ 12 November 2022 7.30pm Maximillian Bratt, violin, Reinhold Brunner, clarinet, Arne Kircher, cello, Matthias Krampe, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Lutherische Stadtkirche, Vienna. ​ 13 November 2022 7.30pm Hanah Bell, violin, Joshua Borin, clarinet, Erlend Vestby, cello, Hannah Watson, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. St Martin's Church, Gospel Oak, London. UK. ​15 November 2022 8pm Jennifer Gilbert, violin, Nicolas Hartmann, cello, Francois Sauzeau, clarinet, Pierre Thibout, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Salle Moliere, Lyon, France. ​ ​ 18 November 2022 7pm Eesti Riiklik Sumfooniaorkester/Joseph Bastian perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Estonioa kontserdisaal, Tallinn, Estonia. ​ ​ 18 November 2022 6pm Tom Bell, organ performs Livre du Saint-Sacrament . Memorial Chapel, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.​ 19 November 2022 6pm Barry Jordan, organ performs Les Corps glorieux . Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany. 20 November 2022 6.30pm Anthony Friend, clarinet, Agata Daraskaite, violin, Peteris Sokolovskis, cello, James Cheung, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time . St John's Church, Waterloo, London, UK. ​ 20 November 2022 4pm Prisme Trio & Clara Froger, violin, Quartet for the End of Time . Saint-Maximin Church, Metz, France. ​ 21 November 2022 8pm Aachen Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Ward, Les Offrandes oubliees. Eurogress, Aachen, Germany. ​ 22 November 2022 7.30pm Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra/Carlos Kalmar perform L'Ascension . Severance Music Centre, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. 23 November 2022 6pm Alexandra Pouta, mezzo soprano and Élisabeth Pion, piano perform Harawi. Guildhall School of Music and drama. Silk St. London, UK. ​ 23 November 2022 8pm Guildhall Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon William Bracken, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Barbican Hall, London, UK. ​ 26 November 2022 9.30pm Zlivnas Brazauskas, clarinet, Diana Tischenko, violin, Fredrick Thiele, cello, Lauma Skride, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Konzerthaus (Werner-Otto-Saal), Berlin, Germany. ​ 26 November 2022 14.00. Momo Kodama Messiaen Project 2022 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of composer Olivier Messian. Masato Suzuki and Momo Kodama perform Visions de l'Amen . Asahi Detachment Hall, Tokyo, Japan. 26 November 2022 21.00 Le chant des Ondes. Thomas Bloch and Elsa Silva - Ondes Martenot and piano perform: St François d'Assise:"Le prêche aux oiseaux" (extrait onde 1), Feuillets inédits, L'eau . THE CULT OF HELP, 25 TRAVESSA ZEBRAS LISBOA, LISBON, 1300 PORTUGAL. ​ 27 November 2022 5pm Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra and Youth Choir, University of Lisbon/Pedro Neves, Elsa Silva, piano, Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot perform Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Grand Auditorium of the Cultural Center of Belem, Lisbon, Portugal. ​ 27 November 2022 5pm Vincent Thevenaz, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur. Cathedrale, Geneve, Switzerland. 27 November 2022 5pm Katrin Bibiella, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Katherenkirche, Oppenheim, Germany. ​ 30 November 2022 8pm Isabelle Faust, violin, Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello, Jorg Widmann, clarinet, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Palau de la Musica: Sala de Concerts, Barcelona, Spain. ​ 30 November 2022 7.30pm Simon Mawhinney, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Queen's University Belfast, Harty Room, Music Building, Belfast, Northern Ireland. ​ 1 December 2022 7.30pm David Titterington, organ, Eleanor David, reader, La Nativite du Seigneur. Notre Dame de France in London, Leicester Place, UK. ​ 1 December 2022 6.30pm Verena Pilsl, soprano, Daniel Gerzdenerg, piano perform Harawi . Humboldt Gymnasium, Kammermusiksaal, Cologne, Germany. ​ 2 December 2022 7.30pm Isabelle Faust, violin, Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello, Jorg Widmann, clarinet, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao (also the 4th in Castellon), Spain. 3 December 2022 14.00. Momo Kodama Messiaen Project 2022 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of composer Olivier Messiaen. Momo Kodama perform Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Asahi Detachment Hall, Tokyo, Japan. 3 December 2022 5pm Students of the organ class Christoph Bornheimer perform La Nativite du Seigneur . St Gallus Laden burg, Germany. ​ 4 December 2022 (11pm), 5 (7.30pm), 2022 Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Cornelius Meister perform Hymne . Liederhalle (Beethovensaal), Stuttgart, Germany. ​ 4 December 2022 7.30pm Isabelle Faust, violin, Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello, Jorg Widmann, clarinet, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos, Castellon, Spain. ​ 6 December 2022 8pm Kilian Nauhaus, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. French Cathedral, Berlin, Germany. 7 December 2022 7pm Shinnosuke Inugai, piano, Aleksandar Tasic, clarinet, Julija Hartig, violin, Marko Miletic, cello, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Splendor, Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ​ 9 December 2022 8.30pm Athens State Orchestra/Nikos Vasileiou Titos Gouvelis, piano perform Oiseaux exotiques . Megaron - Christos Lambrakis Hall, Athens, Greece. ​ 9 December 2022 7.30pm.Le charme des impossibilités. A recital featuring the music of Olivier Messiaen . Alexandra Saraceno, Madeline Hildebrand, pianos, Jacob Mortensen, flute.Greenwich House Music School, Barrow St. NYC, USA. 10 December 2022 2pm Pianist Matthew Odell performs Fauvettes de l'Herault at An die Musik, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. ​ 10 December 2022 14.00. Momo Kodama Messiaen Project 2022 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of composer Olivier Messiaen. Momo Kodama, Chamber Music, Quartet, Trio with Kyoko Takezawa , Makoto Yoshida Gen Yokosaka perform Quartet for the End of Time . Asahi Detachment Hall, Tokyo, Japan. ​ 11 December 2022 6pm Jonathan Hope, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur. Gloucester Cathedral, UK. ​ 11 December 2022 4.45pm Tom Winpenny, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur, St Albans Cathedral, UK. 12 December 2022 1pm Jeremiah Stephenson, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur . St Michael's, Cornhill, London, UK. ​ 13 December 2022 7.30pm Students of the organ class of Prof. Tomasz Adam Nowak, La Nativite du Seigneur. Catholic parish church Heilig Kreuz, Detmold, Germany. ​ 13 December 2022 7.30pm Jonathan Dimmock, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, California, USA. ​ 16 December 2022 8.15pm Ralph van Raat, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus . Orgelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ​ 16 December 2022 1pm William Campbell, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur . Leeds Minster, UK. 16 December 2022 8.15pm Geerten van de Wetering, organ, Marcel Wierckx, video artist perform La Nativite du Seigneur Monastery Church, The Hague, Netherlands. ​ 17 December 2022 8.15pm Hayo Boerema, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur . Orgelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands . ​ 17 December 2022 12 noon Jan Hage, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Domkerk, Utrecht, Netherlands. ​ 18-19 December 2022 6.30pm Jonathan Allsopp, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur . Southwell Minster, UK. ​ 18 December 2022 7pm Sophia Jaffe, violin and Villa Musica Scholarship holders perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . arp museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Germany. ​ ​ 18 December 2022 2.15pm Ralph van Raat, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, Netherlands . 18 December 2022 5pm organist tba, La Nativite du Seigneur. St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK. ​ ​19 December 2022 6pm Barry Jordan, organ performs Le corps glorieux. Magdeburger Dom, Magdeburger, Germany. ​ ​ 19 December 2022 7pm Mirka Viitala, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . MUSHKITALO, Paavo-sali, Helsingfors, Finland. ​ 19 December 2022 7pm Paul Walton, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur. The Quire, Bristol Cathedral, UK. ​ 22 December 2022 8.15pm Ralph van Raat, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Willem Twee Toonzall, Den Bosch, Netherlands. ​ 22 December 2022 7pm Tobias GRavenhorst, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. St Peter's Cathedral, Bremen, Germany. ​ 23 December 2022 8pm Ralph van Raat, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Sint-Vituskerk in FINKUM, Netherlands. ​ 23 December 2022 6.30pm Stephen Moore, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Llandaff Cathedral, Wales, UK . ​ 24 December 2022 3pm Daniel Beilschmidt, organ La Nativite du Seigneur . Paulinum-Aula and University Church of St Pauli, Leipzig, Germany. 26 December 2022 3pm Wilbert Berendsen, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur. Grote of Martinikerk, Doesburg, Netherlands. ​ ​ 27 December 2022 6pm Barry Jordan, organ. La Nativite du Seigneur . Magdeburger Dom, Germany. ​ ​ 28 December 2022 6pm Jonas Apeland Salomonsen, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur. Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway. ​ ​30 December 2022 6pm Oskar Ekberg, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus. All Saints Church, Stockholm, Sweden. ​ 2023 6 January 2023 , 8pm, 7, 8pm and 8, 2pm, Los Angeles Philharmonic & Los Angeles Master Chorale/Michael Tilson Thomas Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, ondiste tba perform Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, USA. 6 January 2023 7.30pm Michael Messina, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. St Francis in the Fields, Harrods Creek, KY 40027, USA. ​ 7 January 2023 12 noon La Nativite du Seigneur. The Cathedral, Copenhagen, Denmark. 7 January 2023 5pm Christof Pulsch, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Zion Church Bethel, Bielefeld, Germany. ​ 7 January 2023 7pm Jeffrey Markinson, organ, performs La Nativite du Seigneur . Lincoln Cathedral, UK. 8 January 2023 4.30pm David Leigh, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur. St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. ​ 10 January 2023 7.30pm Maya Boog, soprano, Fabio Di Casola, clarinet, Sebastian Bohren, violin, Wen-Sinn Yang, cello, Werner Bartschi, piano perform Chants de Terre et de Ciel; Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland. 10 January 2023 6.30pm The piano class of Prof. Florian Holscher perform Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus . HfMDK, Great Hall, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 11 January 2023 8pm Steffen Schleiermacher, piano performs La chouette hulotte; L'Aloulette lulu (Catalogue d'oiseaux), Canteyodjaya . Mendelssohn-Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany. ​ 16 January 2023 7.30pm (Public dress rehearsal at 9.30am), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sylvain Cambreling perform L'Ascension . Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Rep. ​ 15 January 2023 time and venue tba. Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano performs Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus Internationale Messiaen-Tage, Gorlitz, Poland. ​ 17 January 2023 8pm Scott St John, violin, Angela Park, piano, Kevin Weiss, clarinet, Ethan Allers, cello perform Quartet for the End of Time. von Kuster Hall, Western University, London, ON, Canada. ​ 18 January 2023 8.15pm National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands/Antony Hermus perform Les Offrandes oubliees. Grote Zaal, de Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands. ​ 19 January 2023 8pm Orchestre National de France/Christian Macelaru Cedric Tiberghien, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie Auditorium Radio France, Paris and January 20th, 2023 (time tba), Theatre, Caen, France. 24 January 2023 8pm Sinfonica De Tenerife/Michael Boder perform L'Ascension . Canary Islands Music Fesival, Auditorio Tenerife and January 25th , 8pm Gran Canaria, Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Canary Islands. ​ 26-27-28 January 2023, 7.30pm San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and SFS Chorus/Michael Tilson Thomas Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, ondiste tba, Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Davies Symphony Hall, San Fransico, USA. 24 January 2023 7pm John Lenehan, piano, Sacha Rattle, clarinet, John Mills, violin, Tim Lowe, cello, Quartet for the End of Time. York Minster, York, UK ​ 27 January 2023 8.30pm Paolo Casiraghi, clarinet, Lorenzo Gentili-Tedeschi, violin, Giorgio Casati, cello, Luca leracitano, piano perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Aula Magna of the University of Milan, Italy. ​ 27 January 2023 7.30pm ​Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich, pianos perform Visions de l'Amen . Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 28 January 2023 5pm BBC Symphony Orchestra/Dalia Stasevska, perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Barbican Hall, London, UK. ​ 2 February 2023 1pm Lesley Schatzberger, clarinet, Jacob George, violin, Nicola Tait Baxter, cello, Paul Nicholson, piano, Quartet for the End of Time . The Assembly House, Norwich, UK. ​ 4 February 2023 6pm Alfonso Gomez, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux . Festival Bernaola, Jesus Guridi Musika Kontserbatorioa, Spain. ​ 6 February 2023 8pm Alfonso Gomez, piano, performs Catalogue d'oiseaux . Contemporary Music Festival of La Rioja, Eliseo Pinedo Professional Conservatory of Music, La Rioja, Spain. ​ 12 February 2023 BBC National Chorus of Wales, Conductor Ludovic Morlot perform O Sacrum Convivium . St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Wales. UK ​ 14 February 2023 8pm Bertrand Chamayou, piano performs Canteyodjaya . Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 27 February 2023 7.30pm Rachel Lee Priday, violin. Benjamin Lulich, clarinet, Sarah Rommel, cello, Craig Sheppard, piano, Quartet for the End of Time. Meany Hall-Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater, School of Music, Washington, Seattle. ​ 27 February 2023 7.30pm Dr Andre Shenton, lecture, Ensemble Chamarre, For the End of Time: Messiaen Quartet Concert & Lecture. Arts at the Armory, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Kaiser Chapel, Hamilton, MA, USA. 28 February 2023 7.30pm Lincoln Trio and Bharata Chandra, clarinet perform Quartet for the End of Time . Historic Asolo Thea ter, Saratoga, USA. ​ 28 February 2023 1pm Kaleidescope Chamber Collective perform La mort du nombre . Royal Academy of Music, Angela Burgess Recital Hall, London, UK. ​ 2 March 2023 and 3 (8pm), 4 (7pm), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Jarvi perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 2 March 2023 7pm I Musici de Montreal, Ensemble de la SMCQ, Choeur de voix de femme/Jean-Francois Rivest, choir conductor Louise Bessette, piano, Estelle Lemire, ondes Martenot. Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus (4 excerpts); Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Montreal/New Music Festival Salle-Pierre-Mercure Centre Pierre-Peladeau, Montreal, Canada. ​ 6 March 2023 (time tba), London Symphony Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan perform L'Ascension . De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands.. ​ 9 March 2023 8pm London Symphony Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan perform L'Ascension . Philharmonie, Cologne, Germany. ​ 10 March 2023 8pm London Symphony Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan. L'Ascension. Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium. 12 March 2023 7pm London Symphony Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan perform L'Ascension . Barbican Hall, London, UK. ​ 15 - 16 March 2023 7.30pm Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Lorenzo Viotti perform Les Offrandes oubliees . Musikverein, Vienna, Austria. ​ 16 - 17 March 2023 8pm SWR Symphonieorchester/Brad Lubman Francois-Frederic Guy, piano, Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie Stuttgart, Liederhalle, 17 March 7pm Konzerthaus, Freiburg, Germany. ​ 17 -18 March 2023 (8pm), 19th (2PM) New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot., Turangalila Symphonie . David Geffen Hall, New York, USA. 17 March 2023 8pm Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung perform L'Ascension . Auditorium Radio France, Paris. 19 March 2023 2pm Roberto Spano, piano and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Musicians perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX, USA. ​ 19 March 2023 5pm H. Malnoury, N. Millet, B. Odin, N.Nageotte perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Parish of Our Lady of Lights, Chalon, France. ​ 19 March 2023 11am Sonja Korkeala, violin, Clemens Weigel, cello, Markus Bellheim.piano, clarinet tba, Quartet for the End of Time . All Saints Court Church, Munich, Germany. 25 March 2023 8pm Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Robin Ticciati perform Le Tombeau resplendissant . Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 27 March 2023 7.30pm Rachel Lee Priday, violin, Benjamin Lulich, clarinet, Sarah Rommel, cello, Craig Sheppard, piano perform Quartet for the End of Time. School of Music, University of Washington, Meany Hall-Katharyn Alvord Theater, Washington, USA. ​ 29 March 2023 & 30 8pm Orchestre National de Lille/James Feddeck, L'Ascensio n. Auditorium du Nouveau Siecle, Lille, France. ​ 29 March 2023 7.30pm Sir Simon Rattle, piano, Sacha Rattle, clarinet, Guy Braunstein, violin, Zvi Plessner, cello perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 30 March 2023 8pm Orchestre National de France/Christain Macelaru perform Le Tombeau resplendissant . Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris, France. ​ 30 March 2023 7.30pm Orquesta de Valencia/Sylvain Cambreling Carlos Apellaniz, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: Sala Principal, Valencia, Spain. ​ 31 March 2023 (6pm), April 1st (3pm), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan perform L'Ascension . Goteborgs Konserthus, Germany. ​ 31 March 2023 (8pm) , April 2nd (4pm) Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano/Maxime Pascal Luca Buratto, piano, ondiste tba perform Turangalila Symphonie . Auditoriumdi Milano Fondazione CariploLargo Gustav Mahler, Milan, Italy. ​ 3 April 2023 6.45pm Maks Adach, organ performs Les Corps Glorieux . St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, USA. ​ 8 April 2023 8pm Orchestre de l'opera national de Paris/Gustavo Dudamel. Un Sourire. Philharmonie de Paris, France. 8 April 2023 8.15pm Het Collectief perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps .Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherlands. ​ 13 April 2023 7.30pm, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ryan Wigglesworth, Ashley Riches, baritone and Nicky Spence, tenor perform The Sermon to the Birds: Act II, Tableau 6 from Saint Francois d'Assise. City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. ​ 14 -15 April 2023 (7pm), 16 (11am) Barcelona Symphony Orchestra/Ludovic Morlot perform L'Ascension . L'Auditori Hall, Barcelona, Spain. ​ 14 April 2023 7.30pm Orchestre Opera National de Paris/Gustavo Dudamel perform Un Sourire. Musikverein, Vienna, Austria. ​ 14 - 15 April 2023 (8pm), 16 , 3pm The Tragedies of Space Travel An Immersive concert and theatrical experience built around Quartet for the End of Time. Peter Dayeh, clarinet, Peter Ko, cello, Batya Macadam-Somer, violin, Brendan Nguyen, piano. Bread & Salt, San Diego, USA. ​ 16 April 2023 3pm BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ryan Wigglesworth, Ashley Riches, baritone and Nicky Spence, tenor perform The Sermon to the Birds: Act II, Tableau 6 from Saint Francois d'Assise. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland. ​ 16 April 2023 7pm Symphonikerhamburg/Sylvain Cambreling perform L'Ascension . Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 21 April 2023 7.30pm Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra/Zhang Liang Sun Yingdi, piano, Takashi Harada, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie (China premiere). Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai, China. ​ 22 April 2023 7.30pm Orchestre de l'Opera national de Paris/Gustavo Dudamel perform Un sourire . Barbican Hall, London, UK. ​ 27 April 2023 8pm Chorus and Orchestra Gulbenkian/Myung-Whun Chung Roger Muraro, piano, Sonia Pais, flute, Iva Barbosa, clarinet, Varoujan Bartikian, cello, Marco Fernandes, vibraphone, Nuno Simoes, marimba, Bruno Costa, xylophone perform La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ . Grande Auditorio, Lisbon, Portugal. ​ 28 April 2023 7pm Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii w Szczecine/Rune Bergmann, L'Ascension . Philharmonie, Szczecin, Poland. ​ 2 May 2023 8.15pm Klavierduo Grau Schumacher perform Visions de l'Amen . Festsaal Neue Aula, Tubingen, Germany. ​ 4 May 2023 (8pm) and 5 (7,30pm), Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Gustavo Gimeno Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot. Turangalila Symphonie . Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada. 4 May 2023 8pm Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra/Kazushi Ono Jan Michaels, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Bozar, Brussels, Belgium. ​ 4 May 2023 8pm Katharine Dain, soprano, Sam Armstrong, piano perform Poemes pour Mi . Concertgebouw, Brugges, Belgium. ​ 5 May 2023 2.30pm Get to know Olivier Messiaen and his musical language. Maarten Beirenss, lecturer. Kammermuziekzall, Concertgebouw, Brugges, Belgium. ​ 5 May 2023 8pm Brussels Philharmonic/Kazushi Ono Jan Michiels, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Concertgebouw, Brugges, Belgium. ​ 6 May 2023 8pm Brussels Philharmonic/Kazushi Ono Jan Michiels, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Blue Hall, de Singel, Antwerp, Belgium. ​ 8 May 2023 , 7.30pm Magdalene Kozena, mezzo-soprano, Mitsuko Uchida, piano perform Poemes pour Mi. Grand Hall, Liszt Academy Concert Centre, Budapest, Hungary. 10 May 2023 8pm Magdalena Zozena, soprano, Mitsuko Uchida, piano perform Poemes pour Mi . Blauwe Zaal, de Singel, Antwerp. ​ 10 May 2023 7.30pm American Modern Opera Company, Julia Bullock, soprano, Conier Hanick, piano perform Harawi. Internationales Musikfest Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie Kleiner Hall, Hamburg, Germany. 12 May 2023 8pm Magdalena Kozena, mezzo soprano, Mitsuko Uchida, piano perform Poemes pour Mi . Konzerthaus, Dortmund, Germany. ​ 14 May 2023 4pm The Orchestra Now/Zachary Schwartzman soprano tba perform Poemes pour Mi. Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Symphony Space, New York City, USA. ​ 19 -20 - 23 May 2023 7.30pm Utah Symphony Orchestra/Thierry Fischer Jason Hardink, piano, Augustin Viard, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Abravenal Hall, Utah, USA. 19 May 2023 7pm Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon perform L'Ascension . Helsinki Music Centre, Finland ​​​​​.​ ​ ​ 19 May 2023 7.30pm Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra/Zhang Liang Gu Jieting, piano perform Les Offrandes oubliees; Le Tombeau Resplendissant; La Ville d'en-haut (China premieres). Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai, China. ​ 25 May 2023 & 26 (8pm), 27 (7pm), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simone Young Cedric Tiberghien, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 28 May 2023 7pm Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet, Sitkovetsky Trio perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps . L'Auditori Hall 2, Barcelona, Spain. ​ 7 June 7.30pm Mecklenburgisches Staatskapelle/Joseph Bastion perform L'Ascension . Grosses Haus, Mecklenburg, Germany. 14 - 15 June 2023 , 7pm London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle Peter Donohoe, piano Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot perform Turangalila Symphonie . Barbican Hall, London, UK. ​ 11- 22 - 25 June 2023 July 2nd & 9th (time not given) Staatsorchester Stuttgart and Mitglieder des Staatsopernchores/Titus Engel Cast includes Michael Mayes (Saint Francis), Beate Ritter (Angel), Moritz Kallenberg (The leper) perform Saint Francois d'Assise . Stuttgart Opera, Opera House and Urban Space, Stuttgart, Germany. ​ 21 June 2023 7pm Alfonso Gomez, piano performs Catalogue d'oiseaux . Kammermusiksaal, Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart, Germany. 22 June 2023 6.30pm Alice Sara Ott, piano, Thomas Reif, violin, Sebastian Klinger, cello, Sebastian Manz, clarinet perform Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Purcell Room, London. UK. ​ 11- 12 - 14 October 2023 8pm Filarmonica della Scala/Zubin Mehta, Yuja Wang, piano. Ondes Martenot tba perform Turangalila Symphonie . Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy. ​ ​ Back to top The Complete Organ Works. Recorded at the Cathedral of Toul to celebrate its 800th anniversary. The organist Pascal Vigneron is the mastermind behind a complete disc of Messiaen's organ scores recorded at the Cathedral of Toul. This project is special because it brings together students from music education institutions who have shared the different pieces. Forlane - FOR_816897. ​ CD & Audio Releases Visions Pierre-Laurent Aimard , Tamara Stefanovich Olivier Messiaen , George Enescu , Oliver Knussen , Harrison Birtwistle Release Date: 23-09-2022 PTC: 5186957 Details here . See Review Oiseaux exotiques . Francesco Piemontesi (piano), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Jonathan Nott Pentatone - PTC 5186949. Details here. O sacrum convivium Hildegard von Bingen , Sean Shibe , Chick Corea , Daniel Kidane , Moondog , Oliver Leith , Meredith Monk , Bill Evans , Olivier Messiaen , Shiva Feshareki , Julius Eastman Release Date: 26-08-2022 PTC: 5186988 Details here. Harawi Chant d’amour et de mort The Song Company , Amy Moore (soprano) , Antony Pitts (piano) Hyperion Records 1EMCDA Details here . Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Alfonso Gómez (piano) Kairos - 0015081KAI. Details here . Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Louange à l'éternité de Jésus) Fabien CHOURAKI (saxophone) Olivier DEKEISTER (organ) Visage- FR-95U Details here. Trois petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine Mädchenkantorei am Freiburg Münster Martina van Lengerich (Director) Motette-Psallite - MOT DCD 15025 The girls' choir at the Freiburg Minster under the direction of Martina van Lengerich present works by JS Bach, O. Messiaen, WA Mozart, F. Mendelssohn, D. Bartolucci and KA Arnesen. Raschèr Saxophone Quartet. Alfonso Goméz (piano) Fabienne Martin (Ondes Martenot) More information here Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus . Pi-Hsien Chen (piano) Aldila - DDD, 2005. Release date: 19th February 2021 Songs for the End of Time Vol.1. An intriguing take on Messiaen's famous Quartet made here into a quintet. Ben Russell (violin, voice) Brandon Ridenour (tumpet, voice) Yoonah Kim (clarinet, voice) Hamilton Berry (cello, voice) Greg Chudzik (bass, voice ) Available from Bandcamp ​ Catalogue d'Oiseaux. László Borbély (Piano) Messiaen often chooses 'impalpable' as a performance direction. It is no accident; in his works we enter the visible and tangible transcendent through the intangibility of the invisible. We are faced here with something which is seemingly incompatible with our existence. MRC2004 Released 05/08/2020 From My Reel Club. see video preview here. Turangalîla Symphonie. Tamara Stefanovich (piano) Thomas Bloch (ondes Martenot) Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Alexander Soddy (conductor). Oehms : OC472 Release date: 18th September 2020 Poèmes pour Mi plus works by Saariaho, Dutilleux, Debussy and Delbos. Katherine Dain (soprano) and Sam Armstrong (piano) The majority of the program on this disc is written during a period on which the particular composer was facing daring circumstances. Like these two musicians were during the production of Regards sur l’Infini. ‘Views on the eternity’, having an outlook on the relief is an ever-present element on this album. Not able to pinpoint when a certain stressful era will end provoked us. We’ve consequently tried to relieve ourselves with a severe focus on our fascination about creating music. Just what the composers on this album did. And then, when it’s brought so heroic, resonant and immensely prepared and aware this duo does, music gives real freedom to the spirit. 7 Mountain Records 7MNTN-024 (release November '20) Quartet for the end of Time and Toru Takemitsu: Kathlein II. Jose Luis Luis Esteresu (Clarinet) Aizol Ituriaga Goitia (violin) David Apelianis (cello) Albert Rosado (piano). IBS Classical No. IBS72020. Releas date:09 July 2020 La Nativite Du Seigneur : Michael Frith, Organ of Brentwood Cathedral. Herald label HAVPCD414. Release date: 23rd October 2020 Divine Art Recordings is delighted to announce a new album of piano music from English pianist Roderick Chadwick . Alongside the first book from Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux are works by Karol Szymanowski and David Gorton. Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux for solo piano evokes the sights and sounds of the French landscape, exploring time and memory across its two and a half-hour span. The diversity of Messiaen’s imagination can be heard in the progression from the sharp, solitary cries of the alpine chough to the fanfares of the golden oriole and harmonious, sapphire-blue sea along the Roussillon coast, where the headlands (in the composer’s words) ‘stretch into the sea like crocodiles’. Release date October 2020.DDA25209 Huit Préludes, Ile de Feu I&II, Fantasie Burlesque . Chiara Cipelli, piano. Release date: 10th February 2020. Piano Classics ASIN: B08328QJ25. La Nativité du Seigneur is played by Krakow-born organist Arcadius Biarich. DUX records. DUX1557 DEBUSSY - Étude retrouvée • Les Soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon. MESSIAEN -Morceau de lecture à vue • Des canyons aux étoiles… (excerpts) • La Fauvette passerinette. BOULEZ -Prélude, Toccata et Scherzo • 12 Notations • Une page d’éphéméride. RAVEL - Menuet in C sharp minor. Release date: 05 May 2020. NAXOS 8.573894. Tom Winpenny performs Meditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité. Naxos 8573979. Tamara Stefanovich performs Canteyodjaya and works by Ives, Bartok and Bach. Pentatone ASIN: B07MCXWQHM Connections - The music of Olivier Messiaen and his students.Matthew Odell, piano. Albany Records. ASIN:B07MM6PGNT This recording pairs three works by Messiaen with works by Tristan Murail, Pierre Boulez, and Michel Merlet. Odell worked with Boulez and Merlet on this repertoire and is giving world-premiere recordings of the Merlet pieces . A rare recording has come to light by British conductor Reginald Goodall performing L'Ascension with the Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden in 1961. Full details can be found on the Pristine Classical web site here . Preludes, La Fauvette Des Jardins, La Dame De Shalott: Haruka Miyazaki (Piano) Release date 10 November 2019 299Music HMV Japan here Harawi . Sarah Maria Sun (soprano), Stefka Perifanova (piano)Label: Mode Cat No: MODLP310 Format: LP Number of Discs: 2 Expected Release Date: 10th January 2020Includes 12-page book with complete lyrics plus extensive text on Harawi by Siglind Brun, including copious illustrations and musical examples. NB: there is no CD format release. THE COMPLETE VÉGA RECORDINGS 1956-1963 BY Yvonne Loriod Works by Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Schumann, Aleniz, deFalla Berg, Webern, Schoenberg, Henze, Boulez, Barraqué, Stravinsky and Messiaen. 13 CDs album. Decca UPC 00028948170692 Charles Chaynes - Piano Concerto (1967 World Premier) Yvonne Loriod with the ORTF Chamber Orchestra Radio broadcast, France. Kipepeo Publishing. ASIN: B06Y286DZ7 First recording of Les Fauvettes de l'Hérault - Concert des garrigues (reconstructed by Roger Muraro - see below) Harmonia Mundi - HMM905304 together with Debussy's Études as part of the Debussy Centenary Edition. Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus by Martin Helmchen. Alpha. ASIN B07MLB1CWX Catalogue d'Oiseaux by Ciro Longobardi. Piano Classics PCL10155 Turangalila Symphonie Yutaka Sado (Conductor), Tonkünstler-Orchester, Roger Muraro (Piano), Valérie Hartmann-Claverie (Ondes Martenot) Tonkünstler (Naxos Deutschland Musik & Video Vertriebs-)ASIN: B07FT6JMQ9 Saint Francois d'assise: Sylvain Cambreling / Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, E. Barath, Le Texier, Bronder, P.Addis, etc (2017 Stereo) (4 CD). Here. Messiaen: Couleurs de la Cité Céleste. Bruckner: Symphony No.8 Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle. The London Symphony Orchestra's Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (with Aimard as soloist) was recorded live at the Barbican in April 2016 and is released on the orchestra's own label. Available Format: DVD Video + Blu-ray South African pianist Benjamin Fourie performs Messiaen's Huit Préludes alongside compositions by fellow South African composers Étienne van Rensburg and (British born) Malcolm Dedman. Benjamin Fourie performed the South African premiere of Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and it is with great regret that Benjamin passed away soon after the release of this CD. Enquiries and purchase: bsf.musique@mweb.co.za Renowned French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard kicks off his exclusive engagement to PENTATONE with a recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1956-1958). The pianist had intimate ties to the composer himself and his wife, Yvonne Loriod, for whom Messiaen wrote the Catalogue. This is a truly pioneering and groundbreaking recording of Messiaen's masterpiece. Pierre-Laurent brings extraordinary naturalism to the music and his sonic painting takes the playing to another level of virtuosity. An incredible achievement. The luxurious CD box set contains an accompanying bonus DVD, on which Aimard shares his vast knowledge of and love for Messiaen’s work from behind the piano. PENTATONE PTC 5186 670 Jean-Rodolphe Kars performsVingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus. Recorded live by Dutch radio at a concert in the Kleine Zaal of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw on 30 April 1976 There have been many Messiaen pianists of note to perform and record his music during the last half-century, not least thanks to the composer’s generosity as a teacher of both the technical and spiritual aspects of his music, which go hand in hand as they do for very few others. Save for Messiaen’s second wife Yvonne Loriod, however, none of those pianists can claim so direct and profound an understanding of the composer and his music as Jean-Rodolphe Kars. This makes the present issue of a hitherto unreleased recording of the Vingt Regards all the more significant:. Olivier Messiaen Organ Works Willem Tanke One can not be grateful enough for the way one of the greatest composers of the 20th century contributed to the organ tradition. This playlist is a work in progress, i.e. it will include Messiaen's complete organ works in due time, also for educational purposes. Visit Willem's Official site for more interesting projects on Messiaen's organ works including 'Olivier Messiaen and the Cave of Forgotten Sounds' This project presents movements of Livre du Saint Sacrement interspersed wth responses and improvisations by Willem one of which is a tribute to Claire Delbos: In Memoriam Claire Delbos. Some CD reviews Visions Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard (pianos) . Visions de l’Amen (Messiaen) – Carillon Nocturne (from Suite No.3, Op.18 “Pieces Impromptues”) (Enescu) – Prayer Bell Sketch, Op.29 (Knussen) – Clock IV (from Harrison’s Clocks) – Birtwistle). Pentatone PTC 5186 957. Release Date: 23-09-2022 Ever since hearing Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard perform Visions de l’Amen at St. John’s Smith Square, London on the 25 January 2017, I have longed for a recording of the work by these two champions of Messiaen’s music and at last Pentatone have delivered. This recording was made in July 2021 in the Stefaniensaal, Congress Graz, Austria. Although Visions de l’Amen was composed after Messiaen’s release from the prisoner of war camp in 1941, Paris was still under German Occupation in 1943 when he began work on the piece after a commission from impresario Denise Tual. From the outset, Messiaen knew it would be a work for two pianos and that he would perform it alongside the brilliant young pianist Yvonne Loriod who had appeared in his first class at the Paris Conservatoire in May 1941. Nigel Simeone’s booklet notes details the progress towards the first performance and reveals some fascinating facts and accounts surrounding the work. The Piano I part was assigned to Yvonne Loriod and the writing explores the bells, birdsong, virtuoso passagework and rhythmic complexities while Piano II handles the thematic material and controls the pace of the work. In this recording Piano I is Tamara Stefanovich and Piano II, Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Loriod and Messiaen recorded the work in 1949 on six 12” 78s on French Contrepoint label but for many years the Messiaen’s 1962 recording on Vega had been a benchmark and the one that is most faithful to the score. Irén Marik and John Ranck made a recording c.1956 and performed it at the Deepest Valley Theatre, USA in 1965 then the Labèque’s took it on in 1969 under Messiaen's supervision. Lately of course many couples have ventured into Messiaen’s world of creation, spinning planets, the agony of Jesus and Jugement, desire and consummation, some with variable results it has to be said. In this recording Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard have taken the work to another level in a performance that not only has bucket loads of technical command and virtuosity but also immense sensitivity and pianism of the highest order that is entirely at the service of the music. ‘ Amen de la Création’ opens the work and in many performances it is so often rushed and devoid of Messiaen’s instruction of ‘Very slow, mysterious and solemn’. Not here, the tempo is perfect and the dynamic build well measured. Aimard produces an almost tam tam-like sonority in the depths of the piano that complement the shafts of light from Stefanovich’s Piano I. The climax of the movement where Piano II has timeless broken chord flourishes is perfectly timed with no distortion of line in Piano I. The energized ‘ Amen des étoiles, de la planète à l’anneau’ reveals precise tempo changes (seldom found in some performances) and absolute synchronicity in the stabs. Aimard does of course have some advantage over others in having studied with Loriod and Messiaen and began playing the work from the age of fifteen. His insight and interpretation of the ‘ Bien moderé – douloureux en pleurant’ (painful and crying) section in ‘ Amen de l’agonie de Jésus’ is unutterably moving and his finger independence in the chords of ‘ Amen du Désir’ is astonishing. Both pianists have a conjoined sense of ensemble that is clearly demonstrated in ‘ Amen des Anges, des Saints, du chant des oiseaux’ where Piano II dances exuberantly beneath the excited chatterings of the birds in Piano I. The only ‘surprise’ I had on my first hearing was the tempo chosen for the opening of ‘ Amen de la Consommation’ which is faster than the score indicates, but again, Stefanovich and Aimard come up trumps by balancing this with a sudden gear change to a slower pulse at the ‘ppp’ heavenly bells section before the ‘ Un peu plus vif’. Here, Stefanovich does well to capture most of the accented rhythmic character in the lower part of Piano I and after some super-human glittering passagework alongside vibrant, dazzling dynamic colours from Aimard, the final fortissimo A major chord is allowed to ring on into paradise for a full 53” Despite some over enthusiastic and noisy pedal work in ‘ Amen du Jugement’ and some heavy breathing, the recording quality is superb and this performance I’m sure will be unsurpassed, in my lifetime at least. ©MB. MESSIAEN III Intégrale de l’oeuvre pour piano solo Haruka Miyazaki (Piano) Huit Preludes, La Fauvette Des Jardins, La Dame de Shalott. Release date 10 November 2019. 299Music HMV Japan Over the past 20 years or so the number of performances and recordings of Messiaen’s music has steadily grown in Japan although for those of us living outside the country (especially in Europe) it has been notoriously difficult to obtain CDs and when we can they prove to be very expensive when import and customs duty is slammed on. This said, it is often the case that us ‘foreigners’ are amply rewarded with exquisitely produced products and fine performances. Haruka Miyazaki has embarked on a journey claiming to record all the solo piano works by Messiaen and this is the third in the series. Volumes ‘Messiaen I and II ’ are devoted to the Catalogue d’oiseaux and I have yet to listen or obtain these but I was particularly intrigued by the collection of works on Messiaen III as it included La Dame de Shalott, Messiaen’s Opus 1 inspired by the Tennyson poem and composed when he was just eight years old. The CD opens with the 8 Preludes Messiaen’s first published work. Composed when he was twenty he had already a passionate love of birds but without the knowledge of how to write down their songs. However, he did have an innate sense of sound-colour and the Preludes draw on his developing work with modes of limited transposition. There are obvious nods to Debussy and Ravel but Messiaen never regarded the work as impressionistic. Miyazaki has an ideal touch to convey the musical colours and shape of the pieces as well as a clear sense of melodic and harmonic balance. There is just one (repeated) mis-read chord in No.2 (Chant d’extase dans un paysage triste) that takes away a little of the intended spice. La Fauvette des Jardins (The Garden Warbler) 1970 is the main filling in this musical sandwich. Messiaen’s longest and most substantial piano solo (dedicated to birdsong) to date. The piece traces a sequence of natural events at Petichet (Messiaen’s summer retreat) from night time through daybreak, morning, afternoon, evening then full circle to night. Pianists taking on this work find themselves having to be their own ‘film director’ in the sense that the birdsongs are only part of this vast canvas that also includes ‘the night’, the undulating water of Lake Laffrey, the alders and above all the Grand Serre mountain, whose colourful hues change as the sun passes over during the day. Miyazaki rises to these challenges with unshaken security and a sense of drama and occasion. The song of the Fauvette des jardins is always forte and often tenaciously relentless and the playing remains persuasive and well shaped with all tenuto’s and accents observed, making this version comparable to the Loriod version of 1973 on Erato that was always the benchmark. The CD concludes with La Dame de Shalott Messiaen’s first acknowledged composition worthy of inclusion in the catalogue of his works. It was never published but Yvonne Loriod recorded a version in 1975 as part of the then ‘Integrale de l’oeuvre pour piano’ on Erato. This is what Messiaen stated in the Erato booklet: “In this “Lady of Shalott” a child’s imagination runs unleashed. Nothing is missing: the castle, the inflection of the spoken word, the song of Lady Shalott (weaving!), Sir Lancelot on horseback, the broken mirror, the tapestry which flies out of the window, the falling willow leaves and the death of the lady who lies in a boat drifting down the river (barcarole!)”. Roger Muraro delivers a guided tour of La Dame de Shalott as part of the bonus DVD in his Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus presentation on Accord. He uses a manuscript supplied (reluctantly) by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and the music is that of her 1975-recorded version. This version is in three parts and here are the names of each musical ‘scene’: Part 1 – The magic castle – peasant’s conversations. Part 2 – The weaver and La Dame d’Shalott singing at the spinning wheel. Part 3 – Sir Lancelot rides on horseback – La Dame sees the knight – The magic mirror breaks – The wind blows the tapestry – The parting of the willow branches where she sees the boat – Finally she dies and drifts away in the boat. Miyazaki was intrigued with L a Dame de Shalott and felt she should include it in a ‘complete works’ recording. To achieve this she had to make a trip to the BNF in France to gain access to the original manuscript, which she duly did but was not able to remove the script or take photos. However, they did allow her to copy it in pencil by hand. So this is the world premiere of the ‘version non remaniée’ (unedited). This version begins as above with Part 1 and 2 and mostly the same material as the Loriod (but for a couple of either mis-read or changed chords in the spinning wheel scene). Then the music proceeds straight into a version of the final scene where La Dame dies and floats away in the boat, after which the piece repeats from the start. So we don’t get Sir Lancelot riding on horseback – La Dame sees the knight – The magic mirror breaks – The wind blows the tapestry – or the parting of the willow branches where she sees the boat. Nonetheless, after 102 years we finally have the original version of La Dame de Shalott and we must thank Haruka Miyazaki for her resourcefulness and dedication. Meticulous care has been taken in the production of this CD, however the empty concert hall acoustic proved a little too reverberant to my ears to suit a sense of ‘outdoors’ in La Fauvette des Jardins. ©M.Ball MESSIAEN EDITION 18 CD BOXED SET. Warner Classics 2564 62162-2 When I was first exposed to the music of Messiaen many years ago now, it was through the French recordings of the Vega and Erato records. It’s easy to forget just how difficult these recordings were to get hold of in those days even though France was a mere 24 miles away, record imports were rare and expensive. Of course nowadays we can obtain a recording from the other side of the world within a couple of days (immediately if it’s available online) such was not the case then. In the mid 80s Erato had the good sense to put together a 17 CD box set of all these early and sometimes first recordings of their Messiaen catalogue. These were presented in a bright rainbow coloured box with all the CDs in hard jewel cases each with their own booklet so the size was not unlike that of a car battery and almost weighing as much! As with many contemporary releases around this time it was soon deleted and became impossible to find. It is these recordings that Warner Classics have resurrected and have had the even better sense to present them in slip in wallets and fold out box where in this case the accompanying booklet weighs more than the CDs and takes up far less space. So I grew up with a lot of this material and although some are more than forty years old now they still stand up as marvellous interpretations. Yes there have been many newer performances as we enter the 21st century and all have merits of one kind or another but we must remember that many of these Erato recordings were supervised by Messiaen himself and this I’m sure gives that ‘something special’ element that is sometimes lacking in present day performances. The Eglise Notre-Dame du Liban was never that well sound proofed and the Paris traffic still rumbles by as Yvonne Loriod bravely soldiers through the Catalogue d’Oiseaux. Rather more disturbing is that Warner decided to introduce a ‘noise gate’ during the transfer of Le Loriot in an attempt to eradicate some pre echo that was present on the original recordings. This has resulted in the natural reverberation of the piano being ‘sucked’ out to an artificial silence after the opening chords. I personally would have lived with the slight pre echo and retained the piano resonance but there you are! And don’t try to skip directly to track 4 of CD17 (Des canyons aux étoiles) as you’ll miss the attack of the first chord. There are a couple of new additions to the set. Turangalila Symphonie and Réveil des Oiseaux are recordings made by Kent Nagano after the composer's death. This reading of Turangalila is surely one of the most exciting but for a mis-placed cymbal crash in the last movement that presumably couldn’t be repaired due it being a live recording. These minor points aside, this set is an invaluable tool to any student or listener coming to Messiaen for the first time as well as seasoned specialists who missed out on the original set. The booklet contains all the original notes (many by Messiaen) and texts to the choral works in English and French. Although we still await re releases of the early Loriod piano material and the Erato Fetes des Belles Eaux recording, the Messiaen Edition is a truly welcome re issue and superb value for money for which Warner Classics must be applauded. ©Malcolm Ball 2005 Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus Yvonne Loriod 1975 (Erato), Pierre-Laurent Aimard 1999 (Teldec) Steven Osborne 2001 (Hyperion) After trawling through various catalogues worldwide it appears that Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus is Messiaen's most recorded piano work since Yvonne Loriod's first recordings on Pathé 78s and subsequent LPs in 1956, my Vega boxed set of which, after wife and child, would probably be the first thing I would grab from a burning house! With so many recordings past and present its been hard to single out individual offerings as most pianists have brought differing characteristics to this work over the years. Indeed its also been interesting to hear how Loriod's own interpretations have changed through time. My first exposure to Vingt Regards was not Loriod but the Hungarian born Thomas Rajna who came to the Wigmore Hall, London to perform the cycle in its entirety I think as part of a tour to promote his newly released recording of the work on 3 LPs for the Saga Record label. Since then there have been offerings from the likes of John Ogden, Malcolm Troup, Michel Béroff, Hakon Austbo, Volker Banfield, Joanna MacGregor, Louise Bessette, Roger Muraro, Angela Hewitt, Jean-Rodolphe Kars and Peter Hill whose complete Messiaen Piano Music is on Regis Records. The three contenders I have chosen represent real landmarks in the recording of Vingt Regards. I was always of the somewhat conceited opinion that a Loriod performance was the definitive - this was until I heard Aimard and Osborne when I realized that as history develops so a new higher level of interpretation develops. It is a fact of life that standards rise and boundaries are broken down, we see this in education constantly but I have to admit that it came as quite a shock to hear these performances and not be disappointed from the word go. After hearing the first two bars of Regard du Pere played by Steven Osborne I thought at last someone (with the exception of Peter Hill) has captured what I think is the true tempo and spirit of this movement. So often it is far too fast as was the case of the then youthful Béroff, or its too muddy and unclear. This is reflected in the timings of this movement: Loriod 5.21, Aimard 6.10 but Osborne a winner at 8.10. I'm not saying that this cosmically slow pace always works, indeed in the last movement where Osborne takes a massive 15.34 to reveal the Church of Love against Aimards 11.59 can seem a bit ponderous - here Loriod gets it just right (as always). Pierre-Laurent Aimard has made a feature of Regard de l'Esprit de joie as an encore in his recitals and his dazzling technical fireworks always brings the house down but generally I found some subtleties in his interpretation less convincing overall. Take for example the slow right hand chords in the 'Rappell de "la Vierge et l'enfant" section of Premiére communion de la Vierge - Aimard comes across as too bell like, almost 'clanky' whereas Loriod and especially Osborne has these chords merely glistening in the heavens. The fiendishly difficult Par Lui tout á été fait has Steven Osborne playing like a man possessed shaving off a good minute and half from Aimard - real edge of the seat stuff! All three seem to reach a happy medium in Regard de l'Esprit de joie with performances around eight and half minutes although Aimard's 'ritual oriental dance and hunt' are swifter. Osborne's bird passages are particularly stunning with crystal clear articulation, speed and colour (I would dearly look forward to a Catalogue d'Oiseaux by this extraordinary pianist) akin to Messiaen's own interpretation of bird passages in his early recordings of Ile de feu 1 and Harawi. One always comes back to the sheer stylish and deep understanding of Yvonne Loriod's playing - she really 'digs in' to all the accents and never misses an articulation so important in Messiaen's piano music where there is so much happening melodically not just between hands but between fingers (for example:' Les bras tendus vers l'amour' in Le baiser de l'enfant Jesus). This Erato set is increasingly hard to find but should still be available. Aimard's and Osborne's are readily available with Osborne's presented in a stylish jewel case and invaluable booklet with notes by Nigel Simeone quoting from Messiaen's own diary entries at the time of composing Vingt Regards. Both the Teldec and the Hyperion recording suffer from the digital characteristic of a slight lack of piano 'depth' in the bass register. This is clearly heard in such movements as La parole toute-puissante and Noël where Messiaen asks for a reverberating tam-tam sound on the lowest three notes of the keyboard. Here they sound a little 'wooden' but the Loriod - Erato scores hands down as the ADD recording captures that growling depth impeccably. If you only have one version of Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus it has to be Yvonne Loriod. If you can have two versions or you can't get hold of the Erato then the Steven Osborne - Hyperion is a must. He has certainly left his mark on this piece with this highly recommended presentation. MB. Olivier Messiaen Live: Improvisations inédites La Praye Disques I stumbled on La Praye, a tiny web site and equally tiny independent label specializing in music for the organ, purely by chance. Based in Rully, France and Montreal, Quebec their small but highly significant catalogue revealed this 2 CD set of Messiaen improvising at the organ of La Trinité. That these recordings came about at all is something of a small two pronged miracle, and is thanks to the ingenuity of Olivier Glandaz the organ builder who since 1977 has been responsible for the maintenance of the organ at La Trinité. It was his idea to make recordings of Messiaen's improvisations during some of the religious ceremonies and Sunday Masses at the church. The other prong of this small miracle is down to Maxime Patel the producer of the CD. Apparently Maxime Patel was approached by Jeanne Loriod in 2001 with an idea to mark the 10th anniversary of Messiaen's death with a release of a CD including Fête des Belles Eaux. Sadly this project was never realized due to the sudden death of Jeanne Loriod the same year. So Patel decided to honour the occasion with the release of these improvisations. Olivier Glandaz recorded these improvisations between 1984 and 1987 using 'non professional' equipment and thanks to the remastering skills of Laurent Olivier we are presented with nearly two and a half hours of the maître at work. Armed only with his little well used book of Gregorian chant melodies, Messiaen weaves his magic over an often spellbound congregation who respond with spontaneous applause giving thanks for bringing into focus musically the lesson that had been read. There are 29 improvisations in all displaying all aspects of Messiaen's organ technique and fondness for the characteristic combination registers of the Trinité organ in styles ranging from the sublime Priére du Christ montant vers son Pére (L'Ascension) and Priére avant la communion (Livre du Saint Sacrement) to fiery toccata moments a la Dieu Parmi Nous. Organ music has always been notorious to record because of the inherent nature of location. The rumble of traffic, the slamming of the odd door has to be accepted on the best recordings and yes there is background noise and yes there is the odd clunking of furniture down below in the church but this never dims the experience of hearing this music in the spirit it was performed and for those of us who were never lucky enough to be part of the congregation at La Trinité these recordings are surely the next best thing. There is a DVD available (see 'resources ' page) which features Messiaen improvising, again an invaluable document but one which lacks the spontaneity induced by a 'live' audience or congregation and that's what makes these CDs so important both to the Messiaen scholar and the interested listener. Sadly these CDs are no longer available commercially (2020) MESSIAEN: Visions de l’Amen; 4 Etudes de rythme; Cantéyodjâya Paul Kim, Matthew Kim, pianos. Centaur Records 2668 -- 73 minutes This is the third release in Paul Kim’s complete Messiaen cycle, which is shaping up to be the new reference recording. In addition to being a terrific pianist, Kim is a true Messiaen scholar, having earned a PhD in musicology from New York University. The research has clearly paid off for these performances: the quality of his sound and gestures is, as the composer’s widow and pianist Yvonne Loriod avers, “perfect in every way.” The pieces collected here are not for the newcomer to Messiaen: they include two difficult works from the late 1940s, one of which (Quatre Etudes de rythmes) is generally credited with—or blamed for—inspiring the spread of serialism after World War II. The other (Cantéyodjâya) is a fast but static collage made from a small handful of quirky musical ideas, which Messiaen has identified with fanciful names of Hindu origin. For the big piece here, the bombastic yet austere Visions de l’Amen of 1943, Kim’s son Matthew, a prodigious young talent, joins him at a second piano. The two play with remarkable single-mindedness, idiosyncratic (and wonderful) voicings, terrific control over a dynamic range from butterfly-wing pianissimo to thundering sforzando, and just enough expression to light up Messiaen’s slabs of sound without diminishing their abstract mystical power. IAN QUINN Read more Paul Kim reviews of Messiaen's piano music at musicweb-international.com/ Unlike several years ago, there are now many recordings of Messiaen's vast piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and Jacqueline Chew's account must rate among the top contenders. This is a fine balanced and well focused recording (perhaps a little light in the bass register which is often inherent with digital recordings) with great clarity and colour. Tempos are generally good throughout and capture Messiaen's complex time scales well. Perhaps Jacqueline Chew's absolute fortissimos dont have quite the shere brute force of Osborne or Aimard but they are nonetheless gripping and powerful. It would have been nice to read some more analytical sleeve notes rather than just Messiaen's score notes. Overall a well presented and engaging package. Dame Gillian Weir and Olivier Messiaen GILLIAN WEIR THE LEGENDARY MESSIAEN RECORDINGS REISSUED "Our generation is the fortunate recipient of this remarkable testament to Gillian Weir's intellectual, spiritual and musical affinity with Messiaen's music. Messiaen's own recordings inspire us, but Gillian Weir's transport us to a seemingly ideal plane, where music, technique and organ sound blend into something greater than their parts." [Organists' Review, February 1995] In the year which marks the 10th Anniversary of the composer's death, Priory Records announces the reissue on its own label of Gillian Weir's legendary recordings of the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen . When the set was originally issued by Collins Classics , critics all over the world were unanimous not only in their praise of the performances, but also in their respect for the fundamental musical affinity between performer and composer. "This corpus of organ music - incontrovertibly the most profound and significant of the twentieth century - has here found a recording which in itself is a landmark in the history of recorded sound" wrote one critic. "There is no doubt that Gillian Weir's recording of the complete Messiaen is the reference by which all other performances will now be judged", wrote another. BBC Music Magazine chose the set as one of its "Best CD's of 1994". The complete cycle - which Messiaen personally urged Gillian Weir to commit to CD - was recorded on the famous organ of Aarhus Cathedral in Denmark during January and February 1994: the original recordings were made in association with BBC Radio 3. Priory have remastered the recordings and made the series available separately for the first time: there are four single CD's, and one double CD, the latter including the Livre du Saint Sacrement. Dame Gillian herself has written booklet notes for the series, reflecting many decades of association with the composer and his organ music. The first CD [PRCD 921 - La Nativite du Seigneur, Le Banquet Celeste, L'Apparition de l'Eglise Eternelle] was issued on 29 October 2002 when Dame Gillian opened the 2002/3 Organ Recital series at London's Royal Festival Hall. These are superb recordings and Priory have done a magnificent job in making them available again with excellent presentation enhanced by Mark Rowan-Hull's artwork inspired and based on Messiaen's music. The fifth and sixth volume are combined into this final 2-CD set. The works include Livre du Sacrement, and three new additional works published after Messiaen's death: • Prélude • Monodie • Offrande au Saint Sacrement These three pieces were not in the original issue of this series, but were recently recorded for this re-release series on the same organ at Århus Cathedral. This disc also contains an exceptional 30-page booklet that is becoming a notable hallmark of each disc in this series: • Notes by the player herself, recognised as a Messiaen authority throughout the world, writer on his organ music in Faber's The Messiaen Companion, and and able to give unique insights into the way a performer thinks about the music; • Reproductions of original paintings by Mark Rowan-Hull who is famous for translating into visual terms his vision of the organ music of Messiaen; • Articles by distinguished scientists from Oxford and London Universities on the latest research into synaesthesia; • Stoplists of the Århus organ as well as La Trinité, with descriptions of Messiaen's experiences and changes he desired on that instrument; • List of organ works, when and if they were published and performed; • Timeline of important milestone's in Messiaen's life. “Gillian Weir's cycle remains the best of all, and she, playing the marvellous Frobenius instrument at Århus, brings that special spaciousness and intensity to the Livre that distinguishes her cycle as a whole... It is, quite simply, one of the finest organ recordings ever made.” Arnold Whittall, October 2004 Awards issue of Gramophone Visit Gillian Weir's Homepage Back to top

  • Yvonne Loriod | Olivier Messiaen

    © Copyright protected YVONNE LORIOD-MESSIAEN (1924 ~ 2010) Yvonne Loriod was born 20 January 1924 in Houilles (Seine et Oise) [Parents Simone and Gaston Loriod and two sisters, Jacqueline and Jeanne Loriod] and died in Saint-Denis, near Paris, on May 17, 2010. She began studying the piano at the age of six with her godmother Madame Eminger-Sivade and by the age of fourteen her repertoire included all the Mozart concertos, all the Beethoven sonatas, the Bach '48' as well as the standard classical and romantic works. When she entered the Paris Conservatoire she also studied harmony, fugue, orchestration and composition enabling her in later life to proof read Messiaens' scores and compile the vocal score for Saint Francois d'Assise . Her teachers were Isidor Philipp, Lazare Levy, Marcel Ciampi, Simone Caussade, Joseph Calvet, C. Estyle as well as Messiaen and Milhaud. During her time at the conservatoire she had won seven premier prix. Although Loriod wrote several works including Grains de cendre (1946) for Ondes Martenot or flute, piano and voice, Pièce sur la souffrance, pour orchestre , probably the only one to be performed in public was Trois Mélopées africaines for flute, ondes Martenot, piano and drum. This was performed with Ginette Martenot, Jan Merry, flute, and percussionist Jacques Boucher on 24th March 1945 at the Société Nationale. From Yvonne Loriod's student exercise or work book. A page from the score of 'Cascatelle dans les roseaux ' for percussion, Ondes Martenot, 2 violins, 2 balafons (African xylophone), wine glasses and guitar. A rare recording of Loriod performing La naissance du geste pour piano et orchestre (The birth of gesture) by Alain Bancquart. Bancquart did much to champion and promote contemporary music. In 1967 he began to study micro-intervals, working to integrate them in musical syntax, at times going so far as greatly to modify the scordatura of certain instruments. In the same spirit he created, with Tolia Nikiprowetsky, a workshop for instrumental music. This workshop, though short-lived (from 1969 to 1970), had as its aim the study of the problems of contemporary instrument making together with the relationships of instruments with contact microphones. He was also the instigator of the creation of the Cdmc (Centre de Documentation de la Musique Contemporaine), and of MFA, Musique Française d’Aujourd’hui, a support body for phonographic recordings. Yvonne Loriod – Orchestre de chambre de la RTF, direction Serge Baudo. France, Paris, Maison de la RTF – 1962 – ORTF, Paris. La naissance du geste pour piano et orchestre Yvonne Loriod 00:00 / 14:41 Submitted by Nicholas Armfelt Submitted by Nicholas Armfelt Friday 28 June 1957 is unlikely to feature prominently in history books. It is not going to go down in infamy, either politically or musically. Britain was nearing the end of a heat-wave, which may explain in part the pitifully small audience of two to three dozen that attended a concert in St Michael-le-Belfrey, a small church that nestles in the shadow of York Minster. There was just one piece on the programme, Messiaen’s Vingt Regards, and the pianist, as in all of the early performances, was Yvonne Loriod. As Colin Mason noted in the Manchester Guardian, Hans Hess, the director of the York Festival, ‘needed not merely courage but a very cool nerve indeed to put this before a festival audience’.1 While the meagre audience may not have done much for festival finances, the concert still reaped a significant dividend for it marked a key moment in the reception of Messiaen’s music in Britain. Until this point, reaction in the mainstream press tended to be hostile or, at best, a grudging acknowledgement of Messiaen’s technical skills strongly tempered by overt distaste for the results. A significant portion of the small audience at the York performance of Vingt Regards numbered critics, one or two doubtless begrudging missing the evening sunshine in order to fulfil their duties. And yet, this little known event was the first in Britain where Messiaen’s music received broadly positive, even enthusiastic coverage. (Abstract from 'Yvonne Loriod as Source and Influence' Christopher Dingle - Messiaen Perspectives 1 ) She performed 22 of Mozart's concertos in a single week with the Lamoureux Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, and Louis Martin and first performed with Messiaen in 1943 for the premiere of his Vision de l'amen. She and Boulez premiered Boulez's Structures, Book 2, in 1961 at Donaueschingen and she taught both at the Paris Conservatoire (1967-89 where she was the youngest professor) and at Darmstadt. Her American debut was the world-premiere performance of Messiaen's Turangalila Symphonie with Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1949. Her phenomenal memory enabled her to learn Bartok's Second Piano Concerto in eight days ready for the first performance at Théatre des Champs-Élyées in Paris on 15th November 1945 with Orchestre National conducted by Manuel Rosenthal. Yvonne Loriod was one of the pupils in Messiaen's first class that he held at the Paris Conservatoire after repatriation on the 7th May 1941. She says of that first encounter that 'all the students waited eagerly for this new teacher to arrive and finally he appeared with music case and badly swollen fingers, a result of his stay in the prisoner of war camp. He proceeded to the piano and produced the full score of Debussys' Prelude á l'apres-Midi d'un Faune and began to play all the parts. The whole class was captivated and stunned and everyone immediately fell in love with him'. Messiaen quickly saw in Yvonne Loriod somebody whose dazzling technique and phenomenal memory could interpret his music as he saw it and anything he wrote was possible to play through her. Messiaen once described her as 'unique, sublime and a brilliant pianist, whose existence transformed not only the composer's way of writing for the piano, but his style, vision of the world and modes of thought' (Goléa 1960). Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus, Visions de l'Amen, Catalogue d'Oiseaux, La Fauvette des Jardins, Petites esquisses d'oiseaux and most of the piano parts in his orchestral works are all dedicated to her. Their working and personal relationship developed over the years and on the 1st July 1961 Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod were married. She has edited Messiaen's massive Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie and continued to perform through the 1990s adjudicating at competitions, including the triennial Concours Olivier Messiaen, Bayreuth, Paris, Munich, Leeds, Aspen and various Messiaen festivals and was Chair for Piano Masterclasses at the Badische Musikhochschule in Karlsruhe. Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen passed away on17th of May 2010, at 17h 30 (5h 30 PM), in Saint Denis, near Paris. She died in peace, in the presence of her sister Jacqueline and the catholic priest in charge of the community in Saint Denis. Her recordings achieved 12 Grand Prix du Disque awards. Click here to view a letter written by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen to music writer (and synaesthes) Louis Latourre three weeks after Messiaen's death. A copy of this letter has been added to other Messiaen documents held at the church La Trinité Paris. Yvonne Loriod (non Messiaen) Recordings Archive As well as the recordings listed here, Yvonne Loriod made many other recordings by composers other than Messiaen. Many I'm sure lay in various radio station archives around the world. Long since deleted items include: Bach - Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor and Prelude in C sharp major. Pathé 78 PDT 110 Bach - Chaconne arr. Busoni. Pathé 78 PDT 149/150 Chopin - Barcarolle in F sharp Op.60. Pathé 78 PDT 152 Messiaen -Vingt Regards excerpts. Pathé 78 PDT 170/113 Messiaen - Preludes 5.1 & 3 Pathé PDT 132 The British Library Sound Archive also hold a copy of Debussy - En Blanc et Noir performed with Pierre Boulez recorded by the BBC in 1965. Back to top Hear and see one of her last interviews covering her lifetime in music: 'Musique Mémoires' with Bruno Serrou, INA France. Homélie du père Jean-Rodolphe Kars pour la messe de funérailles d’Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen Eglise de la Sainte Trinité, Paris 25 mai 2010 Olivier Messiaen et Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen (années 80) Du livre de l’Apocalypse de Saint Jean. [Apocalypse 21] Puis je vis un ciel nouveau, une terre nouvelle - car le premier ciel et la première terre ont disparu, et de mer, il n'y en a plus. Et je vis la Cité sainte, Jérusalem nouvelle, qui descendait du ciel, de chez Dieu ; elle s'est faite belle, comme une jeune mariée parée pour son époux. J'entendis alors une voix clamer, du trône : "Voici la demeure de Dieu avec les hommes. Il aura sa demeure avec eux ; ils seront son peuple, et lui, Dieu-avec-eux, sera leur Dieu. Il essuiera toute larme de leurs yeux : de mort, il n'y en aura plus ; de pleur, de cri et de peine, il n'y en aura plus, car l'ancien monde s'en est allé." Alors, Celui qui siège sur le trône déclara : "Voici, je fais l'univers nouveau." Evangile selon Saint Jean. [Jean 6] Après avoir multiplié les pains, Jésus disait à la foule : "Je suis le pain de vie. Vos pères, dans le désert, ont mangé la manne et sont morts ; ce pain est celui qui descend du ciel pour qu'on le mange et ne meure pas. Je suis le pain vivant, descendu du ciel. Qui mangera ce pain vivra à jamais. Et même, le pain que je donnerai, c'est ma chair pour la vie du monde." …"En vérité, en vérité, je vous le dis, si vous ne mangez la chair du Fils de l'homme et ne buvez son sang, vous n'aurez pas la vie en vous. Qui mange ma chair et boit mon sang a la vie éternelle et je le ressusciterai au dernier jour. Car ma chair est vraiment une nourriture et mon sang vraiment une boisson. Qui mange ma chair et boit mon sang demeure en moi et moi en lui. De même que le Père, qui est vivant, m'a envoyé et que je vis par le Père, de même celui qui me mange, lui aussi vivra par moi. Voici le pain descendu du ciel ; il n'est pas comme celui qu'ont mangé les pères et ils sont morts ; qui mange ce pain vivra à jamais." Homélie (with English translation) - Le 14 mai 1992, en cette église de la Sainte Trinité, la messe solennelle de Requiem pour Olivier Messiaen était célébrée. Bien entendu, Yvonne était présente, très émue et profondément recueillie. Elle était là, avec ses deux sœurs, Jacqueline à nouveau présente aujourd’hui, et Jeanne Loriod, rappelée depuis, à Dieu, en 2001. Le célébrant de cette inoubliable célébration d’il y a dix-huit ans, lui aussi, nous a quittés en 2007. C’était le regretté Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archevêque de Paris. Et déjà, en 1992, Olivier Latry, titulaire des Orgues de Notre Dame de Paris, tenait l’orgue de la Trinité en cette occasion ; et le Chœur grégorien de Paris sous la direction de Louis-Marie Vigne, comme aujourd’hui, animait la liturgie. Dix-huit ans plus tard, nous voici réunis à nouveau pour accompagner Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen de notre prière et de notre affection profonde, dans sa Pâques, dans le grand passage de cette vie à la Vie nouvelle et éternelle. Le fait que tant d’éléments (que je viens de mentionner) soient communs entre la célébration d’il y a dix-huit ans et celle d’aujourd’hui, souligne d’emblée la relation absolument indissoluble entre les deux destinées : celle d’Olivier Messiaen et celle d’Yvonne Loriod. L’illustre et prodigieuse musicienne pianiste a maintenant rejoint son époux. D’ailleurs, si vous me permettez une note de naïveté, je dirais que la photo que vous avez sous les yeux est attendrissante et éloquente : les deux sont maintenant embarqués pour un long voyage dans l’immensité de l’Eternité, à la rencontre du Christ Jésus, qui était au cœur de leur vie, au cœur de leur amour mutuel, au cœur de leur créativité. On May 14, 1992, in this Church of the Holy Trinity, the solemn Requiem Mass for Olivier Messiaen was celebrated. Of course, Yvonne was present, very moved and deeply collected. She was there, with her two sisters, Jacqueline again present today, and Jeanne Loriod, since called to God in 2001. The celebrant of this unforgettable celebration of eighteen years ago, we too left in 2007. He was the late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris. And already, in 1992, Olivier Latry, holder of the Orgues de Notre Dame de Paris, held the organ of the Trinity on this occasion; and the Gregorian Choir of Paris under the direction of Louis-Marie Vigne, as today, animated the liturgy. Eighteen years later, we are reunited again to accompany Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen with our prayer and our deep affection, in her Easter, in the great transition from this life to new and eternal Life. The fact that so many elements (which I have just mentioned) are common between the celebration of eighteen years ago and that of today, immediately underlines the absolutely indissoluble relationship between the two destinies: that of by Olivier Messiaen and that of Yvonne Loriod. The illustrious and prodigious pianist musician has now joined her husband. Moreover, if you allow me a note of naivety, I would say that the photo you have in front of you is touching and eloquent: the two are now embarked on a long journey in the immensity of Eternity, to meet of Christ Jesus, who was at the heart of their life, at the heart of their mutual love, at the heart of their creativity. Il est impossible, dans le cadre de cette célébration, de rendre compte de l’extrême richesse de la vie d’Yvonne. Grâce à son génie, à ses phénoménales capacités, elle a écrit tout un chapitre fascinant de l’Histoire de la musique contemporaine. Richesse manifeste par ses talents et ses prestations, bien sûr, mais aussi richesses intérieures, nécessairement plus connues de ses proches. Une extraordinaire générosité, et même une grande audace dans cette générosité, caractérisait sa relation avec ses amis, avec ses disciples qu’elle arrivait souvent à galvaniser. Son ouverture, son grand sens, très spontané, de l’hospitalité restera dans les mémoires. Et surtout la « cohabitation » en elle entre une inspiration parfois extrêmement élevée (pas seulement en musique, mais aussi en poésie, et même en intuitions théologiques et mystiques)… et un sens extraordinairement concret de l’organisation, et même des travaux domestiques les plus humbles. Au cours de cette célébration, aujourd’hui, il vous revient, chers amis, anciens collègues, anciens élèves d’Yvonne, anciens compagnons fidèles et témoins avec elle de grands événements culturels… et vous aussi les plus proches, les plus intimes,… il vous revient d’explorer dans votre mémoire, dans votre cœur, les inépuisables « archives intérieures » liées à la destinée d’Yvonne, ce qu’elle a été pour vous. It is impossible, in the context of this celebration, to account for the extreme richness of Yvonne’s life. Thanks to her genius, to her phenomenal abilities, she has written a whole fascinating chapter in the history of contemporary music. Wealth manifested by her talents and her services, of course, but also inner riches, necessarily better known to those close to her. An extraordinary generosity, and even a great audacity in this generosity, characterized her relationship with her friends, with her disciples, which she often managed to galvanize. Her openness, her great, very spontaneous sense of hospitality will be remembered. And above all the "cohabitation" in her between an inspiration that is sometimes extremely high (not only in music, but also in poetry, and even in theological and mystical intuitions) ... and an extraordinarily concrete sense of organization, and even of domestic work, more humble. During this celebration, today, it comes back to you, dear friends, former colleagues, former pupils of Yvonne, former faithful companions and witnesses with her to great cultural events ... and you also the closest, the most intimate, ... it is up to you to explore in your memory, in your heart, the inexhaustible “interior archives” linked to Yvonne's destiny, which she was for you. - Certes, nous savons bien que dans l’exploration de ces « archives intérieures », nous trouvons des zones d’ombre, des souvenirs parfois plus douloureux. Comme tout tempérament exceptionnel, celui d’Yvonne connaissait des fragilités. Cela fait partie de ce qu’on pourrait appeler la « météorologie » humaine. La vie humaine (et spirituelle) est analogue à une longue ascension en montagne. Le sentier passe parfois par des zones abruptes, la montée connaît des turbulences. A certains moments, les relations avec Yvonne pouvaient être orageuses. C’est lorsqu’on arrive enfin au sommet de la montagne et qu’on contemple toute la trajectoire d’en haut, que lumières et ombres s’unifient. Et à nous, qui célébrons cette liturgie, il nous revient de rassembler toute cette mémoire pour l’unifier en action de grâces à Dieu, Lui qui aujourd’hui accueille Yvonne et accomplit sa destinée dans sa Lumière, dans son Mystère d’Amour rédempteur. Il nous revient de rendre grâces pour ce qu’elle a été, et ce qu’elle est pour Dieu, et pour ce que Dieu a été, et est pour elle. - Of course, we are well aware that in the exploration of these "interior archives" we find gray areas, sometimes more painful memories. Like any exceptional temperament, Yvonne's was frail. It is part of what you might call human "meteorology". Human (and spiritual) life is analogous to a long mountain climb. The trail sometimes passes through steep areas, the climb is turbulent. At times, relations with Yvonne could be stormy. It’s when you finally get to the top of the mountain and contemplate the entire path from above, that lights and shadows unify. And to us, who are celebrating this liturgy, it is up to us to bring together all this memory to unify it in thanksgiving to God, He who today welcomes Yvonne and fulfills his destiny in his Light, in his Mystery of redemptive Love. . It is up to us to give thanks for what she was, and what she is for God, and for what God was, and is for her. - Car en définitive, ce qui a constamment fondé l’exceptionnelle énergie et l’exceptionnelle efficacité d’Yvonne, c’est sa foi intrépide. Une adhésion de tout son être au trésor de la foi catholique. Au-delà de ce qui pouvait parfois paraître comme l’expression d’une foi « naïve » – la foi du charbonnier – il y avait une compréhension fulgurante du Mystère du Christ, de la Trinité, de l’Eglise, des sacrements. Le sacrement de l’Eucharistie, avec sa promesse de Résurrection, telle que nous venons de l’entendre dans l’Évangile de Jean, était au cœur de sa vie, comme de celle d’Olivier. Il y a plus de quarante ans, une personne m’avait raconté, qu’ayant demandé à Yvonne où elle puisait toute cette confiance, cette assurance au sein d’initiatives parfois téméraires (il s’agissait de programmes de concerts appris en un temps record, avec des œuvres épuisantes de difficulté), Yvonne lui a fait cette réponse : « C’est simple, je me nourris de Jésus ». Réponse presque scandaleuse pour la raison « raisonnante »… réponse si proche des paroles mêmes de Jésus dans l’Évangile d’aujourd’hui : « Celui qui mange ma chair… a la vie éternelle ». Il y a une dizaine d’années, Yvonne (qui avait beaucoup de talents secrets) a écrit un poème admirable, inédit, en hommage à des prêtres âgés… On y trouve des accents proches du poème des « Trois Petites Liturgies… » d’Olivier Messiaen. Il me plaît de mentionner cet épisode en cette année sacerdotale voulue par Benoît XVI pour l’Eglise Catholique. - Because in the end, what has consistently founded Yvonne's exceptional energy and exceptional efficiency is her intrepid faith. A commitment of all one's being to the treasure of the Catholic faith. Beyond what might at times seem like an expression of "naive" faith - the faith of the coalman - there was a dazzling understanding of the Mystery of Christ, of the Trinity, of the Church, of the sacraments. The sacrament of the Eucharist, with its promise of Resurrection, as we have just heard it in the Gospel of John, was at the heart of his life, like that of Olivier. More than forty years ago, a person told me that having asked Yvonne where she drew all this confidence, this assurance within sometimes reckless initiatives (these were concert programs learned in a record, with exhausting works of difficulty), Yvonne gave him this answer: "It's simple, I feed on Jesus". An almost scandalous response for the "reasoning" reason ... a response so close to the very words of Jesus in today's Gospel: "He who eats my flesh ... has eternal life." About ten years ago, Yvonne (who had a lot of secret talents) wrote an admirable poem, unpublished, in homage to elderly priests… There are accents close to the poem of “Three Small Liturgies…” by Olivier Messiaen. I am pleased to mention this episode in this year for the priesthood desired by Benedict XVI for the Catholic Church. - Les dernières années de la vie d’Yvonne ont été très douloureuses. Sa foi rayonnante a été obscurcie par l’épreuve et par le dépouillement progressif et rapide de ses facultés. « Les toutes dernières années de la vie d’Yvonne ont été comme un déchirement, nous dit sa sœur Jacqueline. Depuis quatre ans, elle n’était plus celle qu’on avait connue. Elle l’est vraiment redevenue maintenant ». C’est le moment de remercier particulièrement les personnes ici présentes qui ont assisté Yvonne avec un dévouement inlassable jusqu’au moment du passage. En particulier sa sœur aînée Jacqueline… et les Petites Sœurs des pauvres de Saint Denis, tout particulièrement Mère Caroline et Mère Isabelle, ainsi que les autres sœurs, si dévouées et si proches au moment de l’épreuve. Nous voulons saluer avec affection Marie-France, fille de Jacqueline et nièce d’Yvonne ; et Martine, filleule d’Olivier et d’Yvonne. Qu’il nous soit permis aussi de remercier de tout cœur Olivier Latry et le Chœur grégorien de Paris pour leur participation intense à cette célébration. Enfin merci de leur présence amicale, reconnaissante et fidèle, aux amis, anciens élèves, organisateurs de concerts, éditeurs, compositeurs ayant bénéficié du génie et des phénoménales capacités d'Yvonne. - The last years of Yvonne’s life have been very painful. Her radiant faith has been clouded by trial and the gradual and rapid stripping of her faculties. “The very last years of Yvonne’s life have been heartbreaking,” her sister Jacqueline tells us. For four years she hadn't been the one we had known. She's really back to that now. " Now is the time to give special thanks to those in attendance who have assisted Yvonne with tireless dedication until the moment of passage. In particular her older sister Jacqueline ... and the Little Sisters of the Poor of Saint Denis, especially Mother Caroline and Mother Isabelle, as well as the other sisters, so devoted and so close at the time of the ordeal. We want to greet with affection Marie-France, daughter of Jacqueline and niece of Yvonne; and Martine, goddaughter of Olivier and Yvonne. May we also be allowed to thank Olivier Latry and the Gregorian Choir of Paris for their intense participation in this celebration. Finally, thank you for their friendly, grateful and faithful presence to friends, alumni, concert organizers, publishers, composers who have benefited from Yvonne's genius and phenomenal abilities. - Revenons un instant à la liturgie d'aujourd'hui. Dans la préface des défunts que nous entendrons tout à l'heure, il est écrit : « Pour tous ceux qui croient en Toi, Seigneur, la vie n'est pas détruite, elle est transformée ; et lorsque prend fin leur séjour sur la terre, ils ont déjà une demeure éternelle dans les cieux ». Cette assurance de transformation, de transfiguration, remplit le cœur du croyant d'une secrète jubilation. Et pour vous, amis qui peut-être ne partagez pas (ou pas encore) notre foi, que cette affirmation de l'Église fasse au moins naître une interrogation intérieure... une lumière, même si elle est encore ténue, qui fait poindre l'espérance... l'espérance que l'échec et la mort ne sont pas le point final de notre vie transitoire d'ici-bas. En fait, la liturgie que nous célébrons aujourd'hui nous fait entrevoir que notre propre vie peut, si nous le voulons bien, devenir « liturgie », célébration, qui nous conduit à la Jérusalem nouvelle (et pour nous encore invisible) dont parle la première lecture d'aujourd'hui. La vie d'Yvonne a été une liturgie, à travers lumières et ombres. Il me semble, chers amis, que toute la vie extérieure et intérieure d’Yvonne s'exprime comme en une sorte de synthèse à travers deux vidéos que vous pouvez trouver sur le site Internet You Tube. On la voit et on l'entend jouer une longue pièce ornithologique pour piano solo intitulée « Le Moqueur Polyglotte », neuvième pièce de l'œuvre orchestrale « Des canyons aux étoiles... » d'Olivier Messiaen. Toute Yvonne est là, dans son interprétation de cette pièce : son audace, son perfectionnisme, son humilité émerveillée, son jeu jubilatoire... Et quand les deux derniers accords retentissent et se prolongent en une longue résonance, on a presque la sensation du passage du monde visible à la mystérieuse Gloire, encore lointaine pour nous, de la Jérusalem d'en haut. - Let us return for a moment to today's liturgy. In the preface to the deceased that we will hear later, it is written: “For all those who believe in You, Lord, life is not destroyed, it is transformed; and when their sojourn on earth ends, they already have an eternal home in heaven ”. This assurance of transformation, of transfiguration, fills the heart of the believer with a secret jubilation. And for you, friends who perhaps do not (or not yet) share our faith, may this affirmation of the Church at least give rise to an interior questioning ... a light, even if it is still tenuous, which brings forth hope ... hope that failure and death are not the end point of our transitory life here below. In fact, the liturgy we are celebrating today gives us a glimpse that our own life can, if we wish, become a “liturgy”, a celebration, which leads us to the new Jerusalem (and for us still invisible) of which the first reading today. Yvonne's life has been a liturgy, through lights and shadows. It seems to me, dear friends, that all of Yvonne’s outer and inner life is expressed as a sort of synthesis through two videos that you can find on the You Tube website. We see and hear her playing a long ornithological piece for solo piano entitled "Le Mockeur Polyglotte", the ninth piece of the orchestral work "Des canyons aux étoiles ..." by Olivier Messiaen. All of Yvonne is there, in her interpretation of this piece: her daring, her perfectionism, her amazed humility, her jubilant playing ... from the visible world to the mysterious Glory, still distant for us, from Jerusalem above. - Nous voici revenus, tout naturellement, à ce que nous disions au début : la relation indissoluble des destinées d'Olivier Messiaen et d'Yvonne Loriod. Il a été dit et redit qu’elle n’a pas seulement été son interprète mais aussi son inspiratrice. Nous savons que la composition des « Visions de l’Amen », des « Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus », du « Catalogue d’oiseaux », est due en grande partie à la confiance de Messiaen en les capacités musicales et pianistiques prodigieuses d’Yvonne (qui, nous le rappelons, est devenue son épouse en 1961, deux ans après la mort de la première femme du compositeur, Claire Delbos). Puis, après le départ de Messiaen en 1992, nous avons cette somme qu’est le gigantesque « Traité de rythme, de couleurs et d’ornithologie » en sept volumes, qui n’a pu voir le jour que grâce au travail acharné d’Yvonne. Elle seule pouvait le faire. Elle a rendu, de manière cachée, un service inestimable aux générations futures, à tous ceux aussi qui n’ont pas eu la possibilité d’assister aux enseignements analytiques de Messiaen pendant près de quarante ans. Qu’elle soit particulièrement remerciée pour cela. - We are now back, quite naturally, to what we said at the beginning: the indissoluble relationship between the destinies of Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod. It has been said over and over again that she was not only his interpreter but also his inspiration. We know that the composition of the "Visions of the Amen", of the "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus", of the "Catalogue d'oiseaux", is largely due to Messiaen's confidence in her musical and pianistic abilities, Yvonne's prodigious (who, we recall, became his wife in 1961, two years after the death of the composer's first wife, Claire Delbos). Then, after the departure of Messiaen in 1992, we have this summa which is the gigantic "Treatise of rhythm, colors and ornithology" in seven volumes, which could only see the light of day thanks to the hard work of Yvonne. Only she could do it. She has rendered, in a hidden way, an invaluable service to future generations, also to all those who have not had the opportunity to attend the analytical teachings of Messiaen for nearly forty years. Special thanks for this. - « Et Dieu essuiera toute larme de leurs yeux ». Ce verset du Livre de l’Apocalypse que nous avons entendu en première lecture nous amène à la conclusion de notre homélie. Ces paroles sont reprises par Messiaen comme titre de l’une des pièces de son œuvre orchestrale ultime « Eclairs sur l’Au-delà… ». Il s’agit de son œuvre ultime achevée. Cette œuvre est composée de onze pièces. Messiaen en avait esquissé les commentaires. C’est Yvonne, en fait, qui a réellement rédigé ces commentaires… Nous lui laissons la parole, avec des extraits du commentaire de la dixième pièce, « Le chemin de l’invisible », et de la onzième pièce, « Le Christ, lumière du Paradis ». En l’écoutant, nous l’accompagnons actuellement dans ce mystérieux pèlerinage de son âme, tel qu’elle semble l’avoir vécu à l’avance en rédigeant naguère ces notes, alors qu’elle était dans le deuil de son illustre époux. - "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes". This verse from the Book of Revelation that we heard on first reading brings us to the conclusion of our homily. These words are taken up by Messiaen as the title of one of the pieces from his final orchestral work " Eclairs sur l’Au-delà…". This is his ultimate completed work. This work is made up of eleven pieces. Messiaen had sketched the comments. It was Yvonne, in fact, who really wrote these comments ... We leave the floor to her, with excerpts from the commentary on the tenth play, "The path of the invisible", and the eleventh play, "Christ, light of Heaven ”. Listening to her, we are accompanying her at this time on this mysterious pilgrimage of her soul, as she seems to have experienced it in advance when writing these notes, while she was in mourning for her illustrious husband. Donc extraits du commentaire de la pièce « Le chemin de l’invisible » : « Il faut suivre ce chemin toute la vie. On n’arrive au bout qu’à l’heure de la mort […] Impression d’une foule qui gravit une montagne […] Aucun repos dans cette pièce […] Le chemin est long, la montée est dure. Seul le Christ peut éclairer cette voie aride et caillouteuse qui mène à la Paix sur le sommet de la montagne lumineuse. » So excerpts from the commentary for the play "The Path of the Invisible": "You have to follow this path all your life. We only arrive at the end of the hour of death […] Impression of a crowd climbing a mountain […] No rest in this room […] The road is long, the climb is hard. Only Christ can illuminate this arid and stony way which leads to Peace on the summit of the luminous mountain. " Et maintenant extraits du commentaire de la pièce « Le Christ, lumière du Paradis » : « C’est l’arrivée, le Bonheur, le Paradis, la Lumière qui est le Christ et qui éclaire l’Eternité […] Cette dernière (pièce) est l’aboutissement de toute la vie. La page est tournée, la terre est loin, le temps est aboli, c’est un présent de bonheur qui ne finira plus. L’Amour infini du Christ dans l’âme qui le contemple… » And now extracts from the commentary on the play "Christ, light of Paradise": "It is the arrival, Happiness, Paradise, the Light which is Christ and which illuminates Eternity [...] This last (play ) is the culmination of all life. The page is turned, the earth is far away, time is over, it is a gift of happiness that will never end. The infinite Love of Christ in the soul that contemplates him ... " Signé : Yvonne LORIOD-MESSIAEN C’est là qu’il faut la chercher désormais… là, dans ce que nous venons d’entendre… La réalité de sa vie se trouve là, et non pas dans la matière froide du tombeau. Amen. This is where she must be viewed for now ... there, in what we have just heard ... The reality of her life is there, and not in the cold matter of the tomb. Amen. Lectures (choisies pour cette célébration, par le père Jean-Rodolphe Kars) Thoughts and obituaries Muso magazine – August / September 2010 issue VISIONS Yvonne Loriod is synonymous with the music of Olivier Messiaen, but her legacy is an inspiration in its own terms, writes former pupil and pianist Matthew Schellhorn With the death of Yvonne Loriod on 17 May this year, the musical world lost not only a great pianist and teacher but also the catalyst behind some of the 20th century’s most extraordinary music. For some 50 years she was personally linked to Olivier Messiaen, first as his pupil, then as his muse and dedicatee, then as his wife and pre-eminent interpreter. She was also, to me and to many others, an inspiration. I first met Yvonne Loriod in 1994, two years after Messiaen’s death, when I was a pupil at Chetham’s School of Music. My music teacher had arranged for me to visit her in her dressing room at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall, where she was giving a performance of Réveil des oiseaux that evening. I was already in love with Messiaen’s music, and was preparing to perform Visions de l’Amen – the first work written by Messiaen for Loriod, and which she and the composer premiered in 1943. It made a huge impression on me to meet the very person for whom the piece was written. Seeing Loriod perform in concert – on this occasion in partnership with her sister, Jeanne, on ondes Martenot – was also a wonderful spectacle: the two venerable ladies, dressed in matching multicoloured voluminous dresses, captivated the audience with irresistible flair and panache. Loriod’s playing was, in a word, extraordinary. A child prodigy, who had learned the whole of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas by the age of 14, her pianism was so mature and powerful by the time Messiaen met her in 1941 that it gave him a blank canvas. He is quoted as saying: ‘I could allow myself the greatest eccentricities because to her anything is possible. I knew I could invent very difficult, very extraordinary, and very new things: they would be played, and played well.’ While Messiaen’s early piano style had been rooted in organ-like textures, now he gave free rein to his imagination. So followed a stream of pieces written specifically with Loriod’s remarkable gifts in mind. After Visions de l’Amen came Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (‘Twenty gazes on the Christ-child’, 1944), and then the enormous Turangalîla-Symphonie (1946-48) – ‘like a piano concerto’, Messiaen described it. Many other works for piano and orchestra followed, but of all the works written for Loriod it is the epic piano cycle Catalogue d’oiseaux (‘Bird Catalogue’, 1956-58) that encapsulates how her incisive playing provided Messiaen with the ‘voice’ his music most required. In her great 1970 recording of the Catalogue, the rhythmic precision and the voicing is belied by the seeming naturalness of the playing. Loriod can be seen in many pictures following the composer in the fields and woods with a tape recorder. Messiaen, of course, delighted in the double entendre of Loriod’s name: in French, Le Loriot is the Golden Oriole, a bird that in the Catalogue has a movement of its own. It was my privilege to prepare the other solo bird pieces, La Fauvette des jardins (‘The Garden Warbler’, 1970) and the Petites esquisses d’oiseaux (‘Small Bird Sketches’, 1985), with Loriod in my mid-twenties. I remember her gift for (vocal) mimicry, and the enthusiasm with which she would continually rush to the bookcase to get books on birds – all duly described in purely anthropomorphic terms, of course. Most of all, I remember the joy she experienced hearing her husband’s music – she always referred to him as Messiaen – music she herself knew so well, and which she must have played and heard hundreds of times. Loriod was always inquisitive about the new music I was playing, and I was pleased to be able to tell her about the works I was premiering. Her championing of new music takes on a significance when one considers the lesser-known fact that she was a talented composer in her own right. She was modest about her unusual and intriguing musical works. Mostly premiered during the 1940s, they are characterised by their unusual combinations of instruments (Pièces africaines is scored for a bizarre ensemble of flute, oboe, ondes Martenot, guitar, bongos, timpani and two pianos, for example). It is perhaps this personal affinity with Messiaen’s vocation, combined with her other phenomenal skills, which gave this lady the edge in terms of her ability to communicate Messiaen’s music. Yvonne Loriod’s life and career testify to the fact that all new music needs passionate advocates, and all performers have a role to play in the creative process. Matthew Schellhorn Pianist Matthew Schellhorn and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in 2005 (Photo:©Matthew Schellhorn) YVONNE LORIOD-MESSIAEN – Obituary for International Record Review (June 2010) By Nigel Simeone Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen died at Saint-Denis, near Paris, on May 17, 2010, at the age of 86. Born on January 20, 1924 at Houilles (Seine-et-Oise), she studied the piano at the Paris Conservatoire – her teachers included Lazare-Lévy, Isidore Philippe and Marcel Ciampi – and composition with Darius Milhaud. But most important was her encounter on May 7, 1941 with the Conservatoire’s newly-appointed harmony teacher, Olivier Messiaen. Loriod recalled that first class in minute detail – Messiaen pulled a well-thumbed miniature score of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune from his pocket and told the class that it was one of the pieces that he had been allowed to take with him into the prison camp at Görlitz from which he had been liberated a few weeks earlier. It was a meeting that was soon to yield extraordinary results. The first came from a commission Messiaen received in December 1942 from Denise Tual for the Concerts de la Pléiade. In response to this, he composed Visions de l’Amen for two pianos. The first part – elaborate, virtuosic and brilliantly coloured – was written specifically to suit Loriod’s dazzling technique, while the second, dominated by large chords, was written for Messiaen to play. Loriod was just 19 years old when they gave the première of this piece at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris on 10 May 1943, one of the most significant first performances to be given in the city during the German Occupation. Loriod’s playing was to be a major source of inspiration for Messiaen over the next half century. Straight after Visions, he composed Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus using innovative techniques that evolved from Loriod’s playing. Messiaen wrote that the work “contains many pianistic traits and special effects – a small revolution in writing for the piano – that could certainly never have been realised if I hadn’t heard Yvonne Loriod’s earliest concerts.” Messiaen’s greatest piano works constitute a striking example of a composer’s style of writing being directly influenced by the performer for whom he was composing. The dedication of the printed score of the Vingt Regards reads simply “À Yvonne Loriod”, but an unpublished version suggests a deeper musical relationship: “À Yvonne Loriod, dont la technique égale le génie, et qui a compris ma mission” [To Yvonne Loriod, whose technique matches her genius, and who has understood my mission]. In the years to come, Messiaen composed solo and concerted works for piano all of which were written with Loriod in mind, including the flamboyant piano part of the Turangalîla-Symphonie (which Messiaen often described as “like a piano concerto”), to the grandest and most inventive of all his piano cycles, the Catalogue d’Oiseaux. The first complete performance of the Catalogue d’Oiseaux took place in April 1959, the same month that Messiaen’s first wife Claire Delbos died after many years of illness. Almost every weekend, Loriod had accompanied Messiaen to visit Claire in the nursing home where she spent the last few years of her life. Loriod’s devotion and support during this difficult and distressing time was of critical importance to Messiaen. Two years after Claire’s death, Loriod and Messiaen married, and spent their honeymoon in Japan. The musical result was another work for Loriod: the Sept Haïkaï. In Messiaen’s later years, many of his finest pieces were written for her, or featured important piano parts for her to play. As well as La Fauvette des jardins – Messiaen’s postscript to the Catalogue d’Oiseaux and his longest single movement for piano – he composed a number of works for piano and small orchestra or ensemble – including the marvellous Oiseaux exotiques, Couleurs de la Cité céleste and Des Canyons aux étoiles. His last solo piano work was the exquisite (but fiendishly difficult) set of miniatures Petites esquisses d’oiseaux. Loriod told the charming story of how this piece came as a complete surprise to her. In July 1985,Messiaen and Loriod arrived in Petichet to spend the summer months in the peace and quiet of the Dauphiné. For several weeks the composer told his wife that he was not to be disturbed in his studio as he needed to concentrate on correcting proofs. In fact, he was hard at work composing the Petites esquisses, which he presented one day to Yvonne as an entirely unexpected gift. From the start of her career, Loriod was an apostle for new music. She was encouraged to explore new music by her godmother Nelly Sivade – who had given Yvonne some of her earliest piano lessons. She gave a monthly series of private recitals in Mme Sivade’s house, starting in about 1940. The composers who came to hear her play their works included Jolivet, Honegger, Poulenc and Migot. Coincidentally, Mme Sivade lived at 53 rue Blanche, just up the road from La Trinité where Messiaen was organist. At the same time, she also learned Messiaen’s Préludes, and it was at Mme Sivade’s in 1943 that Loriod and Messiaen rehearsed Visions de l’Amen, and gave a private performance on the eve of its première to an audience of a dozen people including Poulenc, Jolivet and Honegger. She attended Messiaen’s private classes (held at Guy Bernard-Delapierre’s house) with Pierre Boulez whose music she played regularly, especially the Second Sonata and Structures: Loriod and Yvette Grimaud gave the first complete performance of Book I at Cologne in 1953, and Loriod and Boulez introduced Book II at Donaueschingen in 1961, as well as giving several early performances of the Second Sonata. Loriod certainly didn’t restrict herself to modern French repertoire. After two other French pianists had declared the work unplayable, she gave the successful Paris première of Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto (a concert reviewed enthusiastically by Messiaen among others), and was one of the few pianists in Paris in the 1950s to play the music of Berg, Schoenberg and Webern. In Autumn 1964, with Messiaen’s enthusiastic encouragement (which extended to writing several cadenzas for her – unpublished – as well as all the programme notes), Loriod gave a complete cycle of Mozart piano concertos in a marathon series of concerts with conductors including Boulez and Bruno Maderna. Though many of these pieces were still a rarity in the concert hall, Loriod had known them all since her teens (along with a dauntingly extensive repertoire of solo works). Loriod began making records in the mid-1940s for Pathé, recorded extensively for Véga/Adès in the 1950s, and subsequently for Erato, with appearances on other labels including Deutsche Grammophon and Koch. Her recorded legacy is substantial and, in some respects, surprising. Not only is there a large body of contemporary music, including all the works Messiaen composed for her (many of them recorded more than once) along with music by Boulez, Barraqué, Charles Chaynes, Berg, Schoenberg, and Webern, but there also some important cornerstones of the standard repertoire: Beethoven’s Hammerklavier, a dozen of the Chopin Études and Barcarolle, Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, Schumann’s Novelettes, solo works and concertos by Mozart, keyboard music by Bach, Debussy’s Études, and Albéniz’s Iberia – a set for which Messiaen wrote the sleeve notes – as well as the piano parts in Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain and Stravinsky’s Petrushka. At the Paris Conservatoire – where she was appointed as a piano professor in her 20s – Loriod’s pupils included several outstanding players of Messiaen’s music, notably Michel Béroff, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Roger Muraro, as well as George Benjamin (at the same time he was studying composition with Messiaen) and Paul Crossley. She was a devoted teacher, and following her retirement from the Conservatoire she gave advice to a number of younger players, including Steven Osborne and Matthew Schellhorn. Though Loriod was very reticent on the subject, she was a talented composer. Her Trois Mélopées africaines– for voice, flute and ondes Martenot – were performed at the Société Nationale de Musique in March 1945, and reflect her own interest in non-European music and literature, as well as her enthusiasm for unusual instrumental combinations. The following year her Petits poèmes mystiques were written for Marcelle Bunlet (Messiaen’s favourite dramatic soprano) and Irène Joachim (the legendary Mélisande), and an ensemble including several percussion instruments, piccolo, harp and piano. Grains de cendre, also written in 1946, is a song cycle for soprano, flute and piano using texts inspired by Arabic poetry and scored for voice, flute and piano. This was broadcast on October 15, 1948, by the soprano Gabrielle Dumaine, flautist Jacques Mule, and Loriod herself. An earlier set of Pièces africaines for instrumental ensemble dates from 1943. The four movements entitled Râga, Chanson soudanaise, Berceuse and Chant d’une Ksourienne, scored for the extraordinary combination of flute, oboe, ondes Martenot, guitar, bongos, timpani and two pianos. The influence of African and Arabian subjects is intriguing and shows considerable originality, not least because Messiaen and Milhaud (Loriod’s composition teacher) tended to look further East (to India) or West (to South America). After Messiaen’s death, Loriod continued to perform his music with undiminished vigour, but she also took on the gigantic task of co-editing Messiaen’s Traité de rythme, as well as preparing new editions of several works, and completing the Concert à quatre. In addition, she also worked for almost ten years on putting her husband’s archives in order. It was in connection with this that I had many encounters with Yvonne Loriod, and these are cherished memories. I saw her on a number of occasions between 2001 and 2005, and for three months in the autumn of 2002 I worked almost every day in the studio adjacent to her apartment, where she had carefully arranged Messiaen’s private archives, and – with great generosity – made it all available. Better still from my point of view, whenever I had questions about an event or a person, she was on hand to provide answers, and often told me much more than I had dared hope, providing detailed reminiscences, and speaking with moving candour about her evolving relationship with Messiaen. It was remarkable that at no point during the writing of the biography of Messiaen that I co-wrote with Peter Hill did she seek to intervene in any way. Instead she urged us not to write a hagiography, and to tell the story as we thought best; she gave blanket permission to use whatever documents we wanted, and saw none of the text until the finished book was printed. When the first copy came off the presses, I took it straight to Yvonne in Paris. She sat down with the book, sat me opposite, produced a large pot of strong coffee, and began to read. An anxious two hours later – and to my immense relief – she smiled broadly, and pronounced herself happy with the results. As well as a being serious-minded, utterly dedicated to the music she was playing, and expecting others to live and work by the same exacting standards that she set herself, Loriod had a whimsical and mischievous side too, and a wicked sense of humour. In particular, I remember a taxi journey from the Châtelet Theatre back to her flat in Montmartre in 2002. Myung-Whun Chung had just conducted a superb Turangalîla with Roger Muraro as an inspired soloist (“You know”, she said at the end, “it’s such a lovely change for me to hear someone else playing this piece!”). The cab ride afterwards yielded half an hour of delicious musical gossip that was as funny as it was (and is) unrepeatable. Her last public performance was in Berlin in 2002 (La Transfiguration, with Kent Nagano) but she continued to attend concerts of Messiaen’s music (including a few during the composer’s centenary year in 2008, when she was already very ill) and to serve on the jury of the Messiaen piano competition, until retreating from public life, spending her final years being cared for by the Petites Soeurs des Pauvres in Saint-Denis. Nigel Simeone Yvonne Loriod: Pianist who became the muse and foremost interpreter of the works of her husband Olivier Messiaen Thursday, 20 May 2010. The Independent Yvonne Loriod's name will always be connected with that of her husband Olivier Messiaen, whose piano works she championed faithfully for six decades. Indeed, one of her best-known students, Paul Crossley, made a telling analogy: "The musical partnership of Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod was, I am quite certain, as important as that of Robert and Clara Schumann. Like Clara Schumann, Yvonne Loriod was muse, companion, adored wife, interpreter par excellence and – for lucky privileged people like me – inspired teacher." Messiaen was unstinting in his praise of this "unique, sublime and brilliant pianist, whose existence transformed not only the composer's way of writing for the piano, but his style, vision of the world and modes of thought". Pierre-Laurent Aimard, another of her star pupils, identified the change: "Before they met, his piano music reflected his organist's background: it was less virtuosic, less challenging, it had less variety. And all of a sudden he integrated all the brilliant pianistic ability of this young prodigy." Messiaen's music demands brilliance and precision and Loriod's complete technical control – her rhythmic accuracy, her control of tone, her pedalling, her ear for colour – made her its perfect vehicle. She began studying the piano at the age of six and at 11 transferred to her Austrian godmother, Nelly Eminger-Sivade. By the time she was 14, she had under her fingers all 32 Beethoven sonatas, the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach's Well-Templered Klavier, all the Mozart concertos, Chopin and Schumann, and most of the rest of the standard repertoire – she was, in Aimard's words, "a monster in the best sense of the term!" This rollercoaster of achievement continued at the Paris Conservatoire. Her piano teachers there read as a roll-call of the great and good in the French piano tradition: Isidor Philipp, Lazare-Lévy and Marcel Ciampi. She took Simone Caussade's fugue class, as well as studying harmony (with André Bloch), orchestration and composition. Her ability and appetite for work brought her no fewer than seven premiers prix at the Conservatoire. She would return to the Conservatoire as a professor in 1967, remaining for a quarter-century. Her first encounter with Messiaen came in May 1941 when he was released from a German POW camp in Silesia and could return to teach at the Conservatoire, as she later recalled: "all the students waited eagerly for this new teacher to arrive and finally he appeared with music case and badly swollen fingers, a result of his stay in the prisoner of war camp. He proceeded to the piano and produced the full score of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un Faune and began to play all the parts. The whole class was captivated and stunned and everyone immediately fell in love with him." Musical life in occupied Paris naturally took on non-musical symbolism, as in the defiant series of 10 concerts organised by Denise Tual, the founder of the "Concerts de la Pléiades", which mixed contemporary French music, neglected older works and pieces from abroad. Tual's commission to Messiaen resulted in the Visions de l'Amen, a huge cycle of seven pieces for two pianos first performed on 9 May 1943 – by the composer and Loriod – at a private run-through chez Madame Eminger-Sivade, where their audience included the publisher Gaston Gallimard, Claire Delbos (Messiaen's wife) and the composers Arthur Honegger, André Jolivet, Francis Poulenc and Gustave Samazeuilh. The "public" premiere (it was an invited audience) took place a day later. The pattern of their lives was now set, Loriod's presence lubricating Messiaen's imagination; he once said that knowing she would be playing his music allowed him to indulge in "the greatest eccentricities". Work after work was dedicated to her: the massive Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus (1944), the Catalogue d'Oiseaux (1956–58), La fauvette des jardins (1970), Petites esquisses d'oiseaux (1985). Many of his other works had a prominent piano part, composed with Loriod in mind, among them the Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine, another Tual-Pléiades commission (1943–44), the Turangalîla-Symphonie, a commission from Serge Koussevitzky in Boston (1946–48) – its premiere, in 1949, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein, constituted her US debut – and Oiseaux exotiques (1955–56). Messiaen's devout Catholicism found reflections of the divine everywhere he looked; birds thus became "God's musicians" and, with Loriot driving him around the countryside, he notated birdsong with a passion, incorporating it into his own compositions. He observed with delight that her surname is the French word for "oriole". But Loriod did not live on a musical diet of Messiaen alone. In November 1945 she learned Bartók's Second Piano Concerto in eight days, for a performance in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with the Orchestre National conducted by Manuel Rosenthal – an illustration of the "phenomenal memory" Pierre-Laurent Aimard observed. She premiered Book 2 of Pierre Boulez's two-piano Structures with the composer at Donaueschingen in 1961. Four years later she played 22 Mozart concertos in five weeks, with the Orchestre Lamoureux under a team of conductors (Bruno Maderna, Pierre Boulez and Louis Martin). And her recordings of Jean Barraqué's Sonata and Boulez's Second – both of which she had premiered – were landmarks at a time when almost no other pianist was involved in this repertoire. In the long run she was to win no fewer than 12 Grands Prix du Disque. Messiaen, though, was the lodestar, and it was no surprise when in July 1961 – two years after the death of his first wife, Claire Delbos, who had long been institutionalised through mental illness – he and Loriod were married. They had been in love for years; their faith meant they could not act on it until his first wife had died. He then moved into Loriod's flat in Montmartre, which they gradually expanded as neighbouring properties became available. They lived simply, amid Bibles and music, with Loriod acting as musical factotum as well as executant. Perhaps her most devoted act was the preparation of the vocal score of the opera Saint-François d'Assise (1975–83), a task requiring near-unimaginable perseverance and patience. Loriod assured a Messiaen tradition not only through her own playing; his music was an important element in her teaching, too. As Paul Crossley observes: "Virtually all of us with reputations as Messiaen exponents were her pupils. I think, in many ways, we were her 'family'. Indeed, the last time I saw her she embraced me as 'mon petit Paul', as she had always called me although I was then almost 60 years old!" Pierre-Laurent Aimard experienced the same dedication: "she was very warm about her students, very much committed to them – and perhaps to some extent we were substitutes for the children she never had. And of course she looked after several generations of students. She was passionate, as a teacher, too, and precise, always indicating carefully what should be done: she was clear in her markings and her remarks, always following her own convictions. Crossley found that she "passed on all her secrets, all her magic, with a selflessness, a zeal and a good humour (there was nothing of the 'grande dame' about her) that were exemplary. Her teaching was always rigorous, technical and analytical – solid foundations on which one could build one's own interpretations." Both men remark on her unquenchable energy, which found her continuing to perform into old age. She edited Messiaen's huge Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie, posthumously published in seven volumes. She was also a respected figure on the juries of piano competitions, not least the triennial Concours Olivier Messiaen, but also at Aspen, Bayreuth, Leeds, Munich, Paris and elsewhere. Although Loriot studied composition with Darius Milhaud until 1948, her own compositions are early and few in number. They include Grains de cendre (1946) for flute or ondes Martenot, soprano and piano, and the orchestral Pièce pour la souffrance; the only one performed in public seems to have been Trois Mélopées africaines for flute, ondes Martenot, piano and drum, heard at the Société Nationale in March 1945. But the experience must have come to her aid when, with George Benjamin, another Messiaen student, she orchestrated his incomplete final work, the Concert à quatre. A cerebral haemorrhage three years ago brought an abrupt stop to Loriod's hitherto unflagging activity, and she had been in slow decline ever since. One of her two sisters, Jeanne, the leading player of the ondes Martenot, had drowned in 2001; but the other, Jacqueline, and the local priest were with her at the time of her death, in a retirement home to the north of Paris. Martin Anderson See Yvonne Loriod and Pierre Boulez rehearsing Boulez's Structures here . Back to top Roger Nichols The Guardian, Tuesday 18 May 2010 The French pianist Yvonne Loriod, who has died aged 86, was for half a century the inspirer and accredited interpreter of the piano music of Olivier Messiaen, and for three decades his devoted wife. She was also a dedicated champion of the piano works of Pierre Boulez, André Jolivet, Jean Barraqué and Arnold Schoenberg, and an influential teacher. Born in Houilles, on the north-western outskirts of Paris, she began to play at the age of six. Her father was a good improviser at the piano; her godmother, Madame Sivade, began to give her lessons when she was 11, and later prepared her for entry to the Paris Conservatoire. By the age of 14, Loriod had already learned the whole of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, all the Beethoven piano sonatas, the complete works of Chopin and Schumann and all the Mozart piano concertos. At the Conservatoire she studied first with Lazare-Lévy for piano and André Bloch for harmony. When the Nazis deported both these teachers in the early months of the Occupation (during which she used to give recitals of music by "Bartholdy", the Nazis never realising this was the banned Mendelssohn), her piano studies resumed under Marcel Ciampi and her harmony ones under Messiaen, who returned from his prison camp to the Conservatoire in May 1941. Messiaen was quick to recognise her extraordinary musical abilities, and in the early months of 1943 wrote his two-piano work Visions de l'Amen, in which he took creative account of her particular technical strengths, incorporating into her part, that for the first piano, "the rhythmic difficulties, the chord clusters, everything which is velocity, charm and sound quality", while reserving for himself "the principal melodic material, the thematic elements, everything which demands emotion and power". If this division of labour, together with what the composer referred to as Loriod's rôle de diamantation in the Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine, premiered two years later, suggests a traditionalist view of feminine pianism, Loriod's command of keyboard power was amply recognised in the solo cycle Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, which she premiered in the Salle Gaveau, Paris, on 26 March 1945. From then on, she was the muse not only for his piano works but for most of his orchestral ones as well – as he said in late life, "I'm married to a great pianist and I always imagine her in the midst of the orchestra" – and when, in the late 1950s, Heinrich Strobel commissioned what would become Chronochromie, he felt obliged to specify, "This time, no ondes martenot and no piano!" Of the twelve orchestral works Messiaen wrote from Turangalîla (1946-48) onwards, no fewer than nine include a part for piano; the quasi-vocal swooping of the electronic ondes martenot was often executed by Loriod's sister Jeanne. Loriod won no fewer than seven first prizes at the Conservatoire, including one for piano in the summer of 1943, and studied composition with Darius Milhaud until 1948. But by this time she had decided to become a pianist rather than a composer and started on her successful international career in that year. Although she played Mozart often, including a cycle of 22 of his piano concertos in Paris within five weeks in 1964, her reputation was made in contemporary music, much of which was almost or entirely unplayed by others - one suspects as much for technical as for aesthetic reasons. Other first performances, apart from those of Messiaen's works, included Boulez's Second Piano Sonata (1950) and Structures II at Donaueschingen with the composer at the other piano (1961), Barraqué's Piano Sonata (1957) and Jolivet's Second Piano Sonata (1959). She also made a number of pioneering recordings in this repertory. After a spell teaching at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, she was appointed a professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire in 1967, and remained there for a quarter of a century. Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Paul Crossley and Roger Muraro were among her pupils. She also gave masterclasses worldwide and was much in demand on juries, where her experience and total command of all things musical lent her a natural authority. In 1959, Messiaen's first wife, the composer and violinist Claire Delbos, died, and Loriod gave the first performance of the Catalogue d'Oiseaux. She and the composer got married two years later and had a working honeymoon in Japan, from which sprang the orchestral work Sept Haîkaï. Messiaen moved in to her flat in the rue Marcadet and, as other apartments became vacant, they knocked through walls and installed 15cm-thick soundproofing. For these last 30 years of Messiaen's life, until his death in 1992, she acted as proofreader and musical factotum - making the vocal score of his opera Saint François d'Assise took two years. Expected visitors were assured of a warm welcome and, if they were British, of tea. No doubt living with Messiaen, as with most geniuses, had its ups and downs, though the downs seem to have been very few. An unpublished letter of Darius Milhaud, written from Aspen, Colorado, says: "Les Messiaen sont ici. Comme toujours, charmants et impossibles." Given that Messiaen found the real world of timetables and electric plugs hard to crack, Loriod was called upon to be manager and travel agent as well as wife and interpreter. On his bird-listening trips she would be in charge of the tape recorder and would be expected to sleep in haystacks or barns in order to be up for the dawn chorus. Her demurrers at travelling to Bryce Canyon in Utah or New Caledonia ("wouldn't Assisi do?") went for nothing; although when it came to it, they both enjoyed these exotic trips enormously. Loriod edited a number of her husband's posthumous works, notably the Concert à Quatre. When the definitive history of 20th-century music comes to be written, she will find an honoured place, not only as an exceptional pianist, but as one who, because her technique made possible for Messiaen what he called "the greatest eccentricities", had a profound and lasting effect on that music, both pianistic and orchestral. • Yvonne Loriod, pianist, born 20 January 1924; died 17 May 2010 Tom Service. On Classical Guardian.co.uk Yvonne Loriod: musician, mentor, muse Far more than Olivier Messiaen's widow, Loriod was a superb pianist, champion of new music and a fine composer in her own right. The death of Yvonne Loriod, Olivier Messiaen's widow, brings a great dynasty of French musical life to an end, after Messiaen's death in 1992 and that of her sister, the ondes martenot virtuoso Jeanne Loriod, in 2001. Yvonne was Messiaen's second wife. He had fallen in love with her when she was a teenage student of his at the Paris Conservatoire and she was his muse for five decades (they only married in 1961 after the death of Messiaen's first wife, Claire Delbos, in a sanatorium, after many years of mental illness). Loriod's playing was the inspiration for music from the gigantic cycle Vingt regards sure l'enfant-Jésus, for solo piano, to the piano parts of orchestral pieces like the Turangalila Symphony and Des canyons aux étoiles. But Loriod's reputation was not only due to her unique relationship with her husband's music: she was one of the most powerful and persuasive of advocates of music by Pierre Boulez and Jean Barraqué, at a time when hardly any pianists anywhere were playing - or could play - modernist behemoths like Boulez's Second Sonata or the Barraqué Sonata. And together, she and Messiaen were mentors and models for musicians like composer George Benjamin (who studed with Loriod in Paris when he was 16, and remembers her as a "wonderful, exuberant, radiant" teacher) and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who they adopted as their one of their pianists du choix in the 70s, when Aimard was still in his teens. Yvonne's legacy is inevitably tied to her husband, but she was a great musician in her own right - and she was a composer too, as well as co-orchestrator of Messiaen's last orchestral work, the Concert à quatre. Yvonne Loriod dies aged 86 Pianist and widow of Olivier Messiaen remembered 18/05/2010 Yvonne Loriod, the pianist and widow of Olivier Messiaen, has died aged 86. Born 20 January 1924, she was a leading light among the post-war generation of performers and composers, quickly gaining a reputation for exceptional virtuosity, making light of the most fearsome contemporary scores, and an extraordinary memory. She gave the French premiere of Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto to great acclaim at just eight days’ notice, when the intended soloist dropped out having declared the work unplayable. Loriod championed the music of composers such as Boulez, Barraqué and Henze, but she was also lauded for her accounts of works by Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Bach, Berg, Schoenberg, de Falla, Albéniz, Beethoven and Debussy. Loriod was a champion of the latter’s Études at a time when they were still regarded as arid, and she made an exceptional recording of Beethoven's Hammerklavier. A gifted pedagogue, she was also much in demand for the juries of piano competitions. Nonetheless, it is with the music of Messiaen that her name has become synonymous, having been the catalyst for the piano taking centre stage in numerous of his works from the 1940s onwards, either in vast cycles for the instrument, such as Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus (1944) and Catalogue d’oiseaux (1956-58), or as soloist in orchestral canvasses such as Turangalîla-Symphonie (1946-48), La Transfiguration (1965-69) and Des canyons aux étoiles... (1972-74). They met in 1941, when Messiaen was appointed Professor of Harmony at the Paris Conservatoire, where she was a student. Within a couple of years, he began writing the first of many works inspired by Loriod’s tigerish pianism, Visions de l’Amen for two pianos. He would later apologise to other pianists negotiating his music, explaining that he never had to worry about its difficulty as he knew that Loriod could play anything. Messiaen and Loriod eventually married in 1961, and her devotion to him was total. Following his death in 1992, she undertook the herculean task of preparing his seven volume Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie (Treatise on rhythm, colour and ornithology) according to Messiaen’s plan, as well as the scores of his final works and various rediscovered pieces from much earlier in his career. In one of the short films accompanying his 2005 DVD of the Vingt Regards, Roger Muraro relates that he and Loriod had visited Messiaen’s grave ten days earlier: ‘Madame Loriod told me: “I loved him, and I love him still”’. Christopher Dingle BBC Music Magazine Yvonne Loriod, pianist and Messiaen's wife, has died Born January 20, 1924; died May 17, 2010 Wed 19th May 2010. Gramophone Magazine The opportunity to observe Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic rehearsing Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony in January 1988 with the composer present was too good to pass up. Yet time and again the 63-year-old piano soloist unwittingly stole the show by virtue of the massive chords, dazzling passagework, and long lyrical lines that seemed to shake from her arms with no effort. The sonority never splintered as it flooded Avery Fisher Hall, yet Yvonne Loriod presided with calm authority, achieving impressively fluid and colourful results with the utmost in physical economy. To watch her was to hear her, and one quickly realised why Loriod long had been Messiaen’s artistic muse. Loriod, who died aged 86 on May 17, 2010 in St Denis, met her future husband when she was his teenage student at the Paris Conservatoire (they married in 1961, two years after the death of Messiaen’s first wife Claire Delbos), and her prodigious pianism and well-grounded musicianship inspired the composer’s large-scale piano works from the Vingt Regards sur l’enfant-Jésus and Catalogue d’oiseaux cycles to the substantial piano parts in orchestral works such as the aforementioned Turangalila, Oiseaux exotiques, Trois Petits Liturgies de la Presence Divine, and Des canyons aux étoiles. In turn, her own extensive compositional training enabled her to proof her husband’s scores, prepare the piano/vocal edition of his monumental opera St Francois d’Assise, and co-orchestrate his final work Concert à quatre. Although Loriod frequently performed and recorded her husband’s music, she commanded a large, all-embracing repertoire, some of which is preserved on disc. In 1964 she played 22 Mozart Concertos over a five week period with the Lamoureux Orchestra, and gave the French premier of Bartók’s Second Piano Concerto, learning the piece with only eight days’ notice. A fervent advocate for the music of her time, Loriod premiered the second sonatas of Boulez and Jolivet and Barraqué’s Sonata in concert and on disc. She instilled this duty in her students at the Paris Conservatoire, where she taught from 1967. “I have all my young pianists playing the young composers,” Loriod told a New York Times journalist. Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Paul Crossley and Roger Muraro are just a few of Loriod’s distinguished former pupils. Loriod is survived by her sister Jacqueline. Jed Distler Telegraph.co.uk Yvonne Loriod Yvonne Loriod, who died on Monday aged 86, was a celebrated French pianist, a champion of the electronic ondes Martenot instrument, and a specialist in the music of her husband, Olivier Messiaen. Published: 6:52PM BST 18 May 2010 She first met the composer, who was 16 years her senior, when she joined his harmony class at the Paris Conservatoire in 1942, soon after his return from a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp in Silesia. She recalled how "all the students waited eagerly for this new teacher to arrive and finally he appeared with music case and badly swollen fingers". Nevertheless, she liked his open manner of teaching, a contrast to the old-fashioned methods of other teachers. "For me it was an explosion," she said. "It shook all my preconceptions." Yvonne Loriod had already attracted attention as a child prodigy. Taught by her Austrian godmother, one Nelly Eminger-Sivade, she knew all the Beethoven sonatas and Mozart concertos by the time she was 12. Messiaen heard her in concert and was impressed. She also played his eight Preludes. "I found them quite easy. God gave me a very good memory," she recalled. Within months of their meeting she was firmly installed as his muse; Messiaen composed a work for two pianos, Visions de l'Amen, for them to play together and it led to a world tour even before the war ended. They fell in love, but he was already married to Claire Delbos, a composer and violinist with a debilitating mental illness. Delbos was eventually institutionalised, leaving him to bring up his young son, Pascal, alone. As a devout Roman Catholic, Messiaen could not divorce his wife, nor would he commit adultery. "So we cried," Yvonne Loriod recalled. "We cried for nearly 20 years until she died and we could marry." (They wed in 1961, two years after Delbos's death.) All Messiaen's piano music composed after 1943 was written for Yvonne Loriod, including Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jésus (1944) and the many birdsong works, such as Oiseaux exotiques (1956) and Catalogues des Oiseaux (1958). He said that he allowed himself the "greatest eccentricities" in his writing because he knew that she would master them effortlessly. When Messiaen wanted to compose his musical catalogue of birds, Yvonne Loriod drove him round the country in her Renault as he recorded what he called "God's musicians". She later recalled: "He noted the birdsong and in the evenings he would make a more detailed score. He adored wildlife. He wouldn't even kill a mosquito. One day in the country his score was covered with flying ants. 'Can't you get rid of them?' he asked me, 'but don't hurt them.' I took the score outdoors and got the insecticide." Yvonne Loriod was born in Houilles, to the north-west of Paris, on January 20 1924, one of three sisters. At the Paris Conservatoire her teachers included Lazare Lévy, Marcel Ciampi and Darius Milhaud. She won seven premiers prix and composed a number of works. In 1945 Yvonne Loriod learnt Bartók's fiendish Second Piano Concerto in just eight days for a performance with the Orchestre National de Paris under Manuel Rosenthal; by the age of 25 she was a professor at the Conservatoire. Yvonne Loriod championed not only Messiaen but also other avant-garde composers: she recorded music by Jean Barraqué and Pierre Boulez, and excelled in the music of Bartók and Schoenberg. Her American debut was with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in December 1949, playing the ondes Martenot in the Turangalîla Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting; the work received its British premiere in a BBC studio broadcast in June 1953 under Walter Goehr. According to The Times, Yvonne Loriod "played the solo piano part brilliantly". She was, however, suspicious of the BBC and always insisted on receiving her fee in cash before a performance. In 1972 the couple visited the canyons of Utah, him capturing the songs of the local birds, her photographing him standing alone in the enormous crevasses, depicting what he described as the "immense solitude" of the place. The result was the majestic Des Canyons aux Etoiles (From the Canyons to the Stars). A similar, month-long expedition to Australia in 1988 in search of the lyrebird led to a movement of Eclairs Sur l'au-delà (Illuminations of the Beyond). For the last three decades of Messiaen's life the couple lived a simple and devoutly religious life near Montmartre, surrounded by crucifixes, a copy of the Bible and their recordings. Her husband, despite his success, remained organist at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Paris – a post he had held since 1931 – until his death in 1992. Yvonne Loriod – a small, snug lady known as Tante Yvonne – then devoted herself to his memory. She discovered and published forgotten works that she found among his papers and gave occasional concerts, such as her appearance at the Barbican in 1999. The author Alex Ross notes how the conductor Kent Nagano, when asked for a revealing anecdote about the couple, could come up with no more than a tale of how they once devoured an entire pear tart in one go. She never called her husband by his first name, only Messiaen or maître. All she wished for, she told interviewers, was "a good death, so that I can go to heaven and be by his side". See Yvonne Loriod performing Le Moqueur polyglotte from Messiaen's Des Canyons aux etoille... Here Yvonne Loriod, Pianist and Messiaen Muse, Dies at 86 By PAUL GRIFFITHS Published: May 18, 2010 Yvonne Loriod, the French pianist whose musical exactitude and intensity inspired numerous masterpieces by her husband, the composer Olivier Messiaen, died on Monday at a retirement home in Saint-Denis, on the edge of Paris. She was 86. Enlarge This Image Ms. Loriod had been in declining health since suffering a cerebral hemorrhage three years ago and had recently broken a hip, said Roger Muraro, a former student and close friend, who confirmed her death. There may be no parallel in musical history to the performer-composer relationship that Ms. Loriod and Messiaen maintained across half a century. It gave rise not only to two immense Messiaen solo works — “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus” (“20 Glances at the Child Jesus”) and “Catalogue d’Oiseaux” (“Bird Catalog”) — but also to shorter pieces and quasi concertos, ranging in scale from the huge “Turangalîla Symphony” to “Oiseaux Exotiques” (“Exotic Birds”), for piano with a tight group of wind instruments and percussion. The presence of birds in so many of these works was no accident. For Messiaen, birdsong provided intimation of the music of heaven, unclouded by human egotism. He and Ms. Loriod would often go off in search of these natural singers, with Messiaen notating their melodies in the field and later incorporating them into his music. In Ms. Loriod he found a musician who could provide avian qualities of agility and spectacle. “I have,” he once said, “an extraordinary, marvelous, inspired interpreter whose brilliant technique and playing — in turn powerful, light, moving and colored — suit my works exactly.” It delighted him that her name was homophonous with that of a singing bird: the loriot, or golden oriole, which duly has its place in “Catalogue d’Oiseaux.” “If Messiaen did not have a Loriod, a pianist wife like her, Messiaen probably would not be Messiaen,” said Mr. Muraro, who is a specialist in the composer’s music. Ms. Loriod’s performances, in gowns of vibrant color, were exciting to watch, and even more so to hear. In her extraordinary range of timbre, achieved not only by touch but also by the split-second timing of attack and pedaling, she brought to the music the rainbow brilliance it needed. In her sense of rhythm as pulsation, especially in fast music, she gave it the energy it craved. To some extent those qualities were written into the music under her influence. Messiaen became, from the time he met her, a more assertive and more public composer, and he paid far more attention to the piano. Yvonne Loriod was born in Houilles, a town six miles northwest of Paris, on Jan. 20, 1924. She had piano lessons from childhood, as did her sister Jeanne, four and a half years younger. Jeanne Loriod, who died in 2001, became a leading exponent of the electronic instrument the ondes martenot. Yvonne Loriod’s first teacher, Madame Sivade, who was also her godmother, had Yvonne giving monthly recitals as a young girl. By 14 she knew the whole of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” and all 32 Beethoven sonatas. She went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire, where she met Messiaen when he arrived in 1942 to take a class in harmony. Along with Pierre Boulez and other classmates, she became a member of Messiaen’s intimate group, with whom he would discuss his music, modern music generally and the music of other continents. His awareness of Ms. Loriod’s pianistic prowess came soon: in 1943 he wrote “Visions de l’Amen” for the two of them to play on two pianos. That was followed by “Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine” (“Three Little Liturgies of the Divine Presence,” 1943-44), for women’s choir and small orchestra with solo piano, and “Vingt Regards” (1944). “Visions” was presented by Messiaen and Ms. Loriod in May 1943, when Paris was still occupied; the two other works were performed in early 1945. After this triptych of sacred concert works, Messiaen produced, from 1945 to 1949, what he called his Tristan Trilogy, on the theme of cosmic love. It was a glorious outburst of love music, and though Ms. Loriod performed in only two of the pieces — the song cycle “Harawi,” evoking Peru, and “Turangalîla” — it seems clear she inspired all three. (The third piece was “Cinq Rechants,” or “Five Refrains,” for small chorus.) Ms. Loriod had become the focus for musical feelings that the composer had directed toward his first wife, Claire Delbos, in the 1930s but who by the 1940s was suffering a long physical decline. In the 1950s, all the music Messiaen wrote for Ms. Loriod was bird-inspired: the concerto “Réveil des Oiseaux” (“Awakening of the Birds”), “Oiseaux Exotiques” and the “Catalogue.” Ms. Delbos died in 1959, and two years later Ms. Loriod and Messiaen were married. A tour of Japan was their honeymoon, remembered by Messiaen in his “Sept Haïkaï” (“Seven Haiku”), for piano and small orchestra. (Ms. Loriod also traced her expertise in Japanese cuisine to that trip.) In 1962, Ms. Loriod performed all the Mozart concertos at the Conservatoire, whose faculty she joined in 1967. From this point on she concentrated on her pupils — among them Michel Béroff, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Mr. Muraro — and her husband. Ms. Loriod and Messiaen traveled the world together and welcomed students to their apartment in Paris. Messiaen’s flow of music for her continued, from big solo parts in the concert-length concerto “Des Canyons aux Étoiles ...” (“From the Canyons to the Stars,” 1971-75) to a part in the unfinished “Concert à Quatre” (“Concerto for Four”). Ms. Loriod recorded everything her husband wrote for her, in many cases more than once, and these recordings will remain an essential part of the Messiaen legacy. Invaluable, too, was the work she did after his death, in 1992, in editing his writings, not least his 4,000-page treatise on rhythm. Ms. Loriod is survived by a sister, Jacqueline, and a stepson, Pascal Messiaen. Ms. Loriod moved to the Saint-Denis retirement home, in a leafy area, after her cerebral hemorrhage three years ago. There she could hear birds sing, Mr. Muraro said. In recent months, however, she had remained shut inside. “It’s spring and the birds are just beginning to sing now,” he said, but Ms. Loriod did not get to hear them. CLASSICAL ICONACLAST WEDNESDAY, 19 MAY 2010 Yvonne Loriod - musician and muse Yvonne Loriod has passed away, aged 86. All the newspaper obits are out, standard pieces, written long ago, some cobbled together from material on Olivier Messiaen. He was the love of her life and centre of her existence. But there was much more to "Mrs Loriod" as Pierre-Laurent Aimard charmingly calls her. She deserves a tribute in her own right. Not so easy, because she was self-effacing, letting Messiaen take the limelight, but she was formidably talented. She was an extremely good pianist, playing at a high level, certainly not just Messiaen. She came to Paris to learn composition, and attracted the eye of Nadine Boulanger. Boulanger had a serious animus against Messiaen, so when Loriod took up with Messiaen she was immediately dropped from Boulanger circles. Not that Loriod cared. Messiaen's empathic, open-minded approach to music was much more Loriod's thing, anyway, apart from the fact she fell in love. Because Messiaen was such a devout Catholic, marriage was out of the question, as his first wife was hospitalized for what seems to have been some kind of mental problem. Loriod and Messiaen didn't actually live together but shared three floors of the same building.. One floor his, one floor hers and the one in the middle was teaching space. She taught too, becoming a professor at an early age. Yvonne and her sister Jeanne were both pianists, both learning the Ondes Martenot and performing round the world. (Both also continued playing piano.) In the late 1990's they both came to London to play: two tiny elderly ladies exuding charm. Sadly Jeanne died soon after. Yvonne lived on, but was too frail to come to London in 2008 to celebrate Messiaen's centenary (curated by Aimard, and bigger than the Paris commemorations). Loriod and Messiaen were so much of a unit that it's arguable he would not have achieved quite as much as he did without her presence. Her name means "Oriole", so when the song of an oriole appears in his music, there's an extra level of meaning. Loriod is a presence in most of his music, even indirectly. He composed entirely on his own, bringing out new works only near completion, but she was musician enough herself to comment intelligently. Plenty can, and has, and will be written about Loriod's influence on Messiaen's art, but she contributed in simple, practical ways, too. She knitted the enormous, multi-coloured scarf he wears in one of the most famous photographs. It's too huge and too extrovert to be something you'd find in a shop. He knew what it meant, so he wears it with a huge grin. She was the "practical one" who made arrangements, fixed the tape recorders and apparently drove a car. She was also the emollient one, who kept up friendships such as with Boulez (pictured here) with whom she was close (same age). She mothered Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the son she never had, and adored his children. She'll be remembered of course as Messiaen's life partner and muse, but she was someone very special herself. Posted by Doundou Tchil LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 18.05.10 | 14h07 La pianiste Yvonne Loriod est morte Le piano du XXe siècle vient de perdre l'une de ses grandes figures : Yvonne Loriod, la muse et seconde épouse du compositeur Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), dont elle fut la principale interprète, est morte à l'âge de 86 ans. Admise il y a trois ans dans une maison de retraite de Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) à la suite d'un coma diabétique, elle y est morte lundi en fin d'après-midi. "C'était une personnalité très forte, exceptionnelle dans son domaine, une figure de proue de la découverte de la musique de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle", a témoigné, très ému, le pianiste Roger Muraro. Née le 20 janvier 1924 à Houilles (Yvelines), Yvonne Loriod a montré très tôt des dons musicaux et des capacités d'apprentissage exceptionnelles. Adolescente, la pianiste a déjà à son actif un répertoire comprenant tout Chopin, 22 concertos de Mozart et les 32 sonates de Beethoven. Au conservatoire de Paris, où elle décrochera sept premiers prix, elle étudie dans la classe d'analyse d'Olivier Messiaen, en compagnie de Pierre Boulez. A partir des Visions de l'amen (1943), qui datent de cette époque, elle créera toutes les œuvres avec piano du compositeur. Pianist Yvonne Loriod is dead The 20th century piano has just lost one of its great figures: Yvonne Loriod, the muse and second wife of the composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), of whom she was the main performer, died at the age of 86 . Admitted three years ago in a retirement home in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) following a diabetic coma, she died there late Monday afternoon. "She was a very strong personality, exceptional in her field, a figurehead in the discovery of the music of the second half of the twentieth century", testified, very moved, the pianist Roger Muraro. Born January 20, 1924 in Houilles, Yvonne Loriod very early on showed exceptional musical gifts and learning abilities. As a teenager, the pianist already has to her credit a repertoire including all of Chopin, 22 Mozart concertos and 32 Beethoven sonatas. At the Paris Conservatory, where she won seven first prizes, she studied in the analysis class of Olivier Messiaen, in the company of Pierre Boulez. From Visions de l'Amen (1943), which date from this period, she will create all of the composer's piano works. ​ "UN DÉVOUEMENT TOTAL" "Elle a été d'un dévouement total à la cause Messiaen, qu'elle trouvait génial et dont elle a été éperdument amoureuse dès leur rencontre", dit Roger Muraro. Mais le compositeur, d'abord marié à la violoniste Claire Delbos, n'épousera Yvonne Loriod qu'en 1961, deux ans après la mort de sa première femme des suites d'une longue maladie. Très présente discographiquement (pour les labels Vega, Erato, Ades...), Yvonne Loriod enregistre Debussy, Albeniz ou Berg mais aussi des concertos de Mozart avec... Pierre Boulez, dont elle créera le deuxième livre des Structures pour deux pianos (avec le compositeur) en 1961. Doté d'une technique virtuose, elle offre les premières auditions de pièces d'André Jolivet et Jean Barraqué. Elle révèle au public français des pages de Bartok et Schönberg. Mais c'est surtout l'œuvre de son mari que cette organisatrice hors de pair contribuera à diffuser dans le monde entier, tenant au besoin la partie de piano, comme dans la fameuse Turangalîla-Symphonie, au côté de sa sœur, Jeanne Loriod, joueuse d'ondes Martenot. Une musicienne capable de réduire pour deux pianos le monumental opéra de son mari, Saint François d'Assise, d'orchestrer son Concert à quatre et d'apporter les corrections nécessaires aux épreuves de ses pièces. Quitte à renoncer à composer elle-même – seules trois œuvres de sa main sont connues. Yvonne Loriod aura aussi été une grande pédagogue, au fil de ses déplacements en Europe ou en Amérique mais surtout au conservatoire de Paris de 1967 à 1989, où elle transmettra à plusieurs de ses élèves pianistes (notamment Michel Béroff, Roger Muraro et Pierre-Laurent Aimard) la passion de Messiaen. Selon Roger Muraro, Yvonne Loriod doit être enterrée "la semaine prochaine" auprès de son époux, non loin du lac de Petichet à Saint-Théoffrey, dans le Dauphiné si cher au couple Messiaen. "TOTAL DEDICATION " "She was totally devoted to the Messiaen cause, which she found brilliant and with which she was head over heels in love as soon as they met," says Roger Muraro. But the composer, first married to the violinist Claire Delbos, did not marry Yvonne Loriod until 1961, two years after the death of his first wife from a long illness. Very present discographically (for the Vega, Erato, Ades labels ...), Yvonne Loriod records Debussy, Albeniz or Berg but also Mozart concertos with ... Pierre Boulez, for which she will create the second book of Structures for two pianos ( with the composer) in 1961. Equipped with a virtuoso technique, she offered the first performances of pieces by André Jolivet and Jean Barraqué. She reveals to the French public pieces of Bartok and Schönberg. But it is above all the work of her husband that this outstanding organizer will help to disseminate throughout the world, holding the piano part if necessary, as in the famous Turangalîla-Symphonie, alongside her sister, Jeanne Loriod, Ondes Martenot. A musician capable of reducing the monumental opera of her husband, Saint Francis of Assisi, to two pianos, of orchestrating her Concerto for four and making the necessary corrections to the proofs of her pieces. Even if it means giving up composing herself - only three works by her hand are known. Yvonne Loriod will also have been a great teacher, throughout her travels in Europe or America but especially at the Paris Conservatory from 1967 to 1989, where she will transmit to several of her student pianists (notably Michel Béroff, Roger Muraro and Pierre-Laurent Aimard) the passion of Messiaen. According to Roger Muraro, Yvonne Loriod must be buried "next week" with her husband, not far from Lake Petichet in Saint-Théoffrey, in the Dauphiné so dear to the Messiaen couple. Back to top

  • Resources | Olivier Messiaen

    Resources A selection of my personal audio & visual Resource Archive Unlike several years ago, Messiaens' music is now well represented in the commercial audio market. Listed below is my own personal collection some of which may be of interest and could be made available on a strictly private basis for study or research. A comprehensive discography can be found in 'The Messiaen Companion ' edited by Peter Hill and compiled by Dr. Christopher Dingle. View More Back to top

  • Messiaen House in Fuligny | Olivier Messiaen

    Messiaen House in Fuligny © Malcolm Ball This is the 18th century house where Messiaen's aunts (Agnès and Marthe) lived and where he spent his summer vacations for many years from 1922 onward. Here he notated his first bird songs (later saying in his view the Aube region was the best location in France for larks) and composed, among others, Preludes for piano, Le Banquet Céleste , Le Banquet Eucharistique , Les Offrandes Oubliées , Le Tombeau Resplendissant and possibly Diptyque and Trois Mélodies as well as many more sketches that would find themselves in later works. Messiaen continued to visit his aunts in this house throughout his life. The current owner has decided to sell this house and the couple who wish to buy it intend to demolish it in view of the costs for its restoration. The Association LA QUALITE DE VIE reacted immediately, and is doing everything possible to have this "house of character" become an historical monument. The idea is to have this house bought by those who are interested in the world of BIRDS, in HERITAGE, in CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, in the ORGAN, in Olivier MESSIAEN... A FOUNDATION LE CHANT DES OISEAUX DE FULIGNY will make this place a concentration of Culture : "the grown-ups" and "the school children" will be able to learn and recognise the birds, their song, their life... One can imagine a specialised media library... and in a small auditorium one can listen to all the music and songs of the bird world... And maybe a care centre for injured birds and animals... © Thomas Bloch © Malcolm Ball Olivier's father, Pierre Messiaen (1883-1957) was born in Flanders - *one of Charles and Marie Messiaen's seven children (three brothers: Pierre, Léon and Paul; and four sisters: Marthe, Madeleine, Marie and Agnès). In 1900, the Messiaen family moved to Fuligny, in the Aube region, east of Troyes. Among the Messiaen children, one of the most artistically gifted was Léon, born 1884, a graduate of the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts; he was at the start of a promising career as a sculpture when killed in action in 1918. The Messiaen family tomb, in the churchyard of La Chaise near Fuligny, is surmounted by a striking sculpture after Léon Messiaen entitled L'Énergie fauchée ('Energy spent')*. Léon reworked the sculpture a copy of which can be seen close to the cathedral in Troyes that commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of the 1914-18 war. *Peter Hill & Nigel Simeone - MESSIAEN pp. 7-8 © Malcolm Ball © Malcolm Ball © Malcolm Ball Léon Messiaen Madeleine was the longest-lived of the seven children (b.1890) and married Paul Guéritte in 1912 and died in 1987. Here is Messiaen's own recollections of the house: 'My memories [of nature] go back to the age of fourteen or fifteen, chiefly to a period when I went and stayed in the Aube with aunts who owned a rather odd farm, with sculptures by one of my uncles [Léon], a flower bed, an orchard, some cows and hens. [...] To 'restore' my health, my brave aunts would send me out to tend a little herd of cows; it was really a very small herd ( there were only two or three cows) but even so I looked after them very badly, and one day they managed to escape and wrought havoc in a field of beetroot which they munched through in a few hours. I was told off by everyone in the village. The Aube countryside is very beautiful and very simple: the plain, its big fields surrounded by trees, magnificent dawns and sunsets, and a great many birds. It was there that I first began noting down birdsong'. Samuel 1967 pp.24-5; Samuel 1986, pp34-5. Peter Hill & Nigel Simeone - MESSIAEN pp.8 © Thomas Bloch © Thomas Bloch © Thomas Bloch © Thomas Bloch Watch video of the house and listen to the birds! Here

  • Mount Messiaen | Olivier Messiaen

    Mount Messiaen Mount Messiaen – Facts and reminiscences. © Malcolm Ball This short account sets out some basic facts surrounding the naming and dedication of Mount Messiaen and my own reminiscences after a visit to the site in June 2022. There is a brilliant and comprehensive in-depth article on the subject entitled b by Robert Fallon and reproduced in the publication ‘Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception’ see bibliography The idea of naming a mountain after Messiaen was the brainchild of Julie Whitaker, a dancer and English teacher who lived in Paris for two years where she first made contact with Messiaen’s music. In the mid 1970’s when Julie heard of Messiaen’s ‘canyon symphony’, and his description of Southern Utah as ‘the most mystical landscape he had ever encountered’, she asked the composer if he would agree to the naming of something in his honour. Messiaen responded with delight saying that ‘anything in his name would be a great honour, even a side street or a nature path for bird watchers’. After finding a site approximately eight miles from the town of Parowan, Julie set about the task of naming the site and also organising performances of some of Messiaen’s works at the location. It took three years of organising and political wrangling before the naming was finalised but in 1978 a plaque was eventually cast by Julie’s brother Lyman, a sculptor of kinetic art, and the site was officially named. © Malcolm Ball The bronze plaque cast by Julie's brother Lyman © Malcolm Ball When I first heard about Robert Fallon’s visit to Mount Messiaen in 2008 and seeing his wonderful photo gallery (here ), I immediately added it to my bucket list of Messiaen related places to visit. This list was shrinking and places were ticked off with some sense of regularity as most of the Messiaen ‘sites’ and certainly dwellings were in France and relatively easy for me to arrange visits (pre Brexit). However, the Mount is situated 4,933 miles from where I live and a trip would require much preparation and funds. The opportunity eventually arose when I was lucky enough to attend a performance of Des Canyons aux Étoiles… given by the Utah Symphony in O.C. Tanner amphitheatre, Zion in June this year. (see review). I had given myself time to visit all the areas that so influenced Messiaen when writing the work (Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon and Zion Park) but I also put time aside to visit the Mount. On the appointed day, I set off in my hire car to Parowan and followed Robert Fallon’s detailed directions. The road out of Parowan is narrow and winding but luckily not busy in terms of traffic as this is rural Utah so my speed was necessarily slow, and sure enough, after eight or so miles I caught site of those (to some) famous peaks on my left. I immediately pulled off the road and parked up. I was not on the logging trail that Robert explained in his directions but on the opposite side of the road. It was a sunny day but at an elevation of some 9,000 feet, not too hot. I began taking some shots of the peaks from where I had parked which had good uninterrupted views and virtually no traffic to concern me. It was very peaceful. After a few minutes a small white car approached and stopped on the other side of the road at the entrance to the track leading up to the Mount. A slight air of disappointment ran through me as I was hoping for an uninterrupted visit at this special and revered site. A couple got out of the car and the lady walked determinedly up the track and disappeared around the bend. At this point I felt duty bound to cross the road and introduce myself to the gentleman who by this time had extracted a large pair of long handled secateurs from the back of the car. I approached with some trepidation as the secateurs wielding gentleman walked slightly towards me, but he greeted me with a welcoming smile and asked, “was I hear for the Mount Messiaen?” I said indeed I was and explained my connection with Messiaen and the website after which he said “Ah! That’s my wife walking up there – Julie Whitaker, you must come and meet her”. I paused for a few seconds and thought - Hang on a minute, I’ve travelled nearly 5,000 miles, chosen a random time and day to visit this site and at almost the exact same time so did the person who initiated the site back in 1978. This was the most incredibly fortuitous encounter I could imagine. © Malcolm Ball © Malcolm Ball Julie and her husband Michael Burke were there to tidy up and clear the bronze plaque of obtrusive weeds etc. They, like me were also there to attend the concert in Zion two days later. Julie and I chatted rather excitedly while Michael attacked the weeds and she was so generous with her information and reminiscences of her time spent organising the naming of the site as well as the performances that took place at the final ceremony. Her vision was to dedicate the mountain followed by a ‘Messiaen Festival’ in September 1976 which would include a screening of Denise Tual’s film Olivier Messiaen et les Oiseaux, lectures by Messiaen at the University of Utah and a performance of Des Canyons aux Étoiles… Julie corresponded with Messiaen who was very keen and accepted the initial invitation but as time passed, dates began to conflict on both sides and after many months of negotiations, Julie wrote to Messiaen to inform him that the festival was cancelled due to lack of funding and lack of cooperation from certain parties. The dedication ceremony did take place at 6.00pm on 5th August 1978 and was televised by the local TV channel. They unveiled the bronze plaque, and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. At 8.00pm the ceremony continued with readings, a prayer, a speech by Julie about Messiaen and a performance of Chants de terre et de ciel by Naomi and Lowell Farr, musicians on the faculty of the University of Utah. The trailhead leading up to the pinnacles. © Malcolm Ball View opposite from the Mount © Malcolm Ball After some time at the Mount (and a nice tidy plaque thanks to Michael and his secateurs) the couple made their departure and we all looked forward to meeting up again at the concert. I spent more time alone at the site taking photos and walking around the base of the Mount reflecting on such an amazing coincidental meeting and also what Messiaen would have felt had he seen these understated peaks in person. When asked how he felt about having his own mountain in Utah he replied: “Ah, it’s just incredible and very touching. When I told my agent about it, he was amazed. When I told my publisher M Leduc in Paris about it, he was astounded too. He couldn’t imagine that there would be a mountain anywhere with my name; at first he laughed, but then he almost cried. And we plan to go back there soon. It’s a great excuse to see Utah again, and, in any case, it seems to me that I now have the obligation to present myself before those three cliffs. They’re there waiting for me”. Sadly he never got to see the Mount in situ due to commitments and ill health. ​ As planned, Julie and I met up after the concert in Zion together with Michael, Julie’s brother Lyman and other family members. It was an enormous privilege to have met such an inspired and driven person who back in the 1970’s dedicated so much energy in honouring a composer who was inspired by her childhood homeland. My photos provide an interesting comparison to those taken by Robert Fallon in 2008. Three years ago, that part of Parowan canyon suffered a serious dry mountain fire that decimated the trees in front of the Mount hence the different pictorial dynamic between our images. Malcolm Ball. Sources: Placing Mount Messiaen by Robert Fallon and reproduced in the publication ‘Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception ’ Canyons, Colours and Birds : An Interview with Oliver(sic) Messiaen by Harriett Watts. Tempo magazine 128. Julie Whitaker © Malcolm Ball Julie Whitaker and Michael Burke © Malcolm Ball My grateful and heartfelt thanks go to Julie and Michael for their time and for sharing their memories of this most amazing achievement to mark Olivier Messiaen's time in Utah that resulted in one of his finest works: Des Canyons aux Étoiles... © Malcolm Ball

  • News | Olivier Messiaen

    NEWS THE WINNERS OF THE 2022 EDITION OF THE OLIVIER MESSIAEN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION After a high-flying final, the jury consisting of great specialists of the organ and Olivier Messiaen presented the prizes for the 2022 edition: OLIVIER MESSIAEN GRAND PRIX: Lukas Nagel - SECOND PRIZE: Luca Akaeda Santesson - THIRD PRIZE: Pierre-Francois Purson - FOURTH PRIZE: Kasumi Hamano - PRIZE FOR THE BEST INTERPRETATION OF OLIVIER MESSIAEN'S WORKS: Luca Akaeda Santesson - AWARD FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NEW WORK: Lukas Nagel - PUBLIC AWARD : Kasumi Hamano A big congratulations to all the candidates and winners! Cleveland Museum of Art unearths archive recording of Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod 2 piano concert of 1978 On the occasion of the 70th birthday of Olivier Messiaen, the Cleveland Museum of Art invited the composer to perform a two-piano concert with his wife, Yvonne Loriod, on October 13, 1978, in Gartner Auditorium. This remarkable recording, which captures a rare instance of Messiaen at the piano performing his own music, marks the launch of the CMA Recorded Archive Editions Click here for more background information and the audio files. It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Claude Samuel, who past away on June 14 2020 in Paris, at the age of 88 years old. A true titan of journalism and French music radio, Claude Samuel is also an emblematic figure in the history of Radio France as producer and Music Director of Radio France (1989 to 1996). ​ A graduate in medicine in dental surgery, Claude Samuel also followed musical studies at the Schola Cantorum with Daniel-Lesur. Very early on, he joined the world of journalism and the music press, but also the world of radio, a medium for which he produced nearly 1,000 programs for France Culture and France Musique. Passionate about contemporary music, Claude Samuel was at the inception of numerous competitions and festivals which allowed him to encourage and promote this music to an ever wider audience. In 1967, as part of the Royan International Festival of Contemporary Art (1965-1972), he launched the "Messiaen competition " for the contemporary piano. He continued this role with the Festival des arts de Persépolis (1967-1970) and the International Meetings of Contemporary Art in La Rochelle (1973-1979), then the Rencontres de Musique Contemporain in Metz and the Festival of Traditional Arts in Reindeer. He was also the initiator of several City of Paris competitions, such as the Jean-Pierre Rampal flute competition, the Maurice André trumpet competition, the Martial Solal piano-jazz competition and the Étienne Vatelot violin-making and archery competition. . First appointed adviser for programming and production at Radio France, Claude Samuel occupied the position of Music Director from 1990. In the same year, he launched the first edition of the festival "Présences", a contemporary music festival which brought together a large and varied audience. Claude Samuel was also the confidant of the greatest contemporary composers of his time, notably Olivier Messiaen , of whom he was the author of biographies and collections of interviews, as well as Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis . In the early 1960's he was head of the Vega record label that launched Domain Musical recordings with Boulez and many first edition recordings of Messiaen. Jennifer Bate OBE, BA (Hons), Hon DMus (Bristol), FRCO, ARCM, LRAM, FRSA (1944-2020) Sir Andrew Parmley . Director of the Royal College of Organists With great sadness the College has learned of the death of Jennifer Bate. She was the daughter of H A Bate, organist of St James, Muswell Hill, in London, and studied theory and composition with him from a young age. She became a member of the RCO in July 1966 and within a year had achieved both ARCO and FRCO. She became a favourite at all the world’s great festivals, performing in over 40 countries: last year she celebrated a 50-year career as a full-time professional organist. Her father emphasized the importance of working with living composers, inviting them to come and hear her playing their music and advise her on how to play it better - leading to long-standing friendships with composers including Sir Lennox Berkeley, Peter Dickinson, Flor Peeters and Peter Racine Fricker. Jennifer was recognised as the world authority on the organ works of Olivier Messiaen with whom she worked extensively. She gave the British premiere of his Livre du Saint Sacrament, and her recording of the work won a Grand Prix du Disque. In 2011, President Sarcozy appointed her to the rank of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, with the citation Organiste, Spécialiste de l’oeuvre de Messiaen. The same year, the French government also awarded her the rank of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her work worldwide to help French organ music capture a wider audience. As well as the works of Messiaen, Jennifer’s discography includes the music of Elgar, Stanford, Whitlock, the Wesleys and their contemporaries, and the complete organ works of Franck and Mendelssohn. Composers including William Mathias and Naji Hakim wrote for her, and her own compositions for organ, written for concert performance rather than liturgical use, were frequently commissioned for particular events or instruments. Jennifer gave the opening celebrity recital at the Royal Festival Hall in 2014 after the refurbishment of the Hall and organ, and acted as organ consultant when the Harrison & Harrison organ at St James Muswell Hill, installed by her father after the war, required restoration, giving the reopening recital in October 2011. Jennifer pioneered programmes to introduce the organ to children. She was a Patron of the Society of Women Organists, formed last year, and her annual Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, now in its 15th year, is a unique course promoting all-round musicianship for young women. Peter Dickinson, The Guardian 30th March 2020 The organist Jennifer Bate, who has died aged 75 from cancer, was a leading exponent of the music of Olivier Messiaen . They met in 1975, when the composer and his wife, Yvonne Loriod , went to hear her play his music at St James’s, Muswell Hill, north London. Afterwards he asked her if she had heard his own recordings. She had not, but it emerged that she played exactly as he did and he was delighted. They kept in touch, and the uncanny rapport between them lasted until his death in 1992. He heard her play many times and wrote that she was “an excellent organist, not only for her virtuosity. She is a really accomplished musician who loves what she plays and knows how to make others love it too.” She supported many other living composers and made a CD of my own complete organ works and played them all over the world. Jennifer’s international career led her into some challenging situations. One organist in France was so angry he had not been asked to perform that he sabotaged her recital by locking doors, turning the power off and making noises during the programme. In Medellín, Colombia, she was not met because her contact failed to realise that she could be a woman. She once had to get to a recital at St Mark’s, Venice, by wading through the square in 2ft of water. Jennifer loved northern Italy, giving some 150 recitals there, and her constant tours outside Europe took her to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean and South America. In her first two Proms appearances (1974-75) she played major organ works by Liszt. Her first recording, in 1978, featured the same composer, on the same Royal Albert Hall instrument. Her complete Messiaen is a landmark; so is the complete Mendelssohn , for which she supplied endings to some unfinished pieces, and a complete César Franck ; then came a whole series of British works including early music CDs of 18th century composers from John Stanley to Samuel Wesley, on instruments of the period. She was always concerned about the organs she was going to play, matching programmes carefully, and usually expected three days on which to rehearse. In 1986 she gave the British premiere of Messiaen’s two-hour Livre du Saint Sacrement in a sold-out Westminster Cathedral with the composer present. Her subsequent recording gained a Grand Prix du Disque. Born in London, Jennifer said of her mother, Dorothy (nee Hunt) that she was “the daughter of an organist, sister of an organist, married to an organist and eventually had me, yet another organist”. Her father, Horace, was the organist and choirmaster at St James’s Church, Muswell Hill, and a well-known teacher of the instrument. An only child, at the age of four Jennifer went to school able to read words as well as music. Her father was influential throughout his lifetime: he was a stern taskmaster, but his insight was invaluable. In her early teens Bate was a pianist but she realised that her hands were too small. So her father showed her what the organ could do and she was hooked. She gained ARCM (1961) and LRAM (1963) diplomas in organ performance, with record high marks, but her father thought she needed a general education, so from Tollington school she went to Bristol University to study music. There her professor told her she would never make a living playing the organ, so on graduating in 1966 she became a librarian at the London School of Economics. Three years later, student disturbances there gave her three weeks off on full pay, during which she could learn major works at St James’s, and so encouraged her to return to music. In 1968 she had married the somewhat older organist George Thalben-Ball , having “fallen in love with his musicianship the first time she met him”. She looked after him during a serious illness, but they divorced in 1972. When Jennifer embarked on her career as an independent concert artist she had no teaching post to support her, but her tours abroad took off from 1970. For her first recital in Paris she invited the organist of Notre Dame and his assistant as well as the composers Duruflé and Langlais with their wives. They all came. In these years Jennifer started to open new organs and to broadcast for the BBC. She composed some pieces and recorded them, and in the new century ran an annual course for young women organists aged 13 to 21, the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy . She was also a fluent writer. Her many awards included being made chevalier of the Légion d’honneur (2011), and in Britain she received an honorary doctorate from Bristol University (2007) and was appointed OBE (2008). She was a radiant personality who endeared herself to everyone when she played, lectured or taught. Jennifer is survived by her partner, Andrew Roberts. • Jennifer Lucy Bate, organist, born 11 November 1944; died 25 March 2020 ​ See also Messiaen and Jennifer Bate here Jennifer Bate b.1944 d.2020 It is with sadness that we report the passing of Pascal Emmanuel Messiaen (b.1937) the only son of Olivier and Claire Delbos (Messiaen's first wife). Pascal passed away on 31st January 2020 and is survived by his wife Josette who he married in 1958. French punk rock artist nods to Messiaen! Didier Wampas and Bikini Machine Olivier Messiaen here LA FONDATION MESSIAEN ~ MESSIAEN FOUNDATION The Olivier Messiaen Foundation was formed to preserve and cherish the work of Olivier Messiaen, one of the major composers of contemporary music in France in the twentieth century. The Olivier Messiaen Foundation was created in 1995 under the aegis of the Fondation de France by his widow Yvonne Loriod Messiaen 3 years after the death of her husband. The foundation will enable the creation of a museum, concerts, master classes etc. at Petitchet in the Isère region of France and also contribute to the conservation of manuscripts, works annotations and belongings. Much of these documents have already been entrusted to the National Library of France (BNF). The Foundation also supports young composers and pianists, as well as researchers or authors dedicated to the work of Olivier Messiaen. ​ La Fondation Messiaen Maison Messiaen ARCHIVES OF OLIVIER MESSIAEN ASSIGNED TO BNF The Olivier Messiaen Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France, told the BNF all manuscripts, archives, scores, records, books, photographs and objects collected by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) and his wife Yvonne Loriod Messiaen (1924-2010), be held at the BNF forthwith. Messiaen himself had already given some documents in the 50's and others had been filed by Yvonne Loriod Messiaen after 1992. Nearly two hundred fifty linear meters of documents (manuscripts of his works, letters, books, photographs, sound recordings, programs) have now joined the departments of Music and Audiovisual in the National Library of France. The material will be gradually made available to researchers, musicians, music lovers worldwide. Fauvettes de L'Hérault - concert des garrigues - (work reconstructed by Roger Muraro) At the turn of the 1960s, Olivier Messiaen left unfinished the composition of a great concerto that he could have titled Les Oiseaux de l'Hérault. The work, for piano, several soloists and orchestra, was to respond to an official commission for the centenary of Claude Debussy, in 1962. The trip to Japan by Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod in the summer of 1962 disrupted the development of this concerto. The fascination that Messiaen had for this country inspires him indeed Sept Haïkaï for piano solo and small ensemble. Undoubtedly pressed by the deadlines, he resumed and adapted some of the themes of the concerto, to Sept Haïkaï. It is by mixing songs of birds of Japan and some of southern France that the composer would pay tribute to Debussy. If the first works found in the concerto propose a too brief orchestration, the score of the piano solo, on the other hand, is magnificent, brilliant and among the most daring of this period. Based on birds' notes taken in 1958 in the Hérault, the work reveals new songs, including the improvisations of a stunning polyglot Hypolaïs and warblers who compete with virtuosity. Taking again the indications of structure left by the author, Fauvettes de l'Hérault - garrigue concert is the title I chose to give to the piece for piano alone, among those evoked by Messiaen in the manuscripts of the concerto. I thank the Fondation Olivier Messiaen and the BnF for their unfailing support of my work. (Roger Muraro) Tokyo naturally imposed itself for the world premiere. Roger Muraro performed Fauvettes de l'Hérault - concert of the garrigues for piano solo, at Toppan Hall, on June 23, 2017, underlining in fact the close links between this new work and Sept Haïkaï. ***Messiaen world premiere at the BBC Proms 2015 thanks to Birmingham Conservatoire academic*** Christopher Dingle , Professor of Music at Birmingham Conservatoire, has devoted much of his professional career to studying Messiaen. The new piece Un oiseau des arbres de Vie will most likely be the last mature orchestral work to emerge from the catalogue of one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. The composition was previously intended for Messiaen’s final completed orchestral work Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà… (1987-91) and contained his familiar signature ‘Bien’ indicating the movement was complete. The movement lasts about four minutes and the material comes from Messiaen’s transcription of the song of the Tui, a New Zealand bird. A keen ornithologist, all of Messiaen’s music from the 1950s onwards includes birdsong, while much of his music expresses his Catholic faith. Christopher Dingle’s research on the piece was supported by the French Music Research Hub at Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, and he drew on over 20 years’ study of Messiaen’s oeuvre to fully realise the three-stave score. He said: “From everything we know of Messiaen, it is almost certain that he would have used this movement in another work had he lived longer – it is too good a piece to discard. I am hugely excited about hearing the piece, and this is likely to be the last premiere of a complete mature orchestral movement by Messiaen. “Birdsong was a fascination of his throughout his life, but he became more rigorous and scientific in his approach from the 1950s onwards. He filled many manuscript books with birdsong notations, and much of it was done in the field, but he also used recordings, working the birdsong into his compositions. “His use of birdsong is much more sophisticated than any other composer in terms of the species he represented, the interpretation of song, and the notation. He regarded birds as God’s musicians, almost like angels.” Un oiseau des arbres de Vie is a challenging piece. The orchestra is very large, the woodwind section including seven flutes and eight clarinets, while there is also plenty of tuned and unpitched percussion, and multiple changes of tempo. Dingle added: “It’s fast and furious, with the song flying around the instruments and continually punctuated by a punchy gesture for the whole orchestra. I think it will be breath-taking for the audience and leave the conductor and orchestra breathless!” The world premiere of Olivier Messiaen’s Un oiseau des arbres de Vie took place on 7 August at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. It was performed by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Nicholas Collon. The eagerly awaited recording of La Fauvette Passerinette by Peter Hill relased by Delphian DCD34141. La Fauvette Passerinette – a Messiaen world premiere, with birds, homages and landscapes (Messiaen, Stockhausen, Ravel, Anderson, Dutilleux, Sculthorpe, Young, Takemitsu,Murail and Benjamin). The Gillian Weir Messiaen Prize will be awarded annually for the next 10 years for the best performance by a student at Birmingham City University’s Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of a work or works by French composer Olivier Messiaen. During her illustrious international career, Dame Gillian has been particularly renowned for her performances of Messiaen’s organ music; she made the first commercial recording of the complete works, gave the UK première from the composer's manuscript of the ‘Méditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité’, and has written, lectured and broadcast extensively on his music. Concerning the gift, she spoke of her admiration of the work being done in the Conservatoire’s Organ Department and congratulated them on their glowing international reputation. The award was facilitated by Conservatoire organ tutor Henry Fairs, whose own career has also included complete performances of the composer’s music. Daniel Moult, the current Head of Organ Studies, commented: “All of us in the Organ Department are honoured and delighted that Dame Gillian should aid our students in such a generous and palpable way. Many young musicians are in need of every conceivable financial assistance, and this prestigious prize will be much coveted and appreciated for years to come in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.” Part of Birmingham City University, the new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is a unique contemporary building, incorporating five public performance spaces including a new 500 seat concert hall for orchestral training and performance, a purpose-built organ studio and private rehearsal and practice rooms. Furthermore, as the first purpose built conservatoire in the UK since 1987, the £57 million institution which opened last year is the only one of its kind in the country designed for the demands of the digital age. The Organ Studio at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, for example, houses a Eule Pipe organ with extensive plans for additional new instruments, and features overhead performance lighting and a Dante audio network for flexible location recording purposes. The venue has a distinctive shape and tranquil atmosphere created by natural light flooding onto the pale wood of the interior. It is completely flexible in terms of the set-up and layout of the performance area and audience seating. Meanwhile, organ music plays a vital role in the life of the city of Birmingham, with regular recitals given by City Organist Thomas Trotter and guests on the Town Hall’s historic instrument by William Hill and Symphony Hall’s Klais organ. Birmingham is also home to the libraries of the Royal College of Organists and the British Institute of Organ Studies. The first Gillian Weir Messiaen Prize competition will took place at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with the winner awarded £1,000. See Gillian Weir's Homepage

  • Gallery | Olivier Messiaen

    Gallery Copyright exists on all of these photographs. Downloading and electronic reproduction of any image is illegal without the express permission of the copyright owner. 1. 2. Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod and John Carewe in rehearsal at the Royal Academy of Music London March 1987 3. Salle d'Olivier Messiaen in Grenoble On October 2, 1981, the Marcel Reymond amphitheater, rue du Vieux Temple, was renamed "Salle Olivier Messiaen". On January 20, 1984, Olivier Messiaen was made an honorary citizen of the city of Grenoble. © Messiaen in USA 1978 4. 5. 7. 6. Eglise de la Sainte Trinité. Paris ©M.Ball The tombe of Messiaen in the Eglise Saint Théoffrey, Petichet, France. © Malcolm Ball 8. 9. 10. 11 In 1973, Olivier Messiaen acquired a concession in the Saint-Théoffrey cemetery. His will was to be buried near the lakes, facing the Grand-Serre which he called the "bald mountain". The tomb will be in Carrara marble and will represent a bird. To carry out this last wish, Yvonne Loriod contacted a local craftsman: Albert Luyat. Several drawings were submitted to her in Paris before she validated the dove's project during a visit to the marble factory. The curves of the bird form a flame of memory. An extract from "Harawi" - composed at Petichet in 1945 - "song of Love and Death, for voice and piano" is engraved by hand. "I only made one mistake but it was quickly corrected! remembers the marble worker. Above: "All the birds of the Stars", extract from "Harawi", and text by the hand of Messiaen. 13. 12. The headstone with 'Yvonne Messiaen' inscription (2010). 14. © John Stead 15. © John Stead Messiaen in the 1930's/40s & 50s) 16. 17. 18. (Photo©Lipnitzki) 19. 20 (Photo©Lipnitzki) Messiaen in the 1960's 21. 22. 23. ©T.Gaby © MB © MB Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod 23a - 23b 25. Messiaen in 1978 24. Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod in the recording studio 1973. Messiaen in the 1970's 26. Messiaen in 1971 27. 29. Messiaen in the 1980's 28. Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod 1986 in Düsseldorfer Tonhalle. (photo:© Christine Langensiepen) 30. Messiaen at the presentation for the degree of Doctor of Music at the Guildhall London. 31. 33. 32 with Pierre Boulez Karlheinz Stockhausen and Messiaen in 1961 34 Stockhausen, Boulez and Messiaen in the 1980's 35. Messiaen's house at Petichet. © M.Ball 36. The studio 'annexe' at Petichet. © M.Ball 38. The "garage" at Messiaen's Petichet house. © M.Ball 37. Messiaen's piano at Petichet 39. 40. Lac Laffrey (2014)© M.Ball Messiaen purchased the small house and garage at Petichet in 1936 and he was to spend most summer months here where he composed a good deal of his output. Petichet was a haven for Messiaen where he was able to listen and note down songs of birds in relative peace. However, as years passed the onset of tourism became a source of irritation for him that resulted in the purchase of a second country home in the Sologne region. Petichet marks the starting point for walks to the Ecrins park and Mont-Blanc, but it is La Meije and the village of La Grave that make the strongest impression on him. Today, a summer festival takes place there to celebrate the life and works of Messiaen. 230 rue Marcadet Paris in the 18th arrondissement. The Paris residence shared by Messiaen and Loriod from 1961 to the composers death in 1992. Loriod continued to live here until her death in 2010. Loriod had a small studio apartment in this block and over the years the Messiaens expanded, purchasing other apartments within the block. It overlooks a small park with a band stand bearing a remarkable resemblance to the 'jardin de ville' in Grenoble where, as a young boy Messiaen enjoyed studying musical scores. 41. The rue Olivier-Messiaen is a private road located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. 42. 43. Located in north central France, 'La Sauline' became the Messiaens second country retreat from 1981 to 1995. 44. © M.Ball. Used with kind permission of the present owners. Josef Pyrz Sculptor Josef Pyrz (1946 - 2016) was born in Gawlowek, Poland but moved to France in 1979. Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod became great friends with the Pyrz family after seeing sculptures by him in churches in Paris and in the Sologne region. Pyrz and his family fell on hard times in the 1980's and Messiaen wanted to help him out by financial support and commissioned a sculpture of St. François d'Assise that was displayed at the Paris Opéra Garnier, during the 1983 performances of the work. 45. Eglise Notre Dame des Bruyères in Neuvy-sur-Barangeon where the 'Messiaens' worshipped in the Sologne region. 46. © M.Ball Sculpture of Messiaen by Josef Pyrz outside Eglise Notre Dame des Bruyères in Neuvy-sur-Barangeon 47. Monument funéraire des grands-parents, oncles et tantes du compositeur Olivier Messiaen. La statue " L'énergie foudroyée" est une reproduction d'une oeuvre de Léon Messiaen, oncle du compositeur qui fut Premier prix de sculpture des Beaux-Arts de Paris, réalisée en 1915 et exposée en 1919 sur les Champs-Elysées. Tomb of grandparents, aunts and uncles of Olivier Messiaen. The statue "The energy struck by lightning" is a reproduction of a work of Leon Messiaen, the composer's uncle who was first prize winner for sculpture des Beaux-Arts in Paris, constructed in 1915 and exhibited in 1919 on the Champs-Elysées. In the churchyard of La Chaise, near Fuligny, graves of the grand parents, uncles and aunts of Olivier Messiaen. Léon Messiaen The house at Fuligny in Aube region where Messiaen would visit his aunts in the 1920's and where he wrote the Préludes, Le Banquet eucharistique for orchestra and the organ work derived from part of it, Le Banquet céleste. Les Offrandes oubilees and Le Tombeau replendissant. This plaque marks the house where Messiaen and his family lived after WW1 from 1918 to 1919. 1 place des Enfants Nantais, Nantes. 48. 49. Messiaen spent his early childhood here at 2 cours Berriat, Grenoble. © Colin Samuels 50. © John Stead 52. 51. © Malcolm Ball La Meiji Copyright exists on all of these photographs. Downloading and electronic reproduction of any image is illegal without the express permission of the copyright owner. Back to top

  • CrowdfundMessiaen | Olivier Messiaen

    Please help us crowdfund new project: Messiaen Fugue State Films is run by film-maker Will Fraser. Founded in 2007, for ten years it was a partnership between Will and Simon Still, during which time they established themselves as one of the leading makers of films about music such as The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll and Maximum Reger . Their goal is to make films of the highest quality about the best classical music, films that both summarise present attitudes while seeking new views and pushing new opinions. Central to this goal is the creation of an ongoing set of wonderful films to promote the organ and the beautiful music of its repertoire, the intricate details and magnificent totality of the instrument itself, and the work of the celebrated artists who play it. ​ We want to make a lot of films about the tremendous French tradition of organ music – we’ve made films about Cavaillé-Coll, Franck, Widor and Vierne, but there is much more to cover – particularly the classical school of the Ancien Regime – Couperin, de Grigny etc, and of course the organists, composers and/or improvisers who followed Widor in the 20th century – Dupré, Duruflé, Litaize, Langlais, Alain, Cochereau, Guillou, Grunenwald, Hakim, Florentz and many more. There’s also of course the 21st century! But one name stands out, a composer of organ music who both dominates the instrument but also the general musical landscape of the 20th century: Olivier Messiaen . There are many ways to approach Messiaen and his organ music, but for now we have picked one of his later and slightly less well known works, the apocalyptic Livre du Saint-Sacrement (1985), an extraordinary and earth-moving compendium of drama, colour, evocation and a myriad of different languages, forms and techniques. The composition is an exploration of the sacrament of communion, each movement being based upon a Bible passage. It is the last and longest of all Messiaen’s organ compositions, and draws upon his lifelong experience as an organist and composer. We will record this with Tom Bell , who recently performed the work at both Westminster and Blackburn Cathedrals. Tom is one of the directors of the Royal College of Organists and is known for his concerts and classes around the UK and in Singapore, Australia and the USA. He is an avid proponent of 20th and 21st century music, from Schoenberg’s Variations on a Recitative through the recent Orgelbuchlein Project to Jean Guillou’s nine-organ epic, La Révolte des Orgues. An expert on Messiaen, not only will Tom perform the Livre du Saint-Sacrement and offer a presentation guiding the viewer through this work, but he will also co-present a documentary with leading Messiaen-scholar Christopher Dingle . They will also film with Messiaen’s musical descendants Thomas Lacôte and Loïc Mallié who are among the current organists at the composer’s church in Paris, La Trinité. Tom Bell is one of the regional directors of the Royal College of Organists, and has produced a set of 10 films for the RCO about Messiaen, as a sort of vlog - you can see Tom discussing Messiaen here Tom Bell himself says: ‘Messiaen's Livre du Saint-Sacrement (LSS) is the ultimate and longest organ piece by one of greatest composers of the 20th century. It is an ideal way to discover the sound world of Messiaen, as it is an almost comprehensive account of the major styles he used within his compositions, such as innovative use of rhythm, birdsong, richly colourful harmony and the influence of world music. ‘We shall also include Le Banquet Céleste and the Messe de la Pentecôte in this DVD for as full an account as possible of Messiaen’s style. ‘Therefore this one boxset shall showcase Messiaen's full range as a composer of organ music. Also, the LSS incorporates ideas present for the first time that Messiaen would explore in the last decade of his life, for instance a more ethereal sense of harmony that we find in his late piano works.’ Tom's co-presenter is Professor Christopher Dingle, author of The Life of Messiaen and Messiaen’s Final Works. Chris is one of the most authoritative Messiaen scholars in the world. Together they will explore the history, style and language of the piece. ​ The DVD/CD boxset we produce shall be therefore be both a spotlight on a particular work and an overall summation of Messiaen’s work as a composer! Please help us Crowdfund! We need to crowdfund £40,000 to make this set of films. Please prebuy this multi-disc boxset from Fugue State Films . You can do this at various levels: Gold Patron (£2000) Patron (£950) Educational (one course) (£600) Screener or Library (£300) Gold Recognised Subscriber (£195) Recognised Subscriber (£99) All options are available in our webshop, though if you want to support at one of the higher options, you can also email Will Fraser to arrange payment in a way that involves less expensive Paypal / transaction and exchange fees. The UK is going through what is hopefully a short-term economic crisis, and if you live abroad now is a great time to pay for this project as the pound is so low against every other currency. All supporters at these levels will be credited in the film and booklet. Please note – we are now offering two levels of Recognised Subscriber. As well as the ‘gold’ one, more or less analogous to what we have offered up to this point, there’s now also a £99 option. At the moment we are just accepting support at these levels, but soon we shall also offer the normal discounted prebuy: Early-bird Discount: Subscribe to Messiaen DVD Boxset (£35) – Available Soon ​ ​ All supporters will receive the multi-disc boxset when it is released in 2023. Your generosity will allow us to make this set of films. Please prebuy now! For this set of DVDs we will explore the form, style and language of Messiaen’s organ music, showing the extraordinary range and expressive depth of this composer’s work. We shall ask many questions, but one of them will certainly be: Is Messiaen the greatest organ composer since Bach? Please help us crowdfund!

  • Media | Olivier Messiaen

    MultiMedia ​ AUDIO and VIDEO FILES ALL OF THE BELOW AUDIO/VIDEO FILES ARE © copyright of the holder. NOTE: All audio and video files available on this site are for personal use only. NO REPOSTING OF ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IS PERMITTED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. Matthew Schellhorn's special film for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2021 For the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2021 (29 to 31 January), Matthew Schellhorn produced a special film in collaboration with young artists from across the country. Olivier Messiaen (1908–92) wrote numerous pieces inspired by birdsong. “Le Rouge-gorge ” (Robin) comes from a collection written in 1985 called “Petites esquisses d’oiseaux ” (Small Bird Sketches) and apart from the Robin features the Blackbird, the Song Thrush and the Skylark. The work was dedicated to the composer’s wife, Yvonne Loriod , with whom Matthew studied in Paris. Special thanks go to the talented pupils of Myatt Garden Primary School for taking part! Rodrigo De la Prida introduces Messiaen's Modes for Electric Guitar Find out more here . There were a few instruments that Messiaen never included in his compositions (saxophone, harp, timpani after the 1930's and guitar are among these) - Rodrigo De la Prida 's work opens up the sound world of Messiaen's modes for guitarists with excellent and engaging examples that range from chord and scale work to improvisation. Rodrigo says: 'With already 4 years of intense work, the 7 volumes of the book series about the scales of Olivier Messiaen and their applications on any musical genre, are now available. Just digital for now. More than 500 pages with 351 licks, guitar studies, arpeggios, atonal chords, triads and tetrads, and examples. This material represents a deep dive into the rich musical universe of the french composer'. ​ 'In this book series for guitar, Rodrigo tackles the exhaustive task of diving into the musical language of Olivier Messiaen, but from an unprejudiced view, where the different types of music coexist. Messiaen Modes for Electric Guitar aims to be a tool to expand the harmonic and melodic universe of the popular musician, but also a means to the study and deepening of modern language in the contemporary-classical music student as well'. M2BT-DEMO Rodrigo De la Prida 00:00 / 01:03 Here is a short demo of a backing track that comes with the book. © Rodrigo De la Prida Video trailer for the 1999 Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije featuring Gaëtan Puaud, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Messiaen. © INA.Fr ©INA During the 1973 English Bach Festival in London, Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod gave a recital at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Messiaen began by apologising for the way they were dressed. The taxi had gone off with all their luggage. He read the poetic preface to the piano work written three years earlier. Mme Messiaen then performed "La Fauvette des Jardins " @ 7' 40" Didier Wampas and Bikini Machine Olivier Messiaen Il voyait des couleurs Que l'on ne voit pas Et croyait en un Dieu Auquel on ne croit plus Olivier Messiaen Il faisait des mélodies Que l'on n'entend pas Et chanter des oiseaux Que l'on ne connaît plus Olivier Messiaen Oui mais grâce à lui J'ai découvert des mondes Des regards plein d'amours Des canyons aux étoiles Et un Quatuor Pour la fin des temps Composé au stalag Éclairs sur l'au-delà Saint François d'Assise Un soir à l'opéra Olivier Messiaen Oui mais grâce à lui J'ai découvert des mondes Des regards plein d'amours Des canyons aux étoiles Oui mais grâce à lui J'ai découvert des mondes Des catalogues d'oiseaux Des canyons aux étoiles Oui mais grâce à lui J'ai découvert des mondes Et le Regard du père Des canyons aux étoiles ©Didier Wampas He saw colors That we don't see And believed in a God In which we no longer believe Olivier Messiaen He made melodies That we don't hear And sing of the birds That we no longer know Olivier Messiaen Yes but thanks to him I discovered worlds Gazes full of love Des canyons aux étoiles And a Quatuor Pour la fin des temps Composed in a Stalag Éclairs sur l'au-delà Saint François d’Assisi An evening at the opera Olivier Messiaen Yes but thanks to him I discovered worlds Gazes full of love Des canyons aux étoiles Yes but thanks to him I discovered worlds Catalogue d’oiseaux Des canyons aux étoiles Yes but thanks to him I discovered worlds And the Regard du père Des canyons aux étoiles Historic Recordings of Messiaen by Messiaen . Transfer from original 78rpm records recorded in 1949 of Visions de l'Amen with Yvonne Loriod and recording of OM playing his Quatre Etudes 1951. FMR Records FMRCD 120-L0403. Order via the Contact form . 00:00 / 00:26 00:00 / 00:54 00:00 / 00:54 VINGT REGARDS SUR L'ENFANT JESUS Louise Bessette Atma ACD22219/20 LE COURLIS CENDRE / LE MERLE NOIR / Mozart / Levinas / Gougeon / Mâche Louise Bessette RCI 650 Claude-Samuel Levine would like to share his playing of movements from the Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps : using VSTi Synful Orchestra and VSTi Pianoteq, humanly played in Cubase. Liturgie de Cristal Vocalise pour l'ange qui annonce la fin du temps Abyme des Oiseaux Intermède CD and downloads of the complete Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps now available direct from Claude-Samuel here . 00:00 / 02:38 After a period of two years work, Claude-Samuel Lévine has produced a version of TurangalilaSymphonie created entirely by computer software instruments and MIDI (except for 'live' Ondes Martenot played on the Ondea). This is a detailed interpretation that in no way proposes to 'replace' real musicians, but can provide an insight into Messiaen's microscopic detail in the work. Further commentaries can be found on Claude-Samuel's web site as well as audio and visual clips. The CD and DVD are also available to purchase here . Click here to see and hear Thomas Bloch and Jean-François Zygel perform 4th Feuillet Inedits. ​ Click here to see and hear Willem Tanke perform Messiaen's organ works. ©Willem Tanke Nans Bart Variations sur un thème de Messiaen ((Thème du Final - 10ème Mvt. de la Turangalila-Symphonie)) for Percussion Ensemble here ©Thomas Bloch

  • Bibliography | Olivier Messiaen

    This is not a definitive bibliography but rather a selection of key publications by scholars and authors from around the world. Olivier Messiaen par Gaëtan Puaud Bleu nuit éditeur EAN : 9782358840989 Horizons N°77 Parution : 01/2021 176 pages Format : 140 x 200 mm Gaëtan Puaud is a long-time champion of Messiaen and his music and has held the position of director of the Festival de la Meije dedicated to Olivier Messiaen for 20 years. This first biography for the 'horizons collection ' not only traces Messiaen's life in music and the arts but also reveals how Messiaen's work was received and promoted outside of Europe. In particular the efforts of Russian pianist Gregory Haimovsky who single handedly introduced the music of Messiaen to the Soviet Union, with great courage and in spite of several persecutions. He himself was spiritually transformed by the music of Messiaen and premiered several works in Russia and made a couple of recordings for Melodiya, Russia's national record label. Gregory Heimovsky: A Pianist's Odyssey to Freedom University of Rochester Press; Illustrated edition (25 Jun. 2018) Language ‏ : ‎ English Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 280 pages ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1580469310 ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1580469319 Interlacing material from previously unknown Russian archives, original recordings, photographs, and essays, Gregory Haimovsky: A Pianist's Odyssey to Freedom is the story of an extraordinary Russian concert pianist who, fighting the cultural prohibitions of the USSR, eventually succeeded in performing and recording major works by the prominent French composer Olivier Messiaen. At the lowest point of his life, expelled from Moscow and exiled to a small provincial city, Haimovsky discovered Messiaen's oeuvre uncatalogued and hidden in the library of the Union of Soviet Composers. Haimovsky's intense studies and Soviet premieres of these banned compositions healed and liberated his mind, spirit, and artistic imagination. Messiaen's music also deepened and fueled Haimovsky's fierce personal and musical opposition to Soviet political and cultural doctrines. Told partly in Haimovsky's own words and supplemented by interviews with several performers who worked with him between 1960 and 1972 as well as stories from his correspondence with major Russian artists, writers, and musicians of the time, Marissa Silverman's vivid narrative sheds new light on relationships between twentieth-century Russian music, Soviet politics, and the culture wars that raged during and after Stalin's barbaric rule. Here is a very moving letter from Messiaen to Haimovsky, thanking him with all his heart for having struggled to introduce his music in Russia. (from Gregory Heimovsky's personal archive) Boydell Press ISBN-10: 1783270136 ISBN-13: 978-1783270132 The music critic Felix Aprahamian (1914-2005) was a remarkable self-made man whose enormous influence in musical circles was deeply founded in his practical experience of promoting music in London, notably British and French composers. Early on he became interested in the organ and was soon corresponding with the leading French names of the day - André Marchal, Charles Tournemire, Maurice Duruflé and the young Olivier Messiaen. Et Exspecto... Festival Messiaen au pays de la Meije - 20 ans d'utopie Raphaëlle Blin with the photos of Colin Samuels Gaëtan Puaud , fondateur du Festival Olivier Messiaen au Pays de la Meije Raphaëlle Blin , auteure et élève musicologue du Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris Anne Roubet, responsable des Éditions du Conservatoire See Home page for Special Offer purchase details. ​ Roderick Chadwick and Peter Hill give a detailed account of the evolution of Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux and illuminates the Catalogue from a variety of angles: its historical significance, as a study of how mimicry of nature can be transformed into music of mesmeric originality, and as a guide that offers a wealth of fresh insights to listeners and performers. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781107000315. Messiaen: Texts, Contexts, and Intertexts (1937-1948) t he late French literature scholar Richard Burton examines nine of Messiaen's works in the context of the broader French Catholic intellectual tradition. Burton creates a vivid picture of the previously unexamined spiritual and philosophical inspirations behind Messiaen's pivotal mid-century compositions. Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780190277949. Le Modèle et l'Invention. Olivier Messiaen et la technique de l'emprunt. Yves Balmer, Thomas Lacôte et Christopher Brent Murray - préface deGeorge Benjamin. This book shows that Olivier Messiaen built his unique compositions by transforming the music he loved. Messiaen drew compositional material from eclectic sources ranging from the melodic curves of Mozart and Rameau to the irrational rhythms of Debussy and Jolivet; Publisher : Symétrie ISBN 978-2-36485-045-3 Four Last SongsAging and Creativity in Verdi, Strauss, Messiaen and Britten by Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon Though it exhausted him physically and emotionally, Messiaen at the age of seventy-five finished his only opera, Saint François d’Assise, which marked the pinnacle of his career. Britten, meanwhile, suffering from heart problems, refused surgery until he had completed his masterpiece, Death in Venice. For all four composers, age, far from sapping their creative power, provided impetus for some of their best accomplishments. University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 9780226420684 Olivier Messiaen: A Research and Information Guide, Second Edition, presents researchers with the most significant and helpful resources on Olivier Messiaen, one of the twentieth century's greatest composers. With multiple indices, this annotated bibliography will serve as an excellent tool for librarians, researchers, and scholars sorting through the massive amount of material in the field. The second edition has been fully revised and updated. Routledge ISBN 9781138106505. The Doctoral dissertation “The Sounds of the Rainbow” i s a study on La Nativité du Seigneur for organ by Olivier Messiaen. The work inquires especially: History of La Nativité Analysis of the musical language Relation between the musical language and Messiaen’s theological mind.The dissertation inquires expecially in depth the relationship between Messiaen and the synaesthetic painter Charles Blanc-Gatti, who painted nine pastels on La Nativité. A theology of the organ is also remarked. In Italian by Dario Paolini Quartet for the End of Time by Johanna Skibsrud Windmill Books,Language: English ISBN-10: 0099558629 A mesmerising tale of love, justice and the connections that transcend the passage of time, from the Giller prize-winning author Johanna Skibsrud. Visions of Amen: The Early Life and Music of Olivier Messiaen Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company Language: English ISBN-10: 0802807623 ISBN-13: 978-0802807625 This book explores the enormous web of influences in the early part of Messiaens long life. The first section of the book provides an intellectual biography of Messiaens early life in order to make his (difficult) music more accessible to the general listener. The second section offers an analysis of and thematic commentaries on Messiaens pivotal work for two pianos, Visions of Amen, composed in 1943. Schloessers analysis includes timing indications corresponding to a downloadable performance of the work by accomplished pianists Stéphane Lemelin and Hyesook Kim. IL SAINT FRANÇOIS D'ASSISE DI OLIVIER MESSIAEN Book by Carola Lambruschini - 450 pages, 90 musical examples, a wealth of synoptical tables - italian language ABEditore, Milano, 2013. Collana: Saggistica musicale. ISBN-10: 8865511389 ISBN-13: 978-8865511381 Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences. Ashgate ISBN: 978-1-4094-2695-0 Edited by Christopher Dingle , Birmingham Conservatoire, UK and Robert Fallon , Carnegie Mellon School of Music, USA Sources and Influences presents many new primary sources, including discussion of Messiaen’s birdsong cahiers, sketch and archival materials for his Prix de Rome entries and war-time Portique, along with performance practice insights and theological inspiration in works as diverse as Visions de l’Amen, Harawi, Timbres-durées and the organ Méditations. The volume places the composer within a broader historical and cultural framework than has previously been attempted, ranging from specific influences to more general contexts. As a centrepiece, the book includes an examination of the impact of one of the greatest influences upon Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod. Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception Ashgate ISBN: 978-1-4094-2696-7 Techniques, Influence and Reception explores Messiaen’s imprint on recent musical life. The first part scrutinizes his compositional technique in terms of counterpoint, spectralism and later piano music, while the second charts ways in which Messiaen’s influence is manifest in the music and careers of Ohana, Xenakis, Murail and Quebecois composers. The third part includes case studies of Messiaen’s reception in Italy, Spain and the USA. The volume also includes an ornithological catalogue of Messiaen’s birds, collates information on the numerous ‘tombeaux’ pieces he inspired, and concludes with a Critical Catalogue of Messiaen’s Musical Works. Messiaen's Musical Techniques: The Composer's View and Beyond by Gareth Healey. April 2013. Ashgate ISBN: 978-1-4094-4825- 9 Despite Messiaen's position as one of the greatest technical innovators of the twentieth century, his musical language has not been comprehensively defined and investigated. The composer's 1944 theoretical study, The Technique of My Musical Language, expounds only its initial stages, and while his posthumously published Traité de rythme, de couleur, et d'ornithologie contains detailed explanations of selected techniques, in most cases the reader is left to define these more precisely by observing them in the context of Messiaen's analyses of his own works. Gareth Healey charts the development and interconnections, considers their relationship with formal structures, and applies them in refined and extended form to works for which Messiaen himself left no published analysis. The method of analysing Messiaen's harmonies outlined in this book has been implemented in software available for download at garethhealey.com Les Chants du silence Broché – Béatrice MARCHAL Delatour France; Édition : Collection Pensée Musicale dirigée par Jean-Michel Bardez Language : Français-ISBN-10: 2752100671 ISBN-13: 978-2752100672 On a souvent répété, à la suite d'Olivier Messiaen lui-même, que sa mère Cécile Sauvage avait, en écrivant L'Ame en bourgeon, déterminé sa vocation d'artiste et de musicien. Tout n'était pas dit pour autant et la découverte récente de manuscrits longtemps cachés a révélé quel drame intime avait précipité la mélancolie puis la mort de cette femme bien différente de l'image convenue qui nous en est restée. Devant le malheur de sa mère, l'enfant impuissant aurait alors exploité ses dons musicaux hors du commun comme l'opportunité d'instaurer une relation soustraite à l'inavouable, aussi intense que les mots. L'enfermement dans la douleur et le mutisme aurait ainsi trouvé remède dans une musique tissée de silence. Collection Pensée Musicale Birdsong in the music of Olivier Messiaen by David Kraft Arosa Press. ISBN 978-1477517796 In this book, Dr David Kraft surveys and evaluates Messiaen's use of birdsong and formulates a chronological and critical taxonomy of his music, covering the species involved and his evolving methods of manipulation, instrumentation and harmonic incorporation. He also explores issues relating to authenticity and modification with respect to the incorporation of birdsong in Messiaen's music. Further, he develops appropriate graphical and tabular methods in order to help the reader better to understand his music. MESSIAEN'S FINAL WORKS by CHRISTOPHER DINGLE (Ashgate, ISBN 9780754606338) Messiaen's Final Works examines the seven works which Messiaen completed after Saint François and argues that, following the crisis provoked by the opera, his music underwent a discernible change in style. In addition, the book uses the works in question to examine the characteristics of Messiaen's music, with a particular emphasis on an often overlooked aspect of his technique: harmony. In the process, many other questions are addressed, such as the ways in which Messiaen utilizes birdsong within a larger structure. Messiaen's Final Works is in three parts. Part I begins with a brief historical survey before discussing Saint François d'Assise as the work which defines everything that follows. Part II examines the series of miniatures whose significance belies their (relatively) modest proportions. Not only do they provide an indication of Messiaen's artistic self-confidence, but they also contain important links with his final masterpiece, Éclairs sur l'au-delà.. This sublime eleven movement work for large orchestra is the subject of Part III, and is the focus of the book. Each movement is analysed in turn, before the work is considered as an entity and its hidden structure and motivic cohesion is discussed. OLIVIER MESSIAEN-JOURNALIST: by Stephen Broad. Published Ashgate: (ISBN: 978-0-7546-0876-9) Contents: Preface; Introduction; The Journalism: Articles for la revue musicale; Articles for La Sirène (later La Syrinx); Articles for Le monde musical; Articles for La Page musicale; Articles for various other journals; A catalogue of Messiaen's journalism; Selected personalia; Bibliography; Index. RELIGION UND GLAUBE Religion and Faith as Essential Artistic Energies in the Works of Olivier Messiaen and Other Composers Herausgeber: Goetze, Albrecht U. Hiekel, Jörn P.; Goetze, Albrecht; Hiekel, Jörn P. Published by:Wolke Verlagsges. ISBN 10: 3936000263. Olivier Messiaen THE CENTENARY PAPERS Edited by Judith Crispin In 2008 musicians and scholars world-wide celebrated the centenary of Olivier Messiaen's birth. One of the most influential composers in living memory, Messiaen is remembered as a great nature poet - a mystic whose music had a profound effect on the Twentieth-century avant-garde. This volume of essays, marking the occasion of Messiaen's centenary, was authored by musicologists, performers, composers, ornithologists and researchers from Australia, Germany, France, North America, Japan, New Zealand, Serbia and England. The writers, internationally acclaimed experts as well as emerging scholars, span three generations - living testimony to the diverse and lasting sphere of Messiaen's legacy. ISBN: 9781443824989 - Cambridge Scholars Publishing The Miracle of Stalag 8A. Beauty Beyond the Horror by John William McMullen BIRD BRAIN PUBLISHING ASIN: B0040GJI6C - ISBN 978-0-9826255-2-151995 The Miracle of Stalag 8A is a retelling of the fascinating story of Olivier Messiaen's composition of his Quartet for the End of Time. The enigmatic Messiaen, an avant-garde composer and also a devout Catholic, along with Etienne Pasquier, an agnostic cellist, Henri Akoka, a Jewish Trotskyite Clarinetist, and Jean le Boulaire, an atheistic violinist, become the famous quartet of Stalag 8A. These four very different men collaborated to create musical history in the most unlikely of places. Messiaen's Quartet, composed in a Stalag, transforms man's inhumanity to man with hope. Olivier Messiaen - Dai canyons alle stelle by Peter Hill Pub: Il Saggiatore (Italian) EAN9788842814856 A century after his birth, Messiaen's work was missing in Italy. This gap is now filled by this book edited by the English pianist and musicologist Peter Hill, a former pupil of Messiaon and Yvonne Loriod. Here, broken down by gender, the vast production of the French master is addressed by scholars such as Wilfred Mellers, Jane Manning. Richard Steinitz, Paul Griffith and Hill himself. The work is completed by two introductory articles that emphasize the breadth of the cultural life and work of Messiaen: music of the Greeks, that of India and Japan, the song of birds, and structuralism Darmstadtium and more. Messiaen the Theologian. Edited by Andrew Shenton, Boston University, USA Ashgate. ISBN: 978-0-7546-66400 An international array of Messiaen scholars cover a wide variety of topics including Messiaen's personal spirituality, the context of Catholicism in France in the twentieth century, and comparisons between Messiaen and other artists such as Dante and T.S. Eliot. Interdisciplinary methodologies such as exegesis, theological studies and analysis are used to contribute to the understanding of several major works including Éclairs sur l'au-delá..., Sept Haïkaï and Saint François d'Assise. La Maison Dieu Olivier Messiaen, les couleurs del Parole. Publisher: Cerf (2 July 2009) Articles by: Heller - Toury - Guiberteau - Fort - Girault - Sakharov Language: French ASIN: B001VFNXUC Messiaen: Transcending Time (ISBN: 363909574X / 3-639-09574-X ) Mareli Stolp. Publisher: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller Olivier Messiaen, one of the most prolific composers of the 20th Century, was a devout Catholic whose compositions were very often inspired by the ideals of his faith. A theme that recurrs often in his works is music's relationship to time, and the linear nature of the passage of time as human beings comprehend it. It is Messiaen's ideal to write music that aspires to reach a divine level, free from human constraints. The most important of these constraints is time, music being dependant on the linear passage of time. By using a variety of techniques, Messiaen tries to alter the linear nature of time, thus reaching Divinity on a symbolic level. This book discusses the reasons for Messiaen's attitude towards time in music. It also gives a thorough analyses of two major works, the Visions de l'Amen and the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus, as examples of Messiaen's techniques for approaching time in music. Performing Messiaen's Organ Music: 66 Masterclasses by Jon Gillock. Publisher: Indiana University Press English ISBN-10: 0253353734 - ISBN-13: 978-0253353733 Messiaen was the most influential composer for the organ in the 20th century. Shaped by French tradition as well as the innovations of Debussy, Stravinsky, and Bartók, Messiaen developed a unique style that would become his signature. Using Messiaen's own analytical and aesthetic notes as a point of departure, Jon Gillock offers detailed commentary on the performance of Messiaen's 66 organ works. Gillock provides background information on the composition and premiere of each piece, a translation of Messiaen's related writings, and a systematic explanation of performance considerations. Gillock also supplies details about the organ at La Trinité in Paris, the instrument for which most of Messiaen's pieces were imagined. The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond by Sander van Maas. Fordham University Press ISBN-13: 9780823230587 On the basis of a careful analysis of Olivier Messiaen's work, this book argues for a renewal of our thinking about religious music. Addressing his notion of a “hyper-religious” music of sounds and colors, it aims to show that Messiaen has broken new ground. The work of Olivier Messiaen is well known for its inclusion of religious themes and gestures. These alone, however, do not seem enough to account for the religious status of the work. Arguing for a “breakthrough toward the beyond” on the basis of the synaesthetic experience of music, Messiaen invites a confrontation with contemporary theologians and post-secular thinkers. Starting from an analysis of his 1960s oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, this book arranges a moderated dialogue between Messiaen and the music theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of religion and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-François Lyotard. Ultimately, this confrontation underscores the challenging yet deeply affirmative nature of Messiaen's music. Italian musician and musicologist Chiara Bertoglio's book, "Per Sorella Musica" deals with the most important musical versions of St. Francis' "Canticle of the Creatures" in 20th century classical music. Sizeable chunks of the book are devoted to Messiaen's St. François d'Assise. ISBN: 8874025157. Publisher: Effatà, Italy. Olivier Messiaen: a bibliographical catalogue of Messiaen's works : first editions and first performances : with illustrations of the title pages, programmes and documents. by Nigel Simeone. Schneider, 1998. ISBN 3795209471, 9783795209476 Olivier Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise. Cammino verso la joie parfaite: With musical examples pp. 146 - cm. 17x24 - Euro 25,00 - www.zecchini.com - ISBN 13: 978-88-87203-76-9 IN ITALIAN LES VISIONS D'OLIVIER MESSIAEN by SIGLIND BRUHN. Publisher: HARMATTAN ISBN: 9782296056657 in French Ce livre examine l'influence profonde de la religion sur le langage musical d'Olivier Messiaen. Dans la première partie, il décrit la relation pratiquement invariable entre certains motifs, accords et autres composants musicaux et leur signification théologique. Dans les seconde et troisième parties, les intuitions développées autour de ce "vocabulaire musico-théologique" sont appliquées à une analyse détaillée et approfondie de deux cycles fondamentaux de ce compositeur, Visions de l'Amen pour deux pianos (1943) et Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus pour piano seul (1944). Messiaen's Contemplations of Covenant and Incarnation: Musical Symbols of Faith in the Two Great Piano Cycles of the 1940s by Siglind Bruhn Pendragon Press ISBN-10: 1576471292 ISBN-13: 978-1576471296 Messiaen characterized himself as a rhythmician, ornithologist, and theologian. All interpreters concur that his life and work are grounded in a profound faith. This book examines the translation of his faith into his musical language. It centers on a hermeutic analysis of two spiritually motiviated instrumental compositions, Visions de l'amen for two pianos (1943) and Vingt Regards sur l enfant-Jésus for piano solo (1944). Part I introduces the main aspects of the composer s religious environment (the catholic literary revival, his father Pierre and his mentor Charles Tournemire) as well as the components of his idiosyncratic musico-symbolic vocabulary. Parts II and III examine the twenty-seven movements comprised in the Visions< and the Regards, whose thematic material, structure, and musical as well as spiritual function within the whole cycle are interpreted in light of the literary source and imagery that inspired Messiaen. Messiaen's Explorations of Love and Death: Musico-poetic Signification in the Tristan Trilogy and Three Related Song Cycles (Dimension and Diversity: Studies in 20th-Century Music) Pendragon Press ISBN-10: 1576471365 - ISBN-13: 978-1576471364 Messiaen's lifelong quest centered on the colors and rhythms of a music that would serve as a vehicle for his thoughts about time, his love of God, and his enthusiasm for birdsong. An additional topic about which he felt deeply is that of passionate, fated human love and its relationship to death on the one hand, the love of God on the other. During the years 1936-1948, he composed five cycles of vocal music to his own texts as well as the Turangalîla Symphony, the monumental centerpiece of his Tristan Trilogy. The focus of this study is the in-depth analysis and interpretation of these six works on love, with particular regard for their unusual wealth of poetic, sonic, and visual colors and imagery. The wonder of rainbows, the magic of exotic sounds, the fantastic attractiveness of surrealist representations, and the majestic inexorability of fate in myths of various times and cultures define Messiaen s lyrics as much as his idiosyncratic, highly symbolic musical language, which never fails to build bridges between this and another world. Messiaen's Interpretations of Holiness and Trinity: Echoes of Medieval Theology in the Oratorio, Organ Meditations, and Opera by Siglind Bruhn ISBN-10: 157647139X - ISBN-13: 978-1576471395 Three of Messiaen's later works, La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, Méditations sur le mystére de la Sainte Trinité, and Saint François d Assise, are linked by the fact that the composer refers to and quotes from Thomas Aquinas. The composer s reception of Thomistic texts is one of the principles guiding the interpretations in this study. On the one hand, Messiaen had been pondering Thomas s thoughts on the role of music in the life of a Christian and on music s possible spiritual content all through his professional life; on the other hand, the oratorio, the organ meditations, and the opera are the only works in which Messiaen quotes extensive Thomistic sentences addressing purely theological subject matter. The first aspect, Messiaen s appropriation of or felicitous congruence with the medieval theologian s views on music underlies all analyses as a kind of background fabric. The second aspect, Messiaen s quotations from the Summa theologica and their musical translation, determines segments of a larger discussion that, in the book s three main chapters, attempts to do justice to the compositions as a whole. While Thomas theological aesthetics appears as a thread woven through a texture in a way that brings it only periodically to the foreground, the statements from Thomas s writings provide essential foundations determining the works content and its musical rendering. Olivier Messiaen, Troubadour by Siglind Bruhn Liebesverständnis und musikalische Symbolik in Poèmes pour Mi, Chants de terre et de ciel, Trois petites Liturgies de la présence divine, Harawi, Turangalîla-Sinfonie und Cinq Rechants EDITION GORZ. ISBN 978-3-938095-07-2 in German Messiaens ‘Summa theologica’ by Siglind Bruhn Musikalische Spurensuche mit Thomas von Aquin in La Transfiguration, Méditations und Saint François d’Assise EDITION GORZ. ISBN 978-3-938095-09-6 in German Messiaen, l'empreinte d'un géant by Catherine Lechner-Reydellet ISBN-10: 2840495112 - ISBN-13: 978-2840495116 Pub. Editions Seguier in French Présentation de l'éditeur Il fut celui par qui tout arriva pour que demeure notre passion, celui pour qui le chant du rossignol en lisière des forêts, de la linotte dans les vignobles de Charente et de la fauvette à lunettes dans les garrigues du Roussillon, redonna le droit d'être musicien Catherine Lechner-Reydellet, écrivain et pianiste, professeur au Conservatoire de Musique et d'Art dramatique de Grenoble, nous présente Olivier Messiaen, revisité par ses anciens élèves, ses illustres interprètes, ses amis, journalistes, chefs d'orchestre et poètes, sous un éclairage inhabituel jamais dévoilé à ce jour. Messiaen ou la lumière by Philippe Olivier Pub.Hermann in French ISBN-10: 2705667253 - ISBN-13: 978-2705667252 THE LIFE OF MESSIAEN by CHRISTOPHER DINGLE (Cambridge University Press, ISBN 052163220X / 0521635470) The Life of Messiaen paints a more nuanced picture of the man and the musician, peering behind Messiaen's public persona to examine the private difficulties and creative struggles that were the true backdrop to many of his greatest achievements. Based upon the latest research, including previously overlooked sources, this book provides an excellent introduction to Messiaen's life and work, presenting a fascinating new perspective of a man whose story is more remarkable than the myths surrounding it. Olivier Messiaen's System of Signs Notes Towards Understanding His Music Andrew Shenton Andrew Shenton's groundbreaking cross-disciplinary approach to Messiaen's music presents a systematic and detailed examination of the compositional techniques of one of the most significant musicians of the twentieth century as they relate to his desire to express profound truths about Catholicism.It is widely accepted that music can have mystical and transformative powers, but because 'pure' music has no programme, Messiaen sought to refine his compositions to speak more clearly about the truths of the Catholic faith by developing a sophisticated semiotic system in which aspects of music become direct signs for words and concepts. Using interdisciplinary methodologies drawing on linguistics, cognition studies, theological studies and semiotics, Shenton traces the development of Messiaen's sign system using examples from many of Messiaen's works and concentrating in particular on the "Meditations sur le mystere de la Sainte Trinite" for organ, a suite which contains the most sophisticated and developed use of a sign system and represents a profound exegesis of Messiaen's understanding of the Catholic triune God.By working on issues of interpretation, Shenton endeavours to bridge the traditional gap between scholars and performers and to help people listen to Messiaen's music with spirit and understanding. Messiaen, a major biography by Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone, published by Yale University Press This book includes extracts from the private diaries and papers of Olivier Messiaen for the first time, along with several hundred photographs. This project has been awarded very significant Research Grant funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Board. see reviews The French edition of the book (Paris, Fayard, 2008) includes "Sigle" - a short little piece for unaccompanied flute which has been published for the first time as an illustration here. There is also a detailed catalogue of works and an additional chapter on Messiaen's musical language that are not in the English version. OLIVIER MESSIAEN- Christopher Dingle & Nigel Simeone (editors) Music, Art and Literature (Ashgate, ISBN 0754606333). 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 a large 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. Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jesus: Messiaen's means of conveying extra-musical subtext (Olivier Messiaen, France) by Christopher S. Bowlby ProQuest / UMI (March 22, 2006) ISBN: 0542177072 The purpose of this study is to answer the question: How does Messiaen's approach to musical architecture convey symbolic or programmatic meaning in his mammoth work for solo piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus ? Not every movement is described in detail. Each example is only discussed insomuch as is necessary to determine how applicable musical elements or compositional processes underline the intended message. Much of the conclusions identify the ways in which a basic technique, such as a melody and the mode with which it is constructed, implies a meaning, perhaps through Messiaen's own notes or indications in the score or through original or previously published analysis. Furthermore, the examination deals with these basic means and how they are combined and superimposed to produce proportions of interest or how they might serve to exemplify a numerological or theological significance. Olivier Messiaen\'s composition techniques in Reveil des Oiseaux (France) -- Dissertation ProQuest / UMI (December 18, 2006) Language: English ISBN-10: 0542015919ISBN-13: 978-0542015915 In his first major composition in the so-called “le style oiseaux”, Olivier Messiaen uses thirty-eight bird calls as his main musical material. Despite Messiaen's claim that the piece is ‘merely a truthful translation’ of nature, this dissertation focuses on how the composition is organically produced; in terms of its form, its pitch material and its timbral treatment. It was especially exciting to follow his very personal and literal form of ‘com-po-sing’ (in the sense of ‘putting together’ or ‘combining’); a technique in which small units of previously heard music reappear later, meticulously re-shuffled or combined with seemingly different music. It was particularly thrilling to delve into his innovative ways of treating the original bird calls. MESSIAEN STUDIES. Edited by Robert Sholl This collection of scholarly essays offers new cultural, historical, biographical and analytical perspectives on Messiaen's musical oeuvre from 1941 to 1992. The volume includes: a fascinating snapshot of Messiaen's life in occupied France; a study of the Surrealist poetics of Messiaen's song cycle Harawi; a chapter on Messiaen's iconoclastic path to the avant-garde heritage that he bequeathed to his pupils; discussion on Messiaen's place in twentieth-century music; and detailed analysis of specific works, including his opera St François d'Assise. OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever is based on Paul Festa's award-winning and critically acclaimed film Apparition of the Eternal Church. The book and movie capture the explosive responses of 31 mostly nonreligious artists to the apocalyptic music of the Christian visionary Olivier Messiaen. Published by Bar Nothing Books OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Oiseaux exotiques Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone Series: Landmarks in Music Since 1950 Ashgate ISBN: 0 7546 5630 6 see review OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Benitez, Vincent P. Olivier Messiaen: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Routledge Publishing, 2008. Music for the End of Time by Jen Bryant (Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co)ISBN: 0802852297 This work is Jen Bryant's poetic biography of French composer Olivier Messiaen, coupled with Beth Peck's evocative pastel illustrations, captures both the desolation of a World War II prison camp and the transforming power of music. This book will stir readers of all ages to seek hope in the things that inspire them, and is a great introduction to Messiaen for children from 8 years upward. Saint Francois D'Assise Premieres Loges Avant Scene Opera Arts Et Spectacle Revues 21/10/2004 ISBN:2843852021 French Masters of the Organ Saint-Saëns, Franck, Widor, Vierne, Dupré, Langlais, Messiaen Michael Murray. Yale University Press 2005 For the End of Time The Story of the Messiaen Quartet Rebecca Rischin see reviews After his death Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen compiled all of Messiaens' writings which are now published in 7 volumes entitled 'Traité de Rythme, de Couleur, et d'Ornithologie' (Paris, Leduc) LE GROUPE JEUNE FRANCE by SERGE GUT Yves Baudrier - Daniel Lesur - André Jolivet - Olivier Messiaen Editions Honoré Champion, Collection Musique - Musicologie, 1977 MESSIAEN ON MESSIAEN The composer writes about his works. Text by Messiaen translated by Irene Feddern Frangipani Press. 1986 The 22 Piano Concertos by Mozart. Introduced and analyzed by Messiaen Paris. Librairie Seguier. 1990. in-12° (11,5x18,5 cm). 121 p. The Messiaen Companion: edited by Peter Hill (London, Faber and Faber 1995) Les Oiseaux de Messiaen: Nicole Malinconi, Melanie Berger (Esperluete Eds 2005) ISBN:2930223561 Olivier Messiaen: L'homme et son oeuvre. Pierrette Mari (Paris, Segheres, 1965) Das orgelwerk Messiaens:Sieglinde Ahrens ,Hans-Dieter Möller, and Almut Rössler, (Duisburg, Gilles and Francke, 1976) Olivier Messiaen: Claude Rostand (Ed. Ventadour,1952/57) Contributions to the Spiritual World of Olivier Messiaen: Almut Rössler (Gilles & Francke 1986) Recontres avec Olivier Messiaen: Antoine Goléa (Paris, Julliard 1960-reprinted Slatkine Genéve-Paris 1984) Olivier Messiaen: Harry Halbreich (Paris, Fayard/SACEM 1980) Extensively revised in 2008 Olivier Messiaen: Leben und Werk: Theo Hirsbrunner (Laaber-Verlag 1988) Olivier Messiaen and the Music of Time: Paul Griffiths (London/Boston, Faber and Faber 1985) Thomas Daniel Schlee / Dietrich Kämper (Hg.): Olivier Messiaen. La Cite celeste - das himmlische Jerusalem. Über das Leben und Werk des französischen Komponisten. Köln Wienand Verlag 1998. Olivier Messiaen: une poetique de merveilleux: Brigitte Massin (Aix-en-Provence, Alinéa, 1989) Messiaen: Robert Sherlaw Johnson (London. Dent 1976. R/1989) Portrait(s) d'Olivier Messiaen: Catherine Massip (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) Messiaen: Roger Nichols (London Oxford University Press 1975 2/1986) Bien Cher Félix..Letters from Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod to Felix Aprahamian (Cambridge, Mirage 1998) Messiaen: Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps: Anthony Pople (Cambridge University Press 1998 ISBN 0521585384) Entretiens avec Olivier Messiaen: Claude Samuel (Paris, Belfond 1967 Eng. translation 1976) The Organ Music of Olivier Messiaen: Stuart Waumsley (Paris, Leduc 1968) Music and Colour: New Interviews: Claude Samuel (Paris, Belfond 1986) Olivier Messiaen, the Musical Mediator. A study of the influence of Liszt, Debussy and Bartok: Madeleine Hsu (Fairleigh Dickinson UP1996) Technique de non langage musical: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1944 Eng. translation 1956) ​ ​ Vingt lecons d'harmonie: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1944 Eng. translation 1956) Conférence de Bruxelles: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1958) ​ Conférence de Kyoto: (Paris, Leduc 1985) Conférence de Notre Dame: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1978) Olivier Messiaen: Heinz-Klaus Metzger and Rainer Riehn. text + kritic (Munich 1982) Messiaens"Saint Francois d'Assise" von Aloyse Michaely, Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Rainer Riehn (2006) ISBN 10: 3878779763-ISBN 13: 9783878779766, Querstand, Musikalische Konzepte Bd.1+2. Stroemfeld - Kartoniert/Broschie Siglind Bruhn, Images and Ideas in Modern French Piano Music: The Extra Musical Subtext in Piano Works by Ravel, Debussy and Messiaen (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1997) Olivier Messiaen and the Tristan Myth by Audrey Ekdahl Davidson (Praeger Pub Text; ISBN: 0275973409) Siglind Bruhn (ed.), Messiaen’s Language of Mystical Love. Volume 1 in the series “Twentieth-Century Studies in Music” (New York: Garland, 1998). Jean Boivin: La classe de Messiaen. Paris, Christian Bourgois éditeur, collection " Musique/Passé/Présent 1995. Meisterwerke der Musik:Olivier Messiaen Turangalîla Symphonie by Klaus Schweizer (Wilhem Fink Verlag) Messiaen Les sons impalpables du rêve Pascal Arnault, Nicolas Darbon. Editeur : Millenaire III Collection : Compositeurs De Notre Temps ISBN : 2911906055 STEFAN KEYM: Farbe und Zeit - Untersuchungen zur musiktheatralen Struktur und Semantik von Olivier Messiaens Saint Francois d'Assise. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag 2002. - X/557 S. mit zahlreichen Notenbeispielen und Register. ISBN: 3-487-11661-8 Messiaen by Alain Périer (Paris, Seuil 1979) Olivier Messiaen homme de foi (Trinite Media Communication 1995) I have included this VHS SECAM video here (now available on DVD) as I believe it to be an invaluable archive to those of us who were not lucky enough to experience first hand lectures by the Maitre during his lifetime. Olivier Milles' film covers a masterclass/lecture given by Messiaen during the 1987 Festival d'Avignon at the Chartreuse de Villeneuve lés-Avignon. "Les couleurs du temps: Trente ans d'entretiens avec Claude Samuel". INA/Radio France 211848, 2CDs Claude Samuel met Messiaen in the late fifties and from then grew a most fertile professional relationship that produced many landmark interviews and discussion throughout the composer's life. Thirty years of interviews are represented here on 2CDs in French. L'œuvre pour piano d'Olivier Messiaen: Michéle Reverdy (Paris, Leduc 1978) L'œuvre pour orchestre d'Olivier Messiaen: Michéle Reverdy (Paris, Leduc 1988) Rosemary Walker, Modes and Pitch Class Sets In Messiaen. (Music Analysis 8:1/2 Basil Blackwell 1989) ​ David Morris, A Semiotic Investigation of Messiaen's 'Abîme des Oiseaux'. (Music Analysis 8:1/2 Basil Blackwell 1989) ​ Messiaen, Gooeyvaerts, Fano, Stockhausen, Boulez. Perspectives of New Music XIII 1974 pp141-16 An in-depth (29 A5 pages) analysis of the musical ideas of the 1940's and 50's. Many technical terms, graphs, note charts etc make this indispensable for all students of composition and interest in Messiaen. ​ Olivier Messiaen:Eclairs Sur L'Au-Dela: Die Christlich-Eschatologische Dimension Des Opus Ultimum ISBN: 3631348460 Author: Tolle, Julian Christopher Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated Edition/Year: 1999 Olivier Messiaen's Orchesterwerk: Des Canyons aux Etoile. Studen, zu Struktur und Konnex. Diss Kassel Carl Beate Bärenreiter 1994 ​ Olivier Messiaen a Bibliographical Catalogue: Nigel Simeone (Hans Schneider Verlag) ​ ​ Back to top