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  • Events - CD releases | Olivier Messiaen

    Events, CD & DVD Releases Contact Us First Name Last Name Email Write a message Submit Thanks for submitting! Calendar Go to 2025 Calendar 2024 5 January 2024 7.30pm Jonathan Dimmock, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . St Paul's Episcopal Church, Chattanooga, USA 5 January 2024 7pm David Pipe, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Leeds Cathedral, UK. ​ 6 January 2024 7pm Jeffrey Markinson, organ performs La Nativite du Seigneur . Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, UK. 6 January 2024 9.30pm Pluris Ensemble, Quartet for the End of Time. Theatro Circo, Braga, Portugal. ​ 7 January 2024 3pm Christopher Adler, piano, Canteyodjaya. Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla, CA, USA. ​ 7 January 2024 7pm Alaxander Mason, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Lancing College Chapel, Lancing, UK ​ 7 January 2024 5pm Students of the organ class of Prof. Henry Fairs - University of the Arts, La Nativite du Seigneur . St Paul's Church, Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany. ​ 7 January 2024 6pm Jean-Pierre Lecaudey, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Basle Munster, Basel, Switzerland. ​ 7 January 2024 6.30pm Nicholas Freestone, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Worcester Cathedral, UK. ​ 10-11 January 2024 7 pm Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Les Offrandes oubliees. Helsinki Music Centre, Finland. ​ 12 January 2024 6.30pm Organ students, La Nativite du Seigneur . Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. ​ 14 January 2024 4.30pm Simon Hogan, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Southwark Cathedral, London, UK. ​ 14 January 2024 6pm Michael Harris, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland. ​ 15 January 2024 7pm Messiaen-Tage Gorlitz Quatuor pour la fin du temps , Ensemble Ecoute, Zgorzelee European Centre for Remembrance, Education and Culture Jencow Stalagu VIII, Zgorzelec, Poland ​ 16 January 2024 20.30 Filarmonica della Scala , Riccardo Chailly, Conductor, Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum , for orchestra. LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura: Sala Teatro Piazza Bernardino Luini, 6, Lugano , Ticino, 6900, Switzerland. 16 January 2024 7.30pm Rolf Hind, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus . Durham Cathedral, UK. ​ 18 January 2024 8pm Orchestre National de Lille/George Benjamin, Les Offrandes oubliees. L'Auditorium, Lille and January 19 , 8pm le phenix, Valenciennes, France. ​ 18 January 2024 8pm Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Jun Markl, Le Tombeau resplendissant . Music Center at Strathmore; January 20th, 8pm Joseph Mayerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore; January 21st, 3pm Joseph Mayerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore. USA. ​ 18-19 January 2024 7.30pm Bilbao Orkestra/Ludovic Morlot, L'Ascension. Euskalduna Conference Centre, Bilbao, Spain. ​ 20 January 2024 7pm On the 100th birthday of Yvonne Loriod, Florian Wiek and Nicolas Hodges, pianos, Visions de l'Amen. Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart, Germany. ​ 21 January 2024 2.30pm Kurt Nikkanen, violin, Maria Asteriadou, piano, Zuill Bailey, cello, James Logan, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time . Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall, El Paso, Texas, USA. ​ 26 January 2024 , Mezzo highlights composer Olivier Messiaen ! At 20:30, listen to the Quartet for the End of Time performed by Renaud Capuçon (violin), Pascal Moraguès (cello), Kian Soltani (clarinet) and Hélène Mercier (piano) recorded at the Easter Festival in 2022: https://www.mezzo.tv/.../Messiaen-Quatuor-pour-la-fin-du... At 21h15, relive the concert at the summit Et expspecto resurrectionem mortuorum by Le Balcon under the direction of Maxime Pascal, recorded at 2400 meters altitude facing the Meije glacier during the 2021 Festival: https://www.mezzo.tv/.../Messiaen-%27Et-exspecto... ​ 26 January - 4 February 2024 The Tianjin Julliard School, Tianjin, China Festival Connect 2024 Messiaen and His Legacy. performances - 26 January 2024 7.30pm Le Merle noir; Theme et variations; Poemes pour Mi (Second Book). Tianjin Julliard Concert Hall 29 January 2024 7pm Tianjin Julliard Ensemble Concert, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Tianjin Julliard Tanoto Theatre 1 February 2024 7pm Vocal Chamber Music Concert. Trois Melodies; La mort du nombre . Tianjin Julliard Tanoto Theatre 4 February 2024 3pm Tianjin Orchestra/Ken Lam, L'Ascension . Tianjin Julliard Concert Hall 27 January 2024 7.30pm Helene Mercier, piano, Renaud Capucon, violin, Edgar Moreau, cello, Pascal Moragues, clarinet. Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Eglise de Saanen, Geneva, Switzerland. 27 January 2024 8pm Cairo Symphony Orchestra/Ahmed El Saedi, Les Offrandes oubliees. Cairo Opera House, Main Hall, Cairo, Egypt. ​ 28 January 2024 3pm Emma Agnas de Frumerie.violin, Kaysa William-Olsson, cello, Johan Fransen, clarinet, Peter Frilis Johansson, piano. Quartet for the End of Time . The Grunewald Hall, Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden. ​ 29 January 2024 8.00pm Jenny Daviet (soprano) and Alphonse Cemin (piano), Trois Melodies, Chants de terre et de ciel. Also DELBOS: L'Âme en bourgeon . Theatre Athenee 2-4 Sq. de l'Opéra-Louis Jouvet, 75009 Paris, France. ​ 29 January 2024 7.30pm Thomas Rosenkranz, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Katzin Concert Hall, Tempe, AZ, USA. ​ 2 February 2024 Shelley Ng, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus. The University of Hong Kong (More information soon) ​ 2 February 2024 12 noon Emerald Sun, clarinet, Hee-Soo Yoon, violin, Rosalind Zhang, cello, Jean-Luc Therrien, piano, Quartet for the End of Time . St Andrew's Church, Toronto, Canada. ​ 2 February 2024 19.30 Itai Navon, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux: La Chouette hulotte, no.5, Catalogue d'oiseaux: L'alouette-lulu, no.6. Pierre Boulez Saal Französische Straße 33 D, Berlin, 10117, Germany. ​ 3 February 2024 4pm Royal Swedish Army Band/Eric Solen Johan Ullen, piano, Oiseaux exotiques . Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden. ​ 4 February 2024 12 noon, Tomeu Moll-Mas, piano Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus .Turina Space, Seville, Spain. ​ 4 February 2024 3.30pm Itxaso Etxeberria & Xi Chen, pianos, Visions de l'Amen . Cloth factory, Trier, Germany. ​ 4 February 2024 8pm Soloists of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Calouste Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. 6 February 2024 7.30pm Denes Varjon, piano, Helene Pohl, violin, James Campbell, clarinet, Rolf Gjelsten, clarinet, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Nelson Centre of Musical Arts, Nelson, New Zealand. ​ 8 February 2024 7.30pm The UNLV Chamber Music Society faculty members, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Dr Arturo Rando-Grillot Recital Hall, Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA. ​ 10 February 2024 7pm PSU Orchestra/Ken Selden Orli Shaham, piano, Oiseaux exotiques. The Menamins Mission Theatre, Portland, USA. 11 February 2024 3pm Elysium Quartet - Tatiana Kolchanova, violin, Collin Oldham, cello, Maria Manzo, piano, Michael Kissinger, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time . The Historic Old Madeleine Church, Portland, Oregon USA. ​ 11 February 2024 11am Helene Douzot, violin, Wytske Holtrop, cello, Himawari Arai, clarinet, Cassandre Marfin, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Cavatine de Namur, Belgium ​ 16 February 2024 7pm Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Matthew Halls. Les Offrandes oubliees . Tampere Hall, Big Hall, Switzerland. ​ 17 February 2024 19.30 Jan Lisiecki Piano, Prélude no. 1: La colombe, Prélude no. 2: Chant d'extase dans un paysage triste, Prélude no. 3: Le nombre léger. Konzerthaus: Großer Saal Vienna , 1030, Austria. ​ 18 February 2024 11am Staatskapelle Berlin/Finnegan Downie Dear, Roger Muraro, Piano, Oiseaux exotiques . Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 18 February 2024 18.00 Mishka Rushdie Momen, Alasdair Beatson, Piano, Visions de l'amen: Amen des Anges, des Saints, du chant des oiseaux. Kings Place: Hall One, 90 York Way, London, Greater London, N1 9AG, UK. ​ 8 February 2024 5pm Anthony McGill, clarinet, Stefan Jackiw, violin, Nicholas Canellakis, cell, Michael Stephen Brown, piano. Quartet for the End of Time . West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, NJ. USA. ​ 22 February 2024 13.00 Alex Norton , Piano, Charles Tam, Piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus: Le baiser de l'enfant Jésus, Regard de l'esprit de joie. Wigmore Hall36 Wigmore Street, London, Greater London, W1U 2BP, United Kingdom 24 February 2024 7.30pm Nancy Loo, Mary Wu, Shelley Ng, piano, Vvzela Kook, media artist, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus. Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, HK. Cancelled due to health condition of pianist Shelley Ng. ​ 24 February 2024 7.30pm Students perform Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus, Direction artistique, Cédrice Pescia . Salle Franz Liszt Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, Place de Neuve 5, 1204 Genève, Switzerland. ​ 27 February 2024 8.30pm Alena Baeva, violin, Vadym Kholodenko, piano, Fantaisie. Salle Gaveau, Paris, France. ​ 1 - 2 March 2024 8pm Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Matthias Pintscher Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Hicham Berrada, video art, Des Canyons aux etoiles.. . Music Hall, Cincinnati, USA. ​ 4 March 2024 19.30 Wigmore Soloists: Michael Collins, Clarinet, Isabelle van KeulenViolin, Kristina Blaumane, Cello Michael McHale,Piano.Quartet for the End of Time . Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, London, Greater London, W1U 2BP, UK. ​ 5 March 2024 20.00 Mami SakatoOrgan, L'Ascension (extraits) . Maison de la radio et de la musique: Auditorium116 Avenue du Président Kennedy, Paris, Île-de-France, 75016, France. 7 March 2024 6pm Zsolt-Tihamer Visontay, violin, Karen Stephenson, cello, Marc van der Wiel, clarinet, pianist tba, Quartet for the End of Time . Royal Festival Hall, London. UK. ​ 9 March 2024 7.30pm Jane Hayes, piano, Jose Franch-Ballester, clarinet, Joan Blackman, violin, Ariel Barnes, cello. Quartet for the End of Time. West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver, Canada. ​ 13 March 2024 8.00pm Jan Lisiecki, Piano, Prélude no. 1: La colombe, Prélude no. 2: Chant d'extase dans un paysage triste, Prélude no. 3: Le nombre léger. Carnegie Hall: Stern Auditorium/Perelman StageNew York City, New York, USA . 15 March 2024 7.00pm Japan Century Symphony Orchestra/Masato Suzuki, Les Offrandes oubliees. Symphony Hall, Osaka, Japan. ​ 15 March 2024 8pm Boston Artists Ensemble - Sharon Leventhal, violin, Jonathan Miller, cello, Thomas Martin, clarinet, Randall Hodgkinson, piano. Quartet for the End of Time. Hamilton Hall, Salem MA, USA. ​ 20 March 2024 7pm Vilnius Choir, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Haemhouts Vaiva Eidukaityte-Storastiene, piano Motiejus Bazaras, ondes Martenot. Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine . Great Hall of the Philharmonic, Vilnius, Lithuania. ​ 20 March 2024 7pm Thomas Drury, piano Jack Bogard, violin, Graham Cullen, cello, Charles du Preez.clarinet. Quartet for the End of Time. University of Southern Indiana Performance Center, USA. ​ 23 March 2024 5.00pm Florent BoffardPiano, Tombeau de Paul Dukas, Catalogue d'oiseaux: extracts . Conservatoire et Orchestre de Caen1 Rue du Carel, Caen, Normandy, France. ​ 24 March 2024 5pm Carolina Costa, cello, Joao Sa, violin, Maria Joao Almeida, piano, Tiago Mala, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time . O'Culto da Ajuda, Lisbon, Portugal. ​ 29 March 2024 7.30pm Jennifer Frautschi, violin, Bixby Kennedy, clarinet, Sophie Shoco, cello, Orion Weiss, piano, Quartet for the End of Time . Mahaney Arts Center, Olin C Robison, Concert Hall, Middlebury, VT, USA. 29 March 2024 3pm Jonathan Stone, violin, Julian Bliss, clarinet, Tim Lowe, cello, James Cheung, piano, Quartet for the End of Time .Temple Church, London, UK ​ 30 March 2024 8pm Orchestre National de France/Cristian Macelaru Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano. Oiseaux exotiques. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France. ​ 31 March 2024 3pm Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Garrick Ohlsson, piano. Quartet for the End of Time . Jordan Hall, Boston, USA. 1 April 2024 6pm Thomas Layos, organ, Les corps Glorieux . Christ the King Church, Saarbrucken, Germany. ​ 4 April 2024 7.30pm Piers Lane, piano, Preludes . Wigmore Hall, London, UK. 4 April 2024 8.00pm Karol Mossakowski, Organ, Messe de la Pentecôte (excerpts), Le livre du Saint Sacrement: La joie de la grâce. Église du Sacré-Cœur 14b Chem. de la Turbie, Monte-Carlo, 98000, Monaco. 4 April 2024 7.30pm Thomas Rosenkranz, performs VINGT REGARDS SUR L'ENFANT-JESUS. LaMont school of Music, Denver, Colorado, USA. 5 April 2024 8pm Rachel Gauci, piano. Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus - 6 movements. Malta Spring Festival, Teatru Manoel, Valletta, Malta ​ 7 April 2024 7pm Petras Geniusas and Stephen Coombs, pianos, Visions de l'Amen . Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, Vilnius, Lithuania. ​ 8 April 2024 13.15pm Darius Battiwalla, Organ, L'Ascencion: Alleluias sereins d'une âme qui désire le ciel, Transports de Joie. Leeds CathedralLeeds, Yorkshire LS2 8BE. UK. ​ 8 April 2024 7pm Ronen Chamber Ensemble, Quartet for the End of Time. Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis, USA. ​ 10 April 2024 7.30pm Gryphon Trio and James Campbell, clarinet. Quartet for the End of Time . Isabel Bader Center, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. 11 April 2024 7.30 pm - 12 April 2024 1.30 pm - 13 April 2024 8.00 pm - 14 April 2024 2.00 pm. Andris Nelsons, dir. Boston Symphony Orch. Yuja Wang, piano Cécile Lartigau, Ondes Martenot. Turangalîla Symphonie . Symphony Hall, Boston, MA. USA. ​ 11 April 2024 , 16 , 18 (6pm) and 14 (3pm), Musical Director, Jonathan Nott, Saint Francis Robin Adams, The Angel Claire de Sevigne, The Leper Ales Briscein, Brother Leo Kartal Karagedik, Brother Masseo Jason Bridges. Saint Francois d'Assise (new production). Grand Theatre Geneva, Switzerland. ​ 11-12 April 2024 8pm 13 7pm Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Hannu Lintu. Le Tombeau respendissant. Philharmonie, Berlin. Germany. ​ 14 April 2024 6pm Manfred Preis, clarinet, Antonis Anissegos, piano, Wolfgang Bender, violin, Mathis Mayr, cello, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Stadhaus, Ulm, Germany ​ 15 April 2024 Time and venue tba, Pierre- Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich, piano, Visions de l'Amen . Madrid, Spain. ​ 16 April 2024 20.00 Sean Shibe, Guitar performs O sacrum convivium (arr. Shibe). Philharmonie de Paris: Amphithéâtre de la Cité de la musique 221 Avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, Île-de-France, 75019, France ​ 17 April 2024 7.30pm Martin Adamek, clarinet, Jeanne-Marie Conquer, violin, Renaud Dejardin. cello, Dimitri Vassilakis, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, UK. ​ 18 April 2024 19.30. Arngunnur Arnadottir, Clarinet performs Quatuor pour la fin du temps: L'Abime des Oiseaux . Harpa Concert Hall: Eldborg - Main Hall Austurbakki 2, Reykjavík , Capital Region, 101, Iceland. 20 April 2024 4pm Julian Schwarz, cello, Sophie Han, violin, Galen Dean Peiskee Jr, piano, Gabrielle Baffoni, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time. Scout Hall, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA. ​ 23 April 2024 7.30pm Kaleidescope Collective and Anthony McGill, clarinet. Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Milton Court Concert Hall, London, UK. 26 April 2024 7pm The Waldstein Trio, Ben Mason, clarinet, Quartet for the End of Time. St Alfege Church, Greenwich, London, UK. 27 April 2024 8pm Gregorio Benitez, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux (7 movements), Steinerner Saal Horst Haschek Auditorium, Vienna, Austria. ​ 28 April 2024 6.15pm Orchestra of Padua and Veneto/Marco Angius Ciro Longobardi, piano. , Oiseaux exotiques Padua, Botanical Garden of the University of Padua, Italy. ​ 29 April 2024 Alfonso Gomez, piano. Catalogue d´Oiseaux. Felix Mendelssohn Bartoldy University of Music and Theater Leipzig, Germany. ​ 31 April 2024 Alfonso Gomez, piano . Catalogue d´Oiseaux (excerpts). BBVA Foundation in Madrid, Spain. ​ 1 May 2024 time tba Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux. Festspielhaus, St Polten, Austria. ​ 1 May 2024 7.30pm Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra/Jac van Steen, Thomas Kelly, piano Ondist Imsu Choi. Turangalila Symphonie. Royal Festival Hall, London. UK. 4 May 2024 2pm Andjei Maevski, clarinet, Victoria Putterman, violin, Jan Koop, cello, Yoko Toda, piano, Quartet for the End of Time . Scene 2.Norwegian Opera and Ballet, Oslo, Norway. ​ 5 May 2024 6:00 pm. Blåsare ur orkestern Filialen, Katarina Chamber Choir, Hans Vainikainen, conductor, Martin Sturfält, piano, Thomas Bloch, Ondes Martenot, Trois Petites Liturgies de la Presence Divine. St. Catherine's church, Stockholm, Sweden. ​ 6 May 2024 8pm Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Chants de terre et de ciel . La Chapelle Saint Antoine de Plouezoc'h, Plouezoc'h, France ​ 8 May 2024 7.30pm A lecture recital Speakers/The Revd Calum Zuckert, Youth Chaplain and Tom Winpenny, Assistant Director of Music. The Spirituality of Olivier Messiaen's Music:. St Albans Cathedral, St Albans, UK. ​ 8 May 2024 8pm Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Maxime Pascal, L'Ascension . Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 8 May 2024 - 12:05 p.m Jorin Sandau performing L'ascension (organ version) Inner city church St. Ludwig, Wilhelminenplatz 9. 64283 Darmstadt, Germany ​ 9 May 2024 7.30pm Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Chants de terre et de ciel . Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 9 May 2024 6pm The Ulster Consort, L'Ascension (organ) . St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast, Nth Ireland, UK. ​ 4 May 2024 21.00. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko. Steven Osborne, piano, Cécile Lartigau, Ondes Martenot, Turangalîla Symphonie . Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Israel. ​ 6 May 2024 21.00. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Pe trenko. Steven Osborne, piano, Cécile Larticgu, Ondes Martenot, Turangalîla Symphonie . Jerusalem Theatre, Jerusalem, Israel. ​ 7 May 2024 21.00. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Pe trenko. Steven Osborne, piano, Cécile Laricau, Ondes Martenot, Turangalîla Symphonie . Baruch and Ruth Rappaport Center for Art and Culture, Haifa, Israel. ​ 10 May 2024 7.30pm James O'Donnell, organ, Les Corps Glorieux. St James Cathedral, Seattle, USA. ​ 11 May 2024 8pm Barbara Hannigan, soprano Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Chants de Terre et de Ciel . Teatro di San Carlo, Napoli, Italy . ​ 11 May 2024 11am Momo Kodama, piano performs Le Chocard des Alpes; L'Alouette calandrelle; Le Merle de roche, Le Traquet rieur . Bois de Thouars, Talence, Bordeaux, France. 12 May 2024 9pm Ashley Grote, organ, Night Pipes: Olivier Messiaen Organ Works, L'Apperition de l'Eglise eternelle; Diptyque; L'Ascension. Norwich Cathedral, UK. ​ 13 May 2024 7.30pm Divinity and the Cosmos: A Genderqueer Exploration of Messiaen's Turangalila-Symphonie Alison Norris, Director. Manhatten School of Music, Neidorff Karpati Hall, New York, USA. ​ 17 May 2024 7.30pm Renato Wiedermann, violin, Joonas Pitkanen, cello, Damien Bachmann,clarinet, Stefka Perifanova, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Don Bosco, Basel, Switzerland. ​ 19 May 2024 7.30pm Sitkovetsky PIano Trio & Pablo Barragan, clarinet. Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Hamburg International Music Festival, Elbphilharmonie Small Hall, Hamburg, Germany. 19 May 2024 Momo Kodama, piano, performs throughout the day at 8am, 11am, 3pm, 6pm and 10pm, Catalogue d'oiseaux. Grand Theatre, Salon Boireau, Talence, Bordeaux, France. ​ 19 May 2024 5.00pm Ensemble 360, Des canyons aux étoiles: Appel interstellaire. Samuel Worth Chapel The Gatehouse, Cemetery Avenue, Sheffield, S11 8NT UK. 19 May 2024 11.30 Giorgi Gigashvili, Piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus: Le baiser de l'enfant Jésus. Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP. UK. 22 May 2024 13.00 Musicians from the Hallé. Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Hallé St Peter's 40 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester , North-West, M4 6BF, UK. ​ 23 May 2024 7.30pm Olivier Messiaen - A Lecture/Workshop Dr Peter Johnson talks about La Nativite and other works, and with the opportunity to play and discuss Messiaen's organ music. Christ Church, Malvern, UK. ​ 2 2 May 2024 13.00 Pavel Kolesnikov, Piano,Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus: Regard de l'étoile, Prélude no. 1: La colombe, Prélude . Wigmore Hall 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP. UK. 25 May 2024 8pm Paul Jacobs, organ Livre du Saint Sacrament . Hamburg International Music Festival Elbphilharmonie Great Hall, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 31 May 2024 7.30pm Nicolas Hodges, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus. Wigmore Hall, London, UK 2 June 2024 - 6 & 9 , 5pm Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Audi Jugendchor akademie LauschWerk/ Kent Nagano Anna Prohaska, L'Ange, Johannes Martin Kranzle, Saint Francois, Ioan Hotea, Le Lepreux, Kartal Karagedik, Frere Leon, Davlet Nurgeldiyev, Frere Elie, Alexander Roslavets, Frere Bernard, Saint Francois d'Assise (staged). Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 2 June 2024 4pm The Apollo Orchestra/David Chan, Les Offrandes oubliees . Cultural Arts Center, Silver Springs, MD, USA. ​ 3 June 2024 20.00 Yuja Wang, piano. Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus: Le baiser de l'enfant Jésus, Regard de l'esprit de joie. Palau de la Música: Sala de ConcertsC/ Palau de la Música, 4-6, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08003, Spain ​ 5 June 2024 7.30pm Raphael Wallfisch, cello, Simon Blendis, violin, Emma Johnson, clarinet, John Lenehan, piano. Quartet for the End of Time . Swaledale Festival.St Andrew's Church, Aysgarth, Yorks, UK. ​ 8 June 2024 3.30pm Gweneth Ann Rand, soprano, Simon Lepper, piano, Rachel Jones, artwork, Harawi . Aldeburgh Festival Britten Studio, Snape, Suffolk. UK. ​ ​ 9 June 2024 (11am), 10th & 11th (7pm), Staatskapelle Dresden/Nicholas Collon, Pierre-Laurent Aimard,piano, Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot. Turangalila Symphonie . Semperoper, Dresden, Germany. ​ 10 June 2024 19.30 Yuja Wang, piano. Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus: Le baiser de l'enfant Jésus. Musikverein: Großer SaalMusikvereinsplatz 1, Vienna, 1010, Austria. ​ 10 June 2024 8pm Amelie Bertlwieser, clarinet, Daniele Di Renzo, violin, Se-Eun Hyun, cello, Elia Tagliavia, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Beethoven House, Bonn, Germany. ​ 12 June 2024 6pm Alexander Mason, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Lancing College Chapel, West Sussex, UK. ​ 13 June 2024 11:45am. Royal Academy of Music, in the David Josefowitz Recital Hall, The Art of Transcription , including the Final movement of Saint François d'Assise in an arrangement for piano, Julian Chan, piano. 2PM ANGELA BURGESS RECITAL HALL, Audiovisual artist Kathy Hinde is inspired by behaviours and phenomena found in nature, in performances combining sound, sculpture, image and light. She and four Academy pianists, Zara Williams, Sherri Lun, Minsu Seo and Xiaowen Shang present interactive improvisations, live mixing, and collaborations fused with imagery: from Messiaen’s recently reconstructed La Fauvette Passerinette and original music, to works by Chopin, Debussy and Ligeti. Royal Academy of Music, London UK. ​ 13 June 2024 (8.30pm), 16th (12.30pm) Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra/Jose Luis Castillo Carlos Gutierrez, piano, Couleurs de la cite celeste. Degollado Theatre, Jalisco, Mexico ​ 14 June 2024 3pm Gweneth Ann Rand, soprano, Simon Lepper, piano, Rachel Jones, artwork, Poemes pour Mi; Trois melodies . Aldeburgh Festival, Britten Studio, Snape, Suffolk, UK. ​ 14 June 2024 7.30pm RNCM Wind Orchestra/Mark Heron Joel Banerjee, piano, Oiseaux exotiques. RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester, UK. ​ 14 June 2024 7.30pm Tom Bell, organ, Livre du Saint Sacrement. Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, UK. ​ 16 June 2024 7pm Symphoniker Hamburg/Sylvain Cambreling David Kadouch, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 17 June 2024 4pm Gweneth Ann Rand, soprano, Allyson Devenish, piano, Nick Pritchard, tenor, Daniel Pioro, violin, Chant de terre et de ciel; La Mort du nombre . Aldeburgh Festival, Britten Studio, Snape, Suffolk, UK. ​ 17 June 2024 7.30pm BBC Singers/Sofi Jeannin, Cinq rechants . Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk, UK. 17 June 2024 7pm Symphoniker Hamburg/Sylvain Cambreling David Kadouch, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Elbphilharm onie Great Hall, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 20 June 2024 11.00. Rolf Hind, piano. Catalogue d'oiseaux: Le loriot, no.2 . Britten Studio, Snape Bridge, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP, UK. ​ 20 June 2024 9.30pm Mia Cooper, violin, Martin Johnson, cello, Fergal Caulfield, piano and organ, John Finucane, clarinet, Diptyque; Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Pipeworks Festival Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. ​ 22 June 2024 7.30pm BBC Philharmonic/Mark Wigglesworth, Un Sourire . The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. UK. ​ 22 June 2024 8pm Mark Simpson, clarinet, Juliette Roos, violin, Eliza Millett, cello, Joseph Havlat, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Smorgaschord Festival, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, UK ​ 22 June 2024 12.30 Benjamin Alard, Les corps glorieux, for solo organ (Selección), Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité: Méditation VII Parroquia de Nuestro SalvadorPlaza del Salvador, Granada, Andalusia, 18010, Spain ​ 23 June 2024 3pm Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung Keigo Mukawa, piano, Takashi Harada, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie . Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Tokyo, Japan. 24 June 2024 7pm T okyo Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung Keigo Mukawa, piano, Takashi Harada, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie .Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. 25 June 2024 10.00pm Tom Bell, organ, Livre du Saint Sacrement. Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, UK. 26 June 2024 7 pm Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung Keigo Mukawa, piano, Takashi Harada, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Japan. ​ 27 June 2024 7.30pm Shirley Brill, clarinet, Albrecht Menzel, violin, David Stromberg, cello, Florian Uhlig, Duplex piano. Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Elbphilharmonie: Kleiner Saal, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 28 June 2024 8pm Gregorio Benitez, piano. Catalogue d'oiseaux (7 excerpts). Salle Claude-Leveillee - Place des Arts, Montreal, Canada. ​ 30 June 2024 4pm Copland House Ensemble, Quartet for the End of Time. Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College State University of New York, NYC USA. ​ 1 July 2024 6pm Lecture: Messiaen and his works by Adam Johnson, Pianist and Conductor The Lit & Phil, Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK. ​ 5 July 2024 7.30pm Shanghai Philharmonic Orch, Zhang Liang, conductor, Zou Xiang, piano, Cynthis Millar, Ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie (Chinese Mainland Premiere) . Shanghai Oriental Art Center Concert Hall, Pudong New District, Shanghai, China. ​ 9 July 2024 7pm Hai-Xin Wu, violin, Abraham Feder, cello, Jack Walters, clarinet, Zhihua Tang, piano. Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Genesis of Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States. ​ 10 July 2024 Alfonso Gomez, piano. Petites esquisses d´Oiseaux. Freiburg University of Music. Freiburg, Germany. ​ 11 July 2024 8pm Quynh Nguyen, piano, Alan Kay, clarinet, Zvi Plesser, cello, Carmit Zori, violin, Kaufman. Quartet for the End of Time . Music Center, New York, USA. ​ 12 July 2024 19.30 South Cotswold Big Sing Group, O sacrum convivium. Choristers of Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral Gloucester , United Kingdom. 14 July 2024 3pm Delphine Trio and Maja Horvat, violin, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Buxton International Festival, St John's Church, Buxton, UK. ​ 14 July 2024 3pm James Campbell, clarinet and Gryphon Trio, Quartet for the End of Time . St John's Elora, Wellington, ON Canada. ​ 18 July 2024 7.30pm. Jan Lisiecki, piano. Prélude no. 1: La colombe, Prélude no. 2: Chant d'extase dans un paysage triste, Prélude no. 3: Le nombre léger . Wigmore Hall36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP. UK. ​ 18 July 2024 8pm Michael Rusinek, clarinet, Bing Wang, violin, Darrett Adkins, cello, Robert Spano, piano, Quartet for the End of Time. Aspen Music Festival, Harris Concert Hall, Aspen, CO, USA. ​ ​ 26E EDITION DU FESTIVAL MESSIAEN AU PAYS DE LA MEIJE : YVONNE LORIOD À L’HONNEUR In 2024, the Messiaen Festival in Pays de la Meije will highlight a more confidential aspect of Yvonne Loriod's career, that of a composer. Full programme details available from April 11th here . 20 July 2024 - 6:00 p.m. Momo Kodama, piano Catalogue d'oiseaux (excerpts) La Rousserolle effarvatte, L’Alouette calandrelle, La Bouscarle, Le Merle de roche, La Buse variable, Le Courlis cendré. Church of Saint-Théoffrey, Petichet, France. ​ 21 July 2024 9.00pm Roger Muraro, piano, Florent Boffard, piano, Trois pièces pour deux pianos 1. La Martelée 2. Gamelhang 3. La Murmurée (World Premiere) Yvonne Loriod. Visions de l’Amen. Eglise de La Grave, France. 22 July 2024 5.00pm Laura Holm, soprano, Jonas Vitaud, piano, Harawi , extraits : 1. La Ville qui dormait 4. Doundou Tchil, 12. Dans le noir. Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus , extrait : Regard du silence. Eglise de La Grave, France. ​ 22 July 2024 9.00pm CRÉATIONS YVONNE LORIOD . Ensemble TM+ Angèle Chemin, soprano, Julien Le Pape, piano, Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot, Florent Jodelet, percussions, Anne-Cécile Cuniot, flûte. Grains de Cendre, Trois Mélopées africaines (World Premiere) Yvonne Loriod . Huit Prélude s pour piano, extraits : La colombe, Chant d’extase dans un paysage triste. Le Merle Noir , Vocalise-Étude. Eglise de La Grave,France. ​ 22 July 2024 7.30pm O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra; Hugo Ticciati violin; Fleur Barron mezzo-soprano; Julian Arp cello; Alasdair Beatson piano, Harawi (Montagnes) . Wigmore Hall, Wigmore Street, London. UK 24 July 2024 5.00pm Aline Piboule, piano. Pièce pour le Tombeau de Paul Dukas, Prélude, Cloches d’angoisse et larmes d’adieu. Eglise de La Grave, France. ​ 25 July 2024 5.00pm Spirito de Nicole Corti , O Sacrum Convivium. Église de Saint-Chaffrey, France. ​ 26 July 2024 5.00pm Orlando Bass, piano, La Fauvette des jardins . Eglise de La Grave,France. ​ 27 July 2024 9.00pm Jean-François Heisser, piano, Petites esquisses d’oiseaux .Eglise de La Grave,France. ​ 28July 2024 9.00pm François-Frédéric Guy, piano, Regard du Père, Noël, Regard du Fils sur le Fils , extrait des Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus. Eglise de La Grave,France. 30 July 2024 7.30pm BBC Proms, BBC Philharmonic/Nicholas Collon Steven Osborne, piano Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Royal Albert Hall, London, UK. ​ 30 July 2024 21.30pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux: Le Merle bleu . no.3Rector's PalacePred dvorom 3, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, 20 000, Croatia. ​ 31 July 2024 11.00 Michael BarenboimViolin, Julien QuentinPiano, Theme et Variations . Eglise de VerbierVerbier, Valais, 1936, Switzerland. ​ 1 August 2024 10.00am Tom Bell, organ, Livre du Saint Sacrement. Three Choirs Festival/Pershore Abbey, Worcestershire, UK. ​ 7 August 2024 7.30pm Tom Bell, organ, Livre du Saint Sacrement. St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. 7 August 2024 7.30 pm Ian Hockley, organ, Diptyque at Holy Trinity Church Folkestone, Kent. UK. ​ 7 August 2024 11am and 6pm Nina Reynaud, clarinet, Sarah Jegon-Sageman, violin, Robin de Talhouet, cello, Novak Defrance, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Festival International de Piano de la Roque d'Antheron - Centre Marcel Pagnol, France. ​ 8 August 2024 7.30pm Piers Lane, piano, Huit Preludes. Stoller Hall, Chethams, Manchester, UK. ​ 8 & 10 August 2024 4pm Orli Shaham, violin, Per Rostad, cello, Dimitri Atapine David Finckel Sihao He, clarinet, Jose Franch-Ballester, piano,Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Stent Family Hall, Atherton CA, USA. 24 August 2024 9pm Ensemble K: Elodie Haas.violin, Therese Bussiere-Meyer, cello, Ayar Espinoza, clarinet, Luc Benoit, piano, Jean-Christopher Roelear, visual artist. The Colous of the Quartet for the End of Time. Breitenbach, Bas-Rhin, France. ​ 25 August 2024 3pm Juditha Haeberlin, violin, Udo Grimm, clarinet, Ralf-Andreas Sturzinger, cello, Franck-Thomas Link, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Hamburg, Germany. ​ ​ 28 August 2024 8pm Festival Ravel, Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Chants de terre et de ciel . Urrugne, Church of Saint Vincent, France. ​ 1 September 2024 5pm Tom Bell, organ, Livre du Saint Sacrament, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, St Edmundsbury, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK. ​ 5 September 2024 7pm Kristian Chong, piano and Friends, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne, Australia. 8 September 2024 6pm Juditha Haeberlin, violin, Udo Grimm, clarinet, Ralf-Andreas Sturzinger, cello, Franck-Thomas Link, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 14 September 2024 7.30pm Neue Musik Ensemble Aachen - Regina Pastuszyk, clarinet, Po-Fan Chen, violin, Cornelia Briese, cello, Theo Pauss, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Engelbert-Humperdinck Musikschule, Sieburg, Germany. ​ 14 September 2024 9am, 4.30pm, 8pm Costanza Principe, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux. Settembre Musica, Rotunda Della Besana, Milan, Italy. ​ 14 September 2024 7.30pm Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Michael Francis Joseph Moog, piano, Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie . Ludwigshafen, Pfalzbau,.Concert Hall, Germany. ​ ​ 16 September 2024 6pm Katrien Baerts, soprano, Costanza Principe, piano, Harawi. Settembre Musica, Auditorium Grattacielo Intesa Sanpaolo, Milan, Italy. ​ 17 September 2024 7.30pm Jonny Greenwood, ondes Martenot, Daniel Pioro, violin, Katherine Tinker, piano, Vocalise-etude; Louange a l'immortalite de Jesus from Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Wigmore Hall, London, UK. ​ 17 September 2024 8pm Karajan Acadmie der Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle Kirill Gerstein, piano, Stefan Dohr, horn, Des Canyons aux etoiles... .Berlin Festival, Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany. ​ 19-20 September 2024 7.30pm Gewandhausorchester/Tugan Sokhiev, Les Offrandes oubliees . Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany. ​ 18 September 2024 7.30pm Stefan Latzko, violin, Maximilian Krome, clarinet, Raphael Zinner, cello, Artem Yasynskyy, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Kammer-Philharmonie, Gesamtschule, Bremen, Germany. 19 September 2024 7.30pm Stefan Latzko, violin, Maximilian Krome, clarinet, Raphael Zinner, cello, Artem Yasynskyy, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Lucia-Schafer-Saal, Rotenburg, Germany. 20 September 2024 8.00 pm Stefan Latzko, violin, Maximilian Krome, clarinet, Raphael Zinner, cello, Artem Yasynskyy, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. KulturBuhne, Blassum, Germany. 21 September 2024 7.00 pm Stefan Latzko, violin, Maximilian Krome, clarinet, Raphael Zinner, cello, Artem Yasynskyy, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Buthmanns Hof, Fischerhade, Germany. ​ 20 September 2024 6pm Olivier Messiaen: Writing an Old Life Anew by Robert Sholl . Royal Academy of Music, Great Hall, London, UK. ​ 20 September 2024 7.30pm Julia Bullock, piano, Conor Hanick, piano, Harawi . Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, USA. ​ ​ ​ 27 September 2024 8.00 American Modern Opera Company, Harawi , Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA, USA. ​ 1 October 2024 7.30pm Julie Bullock, soprano, Conor Hanick, piano, Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schreiber, choreographer/dancers, Zack Winakur, director, Harawi. The Wallis, Beverly Hills, CA, USA. 4 October 2024 8pm Julai Bullock, soprano, Conor Hanick, piano, Babbi Jean Smith, choreographer/dancer, Or Schraiber, dancer/choreographer, Harawi. ​Campbell Hall, Santa Barbara, USA. ​ 6 October 2024 12 noon Reinis Zarins, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Kings Place, Hall One, London London Piano Festival. Pre-concert Talk on the work in Hall Two at 11am by Stephen Johnson. ​ ​ 13 October 2024 3pm Hans-Ola Ericsson, organ, Livre du Saint Sacrament. The Great Hall, Gothenburg, Sweden. ​ 21 October 2024 , 5:15pm Oxford International Song Festival. Peter Asimov, Claire Ward, Sirius Chau & JongSun Woo, present Grains de Cendre (version for soprano, flute and piano) by YVONNE LORIOD . Holywell Music Room, Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3SB, UK. ​ 17 October 2024 19.30 Dudok Quartet Amsterdam, Oraison (arr. Dudok Quartet), Guildhall School of Music & Drama: Milton Court Concert HallSilk Street, Barbican, London, Greater London, UK. ​ ​ 1 November 2024 (7pm), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Tarmo Peltokoski, Le Tombeau resplendissant . Riga, Hanzasiela 16a 2 November 2024 (5pm), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Tarmo Peltokoski, Le Tombeau resplendissant . , Cesis, Raunasiela 12, Latvia. ​ 2 November 2024 11am Gregorio Benitez, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux (8 excerpts). Konzerthaus, Kleiner Saal, Berlin, Germany. ​ 6-7 November 2024 Orchestre de Paris/Klaus Makela, L'Ascension. Philharmonie, Paris, France. ​ 14 November 2024 7pm and November 16th, 2024 3pm Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Ryan Bancroft. Les Offrandes oubliees . Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden. ​ 17 November 2024 6pm Juditha Haeberlin, violin, Udo Grimm, clarinet, Ralf-Andreas Sturzinger, cello, Franck -Thomas Link, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. The clinker brick factory of the former Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 17 November 2024 11am Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Dirk Kaftan Tamara Stefanovich, piano, Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot. Turangalila Symphonie. Opernhaus Bonn, Germany. ​ 17 November 2024 4.30pm Marcus Wibberley, organ, Les Corps Glorieux. St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK. ​ ​ 21 November 2024 8pm Orchestre National de France/Philippe Jordan, Les Offrandes oubliees. Auditorium Radio France, Paris, France. 22-26 October 2024 the 4th edition of the International Olivier Messiaen Competition! Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, France. Details here . 22 November 2024 (8pm), 23 (7pm), Minnesota Orchestra/Thomas Sondergard, Les Offrandes oubliees. Orchestra Hall, Minnesota, USA. ​ 27 November 2024 6pm uditha Haeb erlin, violin, Udo Grimm, clarinet, Ralf-Andreas Sturzinger, cello, Franck -Thomas Link, piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Hall 424, Hamburg, Germany. 28 November 2024 8pm Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Chants de terre et de ciel. Koerner Hall, The Royal Conservatory, Toronto, Canada. ​ 28 November 2024 7.30pm Trio Wanderer and Michael Collins, clarinet, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, UK. ​ 30 November 2024 7.30pm Orchestre Symphonique de L'Isle/ Hubert Tanq#guay-Labrosse, L'Ascension. Oscar Peterson Hall, Montreal, Canada. ​ ​ 3 December 2024 20.15 Janine JansenViolin, Denis KozhukhinPiano, Theme et Variations . oncertgebouw: Main Hall Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 LN, Netherlands. ​ 3 December 2024 20.15 Anna ProhaskaSoprano, Julius DrakePiano, Harawi - chant d'amour et de mort: Bonjour toi, colombe verte . Recital Hall Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 LN, Netherlands. ​ ​12 December 2024 19.30 BBC Philharmonic, Ludovic Morlot Conductor, Martin Owen French horn, Steven Osborne Piano. Des canyons aux étoiles... Bridgewater Hall Manchester , North-West, M2 3WS, United Kingdom. ​ ​15 December 2024 The Sydney Youth Orchestra/Stanley Dodds soli tba, Turangalila Symphonie. Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, Australia. ​ 15 December 2024 4.30pm Tom Wimpenny, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . St Albans Cathedral, UK. ​ 15 December 2024 6.30pm Jonathan Hope, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Gloucester Cathedral, UK. ​ 17 December 2024 6.30pm Piers Maxim, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Great Malvern Priory, UK 20 December 2024 8.15pm Ralp van Raat, piano, Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jesus . Orgelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 21 December 2024 8.15pm Steven Knieriem, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur . Orgelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ​ 22 December 2024 3pm Gerard Brooks, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, UK. ​ 29 December 2024 4pm Martin Blomquist, organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Revelation Church, Hagersten, Sweden​ ​ ​ 2025 2025 6 January 2025 7.30pm Martyn Rales. organ, La Nativite du Seigneur. Lichfield Cathedral, UK. ​ 8 January 2025 8.15pm Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy, pianos, Visions de l'Amen . Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 12 January 2025 11am and 13 January 8pm Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg/Kent Nagano Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, Couleurs de la cite celeste. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 15 - 16 January 2025 7pm Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon Steven Osborne, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot. Turangalila Symphonie . Helsinki Music Centre, Concert Hall, Helsinki, Finland. ​ 16 January 2025 (8.15pm) & 19 January (2.15pm), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Simone Young, L'Ascension . Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 18 January 2025 8pm Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Bertrand Chamayou, piano, Chants de Terre et de Ciel. Cite de la Musique, Paris, France. ​ 21 January 2025 7.30pm Gryphon Trio with James Campbell, clarinet. Quartet for the End of Time . Stude Concert Hall, Brockman Music and Performing Center, Houston, Texas, USA. 26 January 2025 11am Hamburg Symphony Orchestra/Gergely Madras Magdalena Kozena, soprano. Poemes pour Mi . Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 2 February 2025 11.00 Raphaëlle Moreau Violin, Raphaël Sévère Clarinet, Edgar Moreau Cello, David Kadouch Piano, Quartet for the End of Time . Théâtre des Champs-Élysées 15 avenue Montaigne, Paris , Île-de-France, 75008, France ​ 7 February 2025 8pm Belgian National Orchestra/Fabien Gabel, Les Offrandes oubliees . Henry Le Boeuf Hall, Brussels, Belgium. ​ 7 February 2025 7pm Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu Paavali Jumpanen, piano, Oiseaux exotiques. Helsinki Music Centre, Concert Hall, Finland. ​ 8 February 2025 7pm Belgian National Orchestra/Fabien Gabel, Les Offrandes oubliees . Namur Concert Hall, Namur, Belgium. ​ 13 February 15 and 18 2025 7.30pm New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Karina Canellakis, Les Offrandes oubliees . David Geffen Hall, New York, USA. ​ 6 March 2025 7.30pm BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Daniel Cohen, Les Offrandes oubliees . BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, Wales, UK. ​ 20 March 2025 2pm New Japan Philharmonic/Joe Hisaishi Hayato Sumino, piano, Takashi Harada.ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Sumida Triphony Hall, Tokyo, Japan. and ​ ​ 22 March 2025 2pm New Japan Philharmonic/Joe Hisaishi Hayato Sumino, piano, Takashi Harada.ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. ​ ​ 28 March 2025 8pm Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia/Jose Trigueros, Les Offrandes oubliees . Palacio de la Opera de A Coruna, Coruna, Spain. ​ ​ 29 March 2025 7.30pm Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich, pianos, Visions de l'Amen . Mendelssohn-Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany. ​ 5 April 2025 15.00 Janine Jansen Violin, Denis Kozhukhin Piano, Theme et Variations pour violin et piano, Konserthuset Stockholm: Stora SalenHötorget 8, Stockholm, 10387, Sweden. ​ 7 April 2025 20.00 Janine Jansen Violin, Denis Kozhukhin Piano, Theme et Variations pour violin et piano,Philharmonie de Paris: Grande salle Pierre Boulez221 Avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, Île-de-France, 75019, France. ​ 13 April 2025 2.45pm Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra/Sian Edwards Joanna MacGregor, piano, Cynthia Millar, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie . Concert Hall, Brighton, UK. ​ 3 May 2025 8.15pm Sharon Kam, clarinet and Sitkovetsky Trio, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Concertgebouw: Recital Hall, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 6 May 2025 7.30pm BBC NOW. BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conductor Daniel Cohen, Les offrandes oubliées . Hoddinot Hall, Cardiff,Wales, UK. 14 - 15 May 2025 19:30 Suisse Romande Orchestra, Bertrand de Billy conductor, Kit Armstrong, piano, Cécile Lartigau, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland. ​ 16 May 2025 8pm Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Sir George Benjamin, Chronochromie; Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum . Philharmonie, Paris, France. ​ 16 May 2025 6pm Orchestra National Capitole Toulouse/Tarmo Peltokoski, Le Tombeau resplendissant . Halle aux Grains, Toulouse, France. ​ 17 May 2025 8pm Gregorio Benitez, piano, Catalogue d'oiseaux (7 excerpts) . Palau de la Musica, Petit Palau, Barcelona, Spain. ​ ​ 27 May 2025 20.15 Members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Julie Moulin, Flute. Le Merle Noir . Concertgebouw: Recital HallAmsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands. ​ 1 June 2025 (11am) & 2nd (8pm) Wuppertal Sinfonieorchester/Patrick Hahn Joonas Ahonen, piano, Thomas Bloch, ondes Martenot, Turangalila Symphonie. Stadthalle, Wuppertal, Germany. ​ 5 June 2025 18.30 Ji-Yoon Park Violin, Lilian Harismendy Clarinet, Éric Levionnois Cello, Catherine Cournot, Piano, Quatuor pour la fin du temps . Bibliothèque nationale de FranceQuai François Mauriac, 75706 Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France. ​ 7 June 2025 20.00 Jan Lisiecki Piano, Prélude no. 1: La colombe, Prélude no. 2: Chant d'extase dans un paysage triste, Prélude no. 3: Le nombre léger . Théâtre des Champs-Élysées15 avenue Montaigne, Paris, Île-de-France, 75008, France. ​ 18 June 2025 (7.30pm), 19th (7pm), 202th (7.30pm), Tonhalle Orchester Zurich/Franz Welser-Most Hendrik Heilmann, piano, Septe Haikai . Grosse Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland. ​ Tonhalle Orchester Zurich/Franz Welser-Most Hendrik Heilmann, piano 22 June 2025 11am Hamburg Symphony Orchestra/Sylvain Cambreling, Les Offrandes oubliees; L'Ascension (excerpts). Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany. ​ 29 June 2025 7pm Symphoniker Hamburg/Sylvain Cambreling, Joonas Ahonen, piano. Des Canyons aux etoiles... .Laeiszhalle, Hamburg,Germany. ​ CD Releases Back to top CDRelease The Seattle Symphony releases Des canyons aux étoiles… (“From the Canyons to the Stars…”) , which takes inspiration from the rock spires, birdsong and night sky of Utah’s national parks. With Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot at the podium and guest artist Steven Osborne on piano, the Symphony presents Messiaen’s starry-eyed journey through nature and the divine. Two concerts of the entire 110-minute-long work were recorded in the stunning acoustics of Benaroya Hall. Catalog Number: SSM1028 In their first release on harmonia mundi, Gustavo Gimeno and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra offer us a dazzling reading of the Turangalîla-Symphonie . Equally attentive to architecture and to detail, they glorify the rich and refined orchestration of the French composer’s vast hymn to love, always on the lookout for unprecedented sonic alchemies. A unique musical and sensory experience! Marc-André Hamelan , piano Nathalie Forget , Ondes Martenot. HMM905336, February 2024 Soprano Barbara Hannigan and pianist Bertrand Chamayou unite to record the two major song cycles from the 1930's. Poèmes pour Mi are inspired by the precious relationship of Messiaen and “Mi” - the nickname of his first wife; violinist and composer Claire Delbos. Chants de terre et de ciel also emerges from Messiaen's marriage to Delbos, written just after the birth of their son, Pascal. Hannigan and Chamayou delve into the composer's complex language to reveal a natural and flowing music, whose roots extend from the earth upwards to a shimmering realm. As a final work on the album, Hannigan and Chamayou included a rarely performed "scena" of Messiaen: La Mort du nombre (1930) is a dialogue between two souls, in which they are joined by the Canadian tenor Charles Sy and the Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang . Release Date: 24th May 2024 Catalogue No: ALPHA1033 HeideVingtRe Groundbreaking New Release of Messiaen's Monumental Masterpiece New recording of Olivier Messiaen's monumental masterpiece for piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant- Jésus, was released on the composer's birthday, 10 December 2023, brilliantly interpreted by the Danish-Swedish pianist Morten Heide. The release includes a well-written and beautifully illustrated 64-page booklet with insightful information about Messiaen and a comprehensive listening guide, crafted with both laypeople and musicians in mind, making this release truly unique. The album, includes a detailed booklet, and will be available both as a CD and digital format. Gateway Music is responsible for the physical distribution. Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus Telos , DDD, 2022 Release date: 4.10.2023 La Nativité du Seigneur Mark Steinbach - organ Mark Steinbach (Cavaille-Coll-Orgel Eglise Saint-Francois de Sales, Lyon) Label: Aeolus, DDD, 2022 Bestellnummer: 11605848 Release date 3.11.2023 Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps, Murail, Stalag VIIIa : Het Collectief ALPHA 1048 Release date: 23 Nov 2023 Souvenirs D'Oiseaux Roderick Chadwick - piano ​Roderick Chadwick has recorded the second volume in a series which presents Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux coupled with works which are linked either in style or subject matter. This follows the well-received issue of the first volume, entitled ‘La Mer Bleue ’which included Book 1 of the Catalogue. This double album is a continuation of Chadwick's journey through Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux , the latest issue featuring Books 2 through 5, including the cycle's great centrepiece 'La rousserolle effarvatte' (The Reed Warbler), which evokes the sights and sounds of the Sologne region across a full day's span. Release Date: 14th Apr 2023. Catalogue No: DDA21240. Label: Divine Art Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus. Kristoffer Hyldig - piano KRISTOFFER HYLDIG is one of Denmark‘s leading pianists, recognized for his musicality and highly personal, sensitive approach. Known for his versatility, he is in demand as a soloist, as well as chamber musician and lied accompanist. He is a founding member of Messiaen Quartet Copenhagen, where his work comprises artistic programming as well as closely working with composers, commissioning, and premiering pieces. Recorded in Vor Frelser’s Church, Copenhagen during one of the most severe periods during the lock down by producer, recording & balance engineer extraordinaire, Preben Iwan. The album is recorded in the immersive DXD format. Our Recordings, 6.220.677-78. Release date: April 2023 Des canyons aux étoiles... Utah Symphony Thierry Fischer Jasin Hardink, piano Stefan Dohr, horn Keith Carrick, xylorimba Eric Hopkins, glockenspiel Hyperion Recording June 2022 Abravanel Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA Release date: April 2023 HARAWI Marie Kobayasi, mezzo-soprano Fuminori Tanada, piano Recorded 09/2022 Maguelone- MAG 358-443 ​ 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. ​ New Release of the Complete Messiaen Organ Works including a previously unpublished and unrecorded transcription 'Vie pour Dieu des Ressuscités', by organist Jon Gillock. see more here . RAVEN compact Discs 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 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. 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. 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. Bio © Copyright protected UK Premiere of a work by Yvonne Loriod: Grains de cendre (1946) for Ondes Martenot, Piano and Voice Details of performance here . Royal Academy of Music The Art of the Piano Transcription takes on St François d'Assise. see review here . Crowdfund Now! Olivier Messiaen and the Organ – filming started on January 29th, 2024! See here for full details of how to be part of this unique Messiaen project by Fugue State Films Messiaen filming – Stage 1 – Mission Accomplished! Good news here! We have just returned from Blackburn Cathedral where we have completed the first tranche of filming for our Messiaen project. Here is our organist Tom Bell reclining for a well-earned rest at the end of the last filming session! Yvonne Loriod The Complete Véga Recordings 1956 - 1963 Reissued by Warner Classics in January 2024 To commemorate the 100th year of her birth. Works by Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Schumann, Albeniz, deFalla, Berg, Webern, Schoenberg, Henze, Boulez, Barraqué, Stravinsky and Messiaen. 13 CDs album. More details here . New Release of the Complete Messiaen Organ Works including a previously unpublished and unrecorded transcription 'Vie pour Dieu des Ressuscités', by organist Jon Gillock Read more here . New items in the 'Yvonne Loriod' page New items in the 'In the Press' page 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... CALL FOR DONATIONS for the safeguarding of LA MAISON DES MESSIAEN in Fuligny (in Aube, in Champagne). Read more here . "LA QUALITE DE VIE, an association governed by the law of July 1, 1901, registered with the Troyes Prefecture on February 9, 2007, whose head office is located at 8 route de Soulaines - 10200 VILLE-SUR-TERRE, represented by its current president, M. Michel GUERITTE, has decided to set up an endowment fund, governed by law no. 2008-776 of August 4, 2008 on the modernization of the economy (JO of August 5, 2008), by decree no. 2009-158 of February 11, 2009, and by the present articles of association, in order to safeguard and acquire La Maison des Messiaen, 18 rue du moulin in Fuligny in connection with the association's purpose. Michel GUERITTE is the founder of this fund. 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 . New and forthcoming publications see NEWS 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 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 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 Contact Events etc. READ MORE © Copyright Events Concert Calendar ~ CD New Releases and more!!

  • Resources2 | Olivier Messiaen

    Resources 2 A selection of my Personal Audio & Visual Resource Archive Res2Top See CD Releases for more titles Resources 1 Back to top Yvonne Loriod (non Messiaen) Recordings Archive Here

  • List of Works | Olivier Messiaen

    List of Works Messiaen wrote a vast amount of music including many test and sight reading pieces when he was teaching at the Ecole Normale de Musique during the 1930s and many early works were either discarded or considered as 'mere student exercises and not worth publishing'; so some of these works and others that are unpublished to date appear in blue . 1917 La dame de Shalott - Piano 1921 Deux ballades de Villon I. Épître à ses amis II.Ballade des pendus - Voice & Piano Ballade des pendus (poeme by François Villon) 1925 La tristesse d'un grand ciel blanc - Piano 1926 Fugue - (sur un sujet de Henri Rabaud) Orchestral 1927 Esquisse modale - Organ 1927 Pièce pour orgue sur un thème de Laparra - Organ 1927 Adagio - Organ, Violin and Cello 1926/27 Andantino (String Quartet) 1928 Fugue en ré mineur (Orchestra) 1928 L'hôte aimable des âmes - Organ 1928 La banquet eucharistique - Orchestral 1st and only performance on 22-1-1930 in an event called 'Exercice des éleves' at the Paris Conservatoire cond. by Henri Rabaud. 1928 Le banquet céleste - Organ (Leduc) The first edition of 1934 was written in 3/4 metre with no metronome mark. Messiaen revised this in 1960 with a metre of 3/2 and MM of quaver = 52. 1928 Variations écossaises - Organ 1928 Jésus (Poème symphonique) c.1929 Prélude en trio sur un thème de Haydn - Organ 1928-29 Préludes - Piano (Durand)1st private performance 28-1-1930 at Editions Durand by Messiaen 1st public performance 15-6-1937 by Bernadette Alexandre-Georges at Ecole Normale de Musique Paris 1930 Sainte-Bohème (Extrait des Odes funambulesques)-a setting for chorus and orchestra of a text by Théodore de Banville. 1930 Fugue pour le Concours de Rome (sur un sujet de Georges Hüe) 1930 La Mer pour le Concours de Rome (a cantata, parts of which were later used in Trois Petites Liturgies.) 1930 Diptyque - Organ (Durand) 1st public performance 20-2-1930 Les Amis de l'Orgue, Eglise de la Trinite, Messiaen 1930 La mort du nombre - Vocal/Chamber - sop, ten, violin, piano (Durand) 1st public performance 1931 Societe Musicale Independante, Ecole Normale de Musique Paris. Georgette Mathieu (S), Jean Planel (T) Monsieur Blareau (vl) Messiaen (pn) 1930 Les offrandes oubliées - Orchestral - 3.3.3.3;4.3.3.1;timp,perc,strings (Durand) 1st public performance 19-2-1930 Theatre des Champs Elysees, Les Concerts Straram dir. Walter Straram 1930 Les offrandes Oubliées - Piano version (Durand) LOWTop 1930/35 Offrande au Saint Sacrement - Organ (Leduc) 1929/30 Simple chant d'une âme - Orchestral 1930 Trois mélodies - Voice & Piano (Durand) 1st public performance 1930 Societe national de musique, Louise Matha and Messiaen 1931 Le Tombeau resplendissant - Orchestra - 3.3(1 cor ang).3(1clB).3-4.3.3.1-1perc - strings(Durand) 1st public performance 12-2-1933 Salle Pleyel Paris dir Monteux c.1931 Fugue pour le Concours de Rome 1931 L'Ensorceleuse Cantate- sop, ten, bass and piano (or orchestra) Played through for the judges at the Prix de Rome competion 4 July 1931 1931 La Jeunesse des vieux - a short choral setting of a poem by Catulle Mendés 1932 Apparition de l'église éternelle- Organ (Lemoine) 1932 Fantaisie Burlesque - Piano (Durand)1st public performance 8-2-1933 by Robert Casadesus Concerts de la Societe Musicale Independante, Ecole Normale de Musique 1932 Hymne au Saint Sacrament - Orchestral - 3.3.3.3;4.3.3.0,timp.perc,strings (Bro) 1st public performance 23-3-1933 cond. Walther Straram Théatre Champs-Élysées 1932 Thème et variations - Chamber - violin & piano (Leduc) 1st public performance 22-11-1932 at Cercle Musical de Paris Claire Delbos and Messiaen 1932-33 L'Ascension - Orchestral - 3.3.3.3;4.3.3.1,timp,perc;16.16.14.12.10 (Leduc) 1st public performance 9-2-1935 at Salle Rameau, Concerts Siohan cond Robert Siohan 1933 Fantasie- Chamber - violin & piano (Durand 2007) First known performance:Schola Cantorum, paris 18 - 3 - 1935 (Messiaen and Delbos). Rediscovered in 2007 and published. 1933 Mass - Vocal - 8 sopranos 4 violins 1933-34 L'Ascension - Organ (Leduc) 1st public performance 29-1-1935 at saint-Antoine-des-Quinze-Vingts by Messiaen 1934 5 Leçons de Solfege a chanter - treble clef & piano accom. (Lemoine) 1934 Morceau de Lecture à vue for Piano 1935 La Nativité du Seigneur - Organ (Leduc) 1st complete public performance 27-2-1936 concert by Les Amis de l'Orgue at Trinité by Daniel Lesur mvt 1-3, Jean Langlais mvts4-6 and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald mvts7-9 1935 Pièce pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas - Piano (Durand) 1st public performance by Joaquin Nin-Culmell 25-4-1936 Ecole Normale de Musique Paris 1935 Vocalise - Voice & piano (Leduc) 1st public performance 18-5-1936 by Hennriette Quéru-Bedel and Messiaen 1936 Poèmes pour Mi - Vocal - sop & piano (Durand) 1st public performance 28-4-1937 Les Concerts de la Spirale, Marcelle Bunlet (s) Messiaen (pno) 1937 O sacrum convivium - Vocal SATB or sop & organ (Durand) 1st public performance 17-2-1938 Les Amis de l'Orgue at Trinité 1937 Poèmes pour Mi - Sop & Orchestra - 3.3.2.3;4.3.3.1;3 perc;strings (Durand) 1937 Fêtes des Belles Eaux - 6 Ondes Martenots (Leduc) 1st public performance 25-7-1937 at Fete de la lumiere Paris 1938 Chants de terre et de ciel - Vocal sop & piano (Durand) 1st public performance 23-1-1939 Les Concerts du Triton, Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris. Marcelle Bunlet (s) Messiaen (pno) 1938 Deux monodies en quarts de ton - Ondes Martenot. Unpublished, the Deux Monodies in ¼ tones for Ondes Martenot were written when he was a professor at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. 1939 Les corps glorieux - Organ (Leduc) 1st private performance 22-7-1941 at Trinité 1st public performance 15-11-1943 at Trinité by Messiaen 1939 Vie pour Dieu des Ressuscités - Organ. A transcription of L'eau Movement 4 of Fêtes des Belles Eaux and later movement 5 of Quatuor pour la fin du temps. It is believed that Messiaen was to have used it as the second movement of Les corps glorieux but later deleted it. The first performance after its discovery was March 17th 2019 by Thomas Lacôte at La Trinité in Paris. 1940-41 Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Chamber - violin,clarinet,cello,piano (Durand)1st public performance during captivity 15-1-1941 in Stalag VIIIA, Gorlitz by Jean Le Boulaire, Henri Akoka, Etienne Pasquier and Messiaen. Then 24-6-1941 by Jean Pasquier, Andre Vacellier, Etienne Pasquier and Messiaen at Theatre des Mathurins, Paris (There is an arrangement of Louange a l'eternite de Jesus by Clytus Gottwald for 19 voices) 1941 Choeurs pour une Jeanne d'Arc I. Te Deum II.Impropères pour grand chœur et petit chœur mixtes, a cappella The choruses were written for Portique pour une fille de France a pageant by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Barbier. 1942 Musique de scène pour un Oedipe [Dieu est innocent]- Electronic (1 Ondes Martenot) 1943 Rondeau - Piano (Leduc) 1943 Visions de l'Amen - 2 Pianos (Durand)1st public performance by Yvonne Loriod and Messiaen at Galerie Charpentier, Les Concerts se la Pleiade Paris 10-5-1943 1943-44 Trois Petites liturgies de la présence divine - Vocal/Orchestral - 36 womens voices,piano solo, ondes martenot solo, celesta, vibraphone, 3 perc; 8.8.6.6.4 (Durand) 1st public performance 21-4-1945 Les concerts de la Pleiade, Salle du Conservatoire, Y Loriod, G Martenot Desormiere dir. 1944 Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus - Piano (Durand) 1st public performance by Yvonne Loriod 26-3-1945 Salle Gaveau, Paris 1945 Harawi - Vocal - sop & piano (Leduc) 1st private performance 26-6-1946 at Étienne de Beaumont's house, Paris by Marcelle Bunlet and Messiaen 1st public performance 27-6-1946 at Galerie Georges Giroux, Brussels. 1945 Piéce , for oboe and piano 1945 Tristan et Yseult - Théme d'Amour - Organ 1945 Chant des déportés - Vocal & Orchestra - 3.2.3.3;4.3.3.1;3 perc, piano, glock, strings (in large numbers) 1st public performance 2-11- 1945 at Palais de Chaillot cond Manuel Rosenthal 1946-48 Turangalîla-Symphonie - Orchestral 3.3.3.3;4.5.3.1; piano solo, ondes martenot solo; glock, celeste, vibraphone, 5perc; 16.16.14.12.10 (Durand) 1st public performance 2-12-1949 Symphony Hall Boston USA Y.Loriod, G Martenot dir. Bernstein 1948 Cinq Réchants - Vocal 3S 3A 3T 3B (Salabert) 1st public performance 1949 Salle Erard Paris. Ensemble vocal Marcel Couraud dir. 1949 Cantéyodjyâ - Piano (UE) 1st public performance 23-2-1954 at Petit Théatre Marigny by Yvonne Loriod 1949-50 Messe de la Pentecôte - Organ (Leduc) 1st incomplete public performance 13-5-1951 at Trinité by Messiaen 1949-50 Quatre Études de rythme - Piano (Durand) 1st public performance by Messiaen, 6-11-1950 Alliance Française Tunis 1951 Livre d'orgue - Organ (Leduc) 1st public performance (France) March 1955 by Messiaen 1952 Le merle noir - Chamber - flute & piano (Leduc) 1952 Timbres-durées - Electronic/Musique Concrete 1953 Chant donneé {Leçon d'harmonie:Hommage à Jean Gallon} unspecified instrumentation, written in open score SATB. c.1953 Réveil des oiseaux - Orchestral - 4.3.4.3;2.2.0.0; Piano solo, celeste, xylo, glock, 2 perc; 8.8.8.8.6 (Durand) 1st public performance 11-10-1953 Donaueschingen Festival Germany. Loriod pno. Rosbaud dir. 1955-56 Oiseaux exotiques - Orchestral - 2.1.3.1;2.1.0.0; piano solo, glock, xylo, 5 perc (UE) 1st public performance 10-3-1956 at Petit Théatre Marignt, Paris cond Rudolf Albert, Y.loriod pno. 1956-58 Catalogue d'oiseaux - Piano (Leduc) 1st public performance 15-4-1959 at Salle Gaveau by Y. Loriod 1959 Conférence de Bruxelles - Text (Leduc) 1959-60 Chronochromie - Orchestral - 4.3.4.3;4.4.3.1; glock, xylo, marimba, 3 perc; 16.16.14.12.10 (Leduc) 1st public performance 16-10-1960 at Donaueschingen cond. Hans Rosbaud 1960 Verset pour la Fête de la Dédicace - Organ (Leduc) Composed as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire. 1961 La Fauvette Passerinette - Piano (performing realization by Peter Hill) 1962 Sept haïkaï - Orchestral - 2.3.4.2;0.1.1.0; piano solo, xylo, marimba, 4 perc; 8.0.0.0.0 (Leduc) 1st public performance 30-10-1963 at Odéon Theatre de France cond P.Boulez, Y.Loriod pno. Orch du Domaine Musical. 1963 Couleurs de la Cité Céleste - Orchestral - 0.0.3.0;2.4.4.0; piano solo, xylo, xylorim,, marimba, 3 perc. (Leduc) 1st public performance 17-10-1964 at Donaueschingen, orch. Domaine Musical cond. Pierre Boulez, Y.Loriod pno. 1963 Monodie - for Organ (Leduc) 1964 Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum - Orchestral - 5.4.5.4;6.4.4.2;6 perc. (Leduc) 1st public performance 7-5-1965 at Saint Chapelle cond. Serge Baudo 1964 Prélude for Piano - ed. Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen (Durand) 1st public performance by Yvonne Loriod 8-12-2000 Conservatoire national superieur de musique de Paris 1965-69 La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus - Vocal/Orchestral - Choir: s.s.m-s.a.t.t.bar.b.b (10 voices per part). Orch: piano solo, cello solo, flute solo, clarinet solo, xylorimba solo, vibraphone solo, marimba solo; 5.4.5.4;6.4.4.2;6 perc; 16.16.14.12.12. (Leduc) 1st public performance 7-6-1969 at Coliseu Lisbon cond. Serge Baudo 1969 Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité - Organ (Leduc) 1st private performance 8-11-1971 by Messiaen at Trinité. 1st public performance 20-3-1972 at Basillica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington USA by Messiaen 1970 La fauvette des jardins - Piano (Leduc) 1971 Le tombeau de Jean-Pierre Guezec - Horn solo 1971-74 Des Canyons aux étoiles - Orchestral - 4.3.4.3;3.3.3.0; piano solo, horn solo, glock, xylorim, 5 perc; 6.0.3.3.1 (Leduc) 1st public performance 20-11-1974 at Alice Tully Hall New York USA by Musica Aeterna Orch cond, Fredric Waldman, Y.Loriod pno. 1975-83 Saint-François d'Assise - Opera - Choir: s.s.m-s.a.t.t.bar.b.b (15 voices per part). Orch: 7.4.8.4;6.4.3.3; xylo, xylorimba, vibraphone, marimba, glock, 5 perc; 3 ondes martenot; 16.16.14.12.10. (Leduc) 1st public performance 28-11-1983 at Paris Opera cond. Seiji Ozawa 1977 Conférence de Notre - Dame - Text (Leduc) 1977 Improvisations (for L'Âme en bourgeon - texts by Cécile Sauvage) 1982 Sigle - a short piece for unaccompanied flute which has been published for the first time as an illustration in the French edition (Paris, Fayard, 2008) of the biography by Hill and Simeone. This was reused in "Éclairs sur l'au-delà" 1984 Livre du Saint Sacrament - Organ (Leduc) 1st public performance 1-7-1986 by Almut Rossler at Metropolitan Methodist Church Michigan USA 1985 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux - Piano (Leduc) 1st public performance 25-1-1987 in Paris by Y.Loriod 1985 Conférence de Kyoto - Text (Leduc)Feuillets inédits arr. for ondes Martenot & piano (No date of composition) (Durand) 1986 Un vitrail et des oiseaux - Orchestral - 4.4.5.3; 0.1.0.0; piano solo, xylo, xylorim, marimba,5 perc. (Leduc) 1st public performance 26-11-1988 at Theatre des Champs-Elysees cond. Pierre Boulez 1986 Chant dans le Style Mozart - Clarinet & Piano 1987 La ville d'En-haut - Orchestral - 5.4.5.3;6.4.3.1, piano solo, glock, xylo, xylorim, marimba, 4 perc. (Leduc) 1st public performance 17-11-1989 at Salle Pleyel, BBCSO cond. P.Boulez 1988-92 Eclairs sur l'au-delà - Orchestral - 10.4.10.4;6.5.3.3; crotales, glock, xylo, xylorim, marimba,, 10 perc; 16.16.14.12.10. (Leduc) c.1987-91 Un oiseau des arbres de Vie (Orchestrated by Christopher Dingle). 1st performance 7 August 2015, Royal Albert Hall, BBC Philharmonic, Nicholas Collon. 1989 Un Sourire - Orchestral - 4.4.3.3;4.1.0.0;xylo, xylorim,2 perc; 16.16.14.12.0 (Leduc) 1st public performance 5-12-1991 1990-91 Concert à Quatre - Orchestral - flute solo, oboe solo, cello solo, piano solo and large orch. (Leduc) 1991 Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes - Chamber (UE) 1st public performance in Vienna 19-11-1991 Discovered in 1997 (composed c.1928) Prélude - Organ (Leduc) 2017 (based on Messiaen's notes taken from 1958) Fauvettes de l'Hérault - concert des garrigues - (Leduc) Piano (work reconstructed by Roger Muraro édition non répertoriée) 1st performance Toppan Hall, Tokyo, Japan. June 23 2017 Hymne des passereaux au lever du jour - solo clarinet (unknown date of composition) Feuillets inédits, quatre pièces pour Ondes Martenot et Piano. Discovered and arranged by Yvonne Loriod, these four short pieces date from the 1930's and published in 2002.(Leduc) Prélude pour orgue - c. 1928 published 2002 (Leduc) 2011 LECTURE AT KYOTO – KONFERENZ VON KYOTO (TEXTE ANGLAIS ET ALLEMAND) LEDUC AL 30473. German translation by Almut Rößler. English translation by Timothy Tikker Back to top

  • Biography | Olivier Messiaen

    BioTop 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. From very early on it was clear that Messiaen would be a composer who would stand alone in the history of music. Coming not from any particular 'school' or style but forming and creating his own totally individual musical voice. He achieved this by creating his own 'modes of limited transposition', taking rhythmic ideas from India (deci tala), ancient Greece and the orient and most importantly adapting the songs of birds from around the world. He was a man of many interests including painting, literature, and the orient where he took in not only the musical culture but theatre, literature and even the cuisine of foreign countries! ​ The single most important driving force in his musical creations was his devout Catholic faith. My first encounter with the music of Olivier Messiaen was as an impressionable fourteen year old who had just discovered Bach through Jacques Loussier and was listening somewhat idly to a BBC Radio 3 organ recital which concluded with this amazing sound world that was completely new to me and at the same time overwhelming. The piece I was experiencing was Dieu Parmi Nous (God Among Us) from La Nativité du Seigneur. Pierre Messiaen, Cecile Sauvage and Olivier Messiaen MESSIAEN AND SYNAESTHESIA This is what Messiaen had to say regarding his relationship with colours and synaesthesia " When I was 20 years old I met a Swiss painter who became a good friend by the name of Charles Blanc-Gatti , he was synaethesiac which is a disturbance of the optic and auditory nerves so when one hears sounds one also sees corresponding colours in the eye. I unfortunately didn't have this. But intellectually like synaethesiacs I too see colours- if only in my mind - colours corresponding to sound. I try to incorporate this in my work, to pass on to the listener. It's all very mobile. You've got to feel sound moving. Sounds are high, low, fast, slow etc. My colours do the same thing, they move in the same way. Like rainbows shifting from one hue to the next. It's very fleeting and impossible to fix in any absolute way. It's true I see colours, it's true they're there. They're musician’s colours, not to be confused with painter's colours. They're colours that go with music. If you tried to reproduce these colours on canvas it may produce something horrible. They're not made for that, they're musicians colours. What I'm saying is strange but it's true. I believe in natural resonance, as I believe in all natural phenomena. Natural resonance is in exact agreement with the phenomena of complimentary colours. I have a red carpet that I often look at. Where this carpet meets the lighter coloured parquet next to it, I intermittently see marvelous greens that a painter couldn't mix - natural colours created in the eye" Messiaen's particular condition was chromesthesia, a type of synesthesia in which sound involuntarily evokes an experience of colour, shape and movement. He entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of eleven and stayed until his early twenties learning his 'craft' from eminent teachers including Georges Falkenberg, piano, Jean Gallon, harmony, Noël Gallon counterpoint and fugue, professor Baggers, timpani & percussion, Paul Dukas composition & orchestration, Maurice Emmanuel history of music and Marcel Dupré organ and improvisation, of which Messiaen excelled, becoming organist of La Sainte Trinité in Paris when he was 22 and remained there until his death. It's sometimes easy to forget that Messiaens' contribution to the organ repertoire is probably the greatest since Bach. The term 'craft' is purposeful here as Messiaen developed into a true craftsman in every respect with immensely detailed scores including string bowing, woodwind articulations, fingerings for keyboards and even sticking for percussion. Since the age of eighteen Messiaen had been collecting the songs of thousands of birds throughout France and the world. Early works showed an inkling of birdsong influence but after the war in the late 40s and 50s he began notating their songs in great detail and this became a vital musical source for him. An important event in 1952 was his meeting with ornithologist and author Jacques Delamain of which Messiaen declared: 'It was Delamain who taught me to recognise a bird from its song, without having to see its plumage or the shape of its beak.' Messiaen would begin by selecting a bird, say a warbler where he would notate hundreds of different warblers and then creates a composite of the best elements of all the warblers notated thus ending up with an 'ideal' warbler. The song is usually combined with the birds habitat, surroundings and time of day. 'It's the process of transformation' that Messiaen enjoys and relates this to the paintings of Monet who is not interested in putting say a water lily directly on the water of a picture but representing one variation of the light on the water lilies. His researches were so intense that he became an authoritative ornithologist able to recognize almost any bird that he heard. Several works have been devoted entirely to birdsong namely Catalogue d'Oiseaux, Réveil des oiseaux, Oiseaux Exotique, Le merle noir, Petites esquisses d'oiseaux and almost all other works include substantial references to the songs of birds. At the age of 19 the young Messiaen witnessed the death from consumption of his beloved mother. He moved to his paternal aunts in the countryside of the Aube region of France where, in Yvonne Loriod's words, 'the aunts took their nephew in to revive his taste for life and restore his health with good country air whilst he continued to compose'. Messiaen married his first wife Claire Delbos in June 1932. The daughter of a Sorbonne professor, she was a member of La Spirale, a prominent new music society, an accomplished violinist and composer (works include Primevere 5 Songs for soprano and piano, Deux Pièces for Organ 1935, Parce, Domine {Pardonnez,Seigneur, à votre peuple... } pour le temps du Carême for organ and Marie, toute-puissance suppliante for 4 Ondes Martenots) she sadly became physically and mentally ill and entered a psychiatric hospital (where she eventually died in 1959) leaving Messiaen a single parent bringing up their only son Pascal (born in 1937 a teacher of Russian, died 31st January 2020) throughout the late 30s and 40s. Messiaen and Claire Delbos gave many recitals in and around Paris during the early 1930s featuring the Romantic repetoire for violin and piano and in 1932 he composed Theme and Variations for her and they premiered the piece at a concert held by the Société Nationale. A second work for violin and piano recently came to light entitled Fantaisie composed in 1933. His song cycle Poemes pour Mi is also dedicated to Claire Delbos, Mi being a 'pet' name for her. Both music and words were written by Messiaen and celebrates the joy and sanctity of marriage. Messiaen was to continue to write the texts for most of his choral and vocal works including the Trois Petite liturgies de la Presence Divine which caused some negative if not hostile reactions from many critics at the first performance. He believes that this reaction was due to the fact that the work is full of passion but with a deep religious foundation and this took the critics by surprise and much of the criticisms were not directed at the music. In 1936, with the composers Andre Jolivet, Daniel Lesur, and Yves Baudrier, he founded the group La Jeune France ("Young France") to promote new French music. From 1934 to 1939 he taught piano sight reading at the École Normale de Musique and an organ improvisation course at the Schola Cantorum. Undoubtedly it has been Messiaens' devout Christian faith and Catholicism that has driven his compositional output through the years and there was no greater test of his faith than in June 1940 when he was captured by the Nazis and interned in prisoner of war camp Stalag 8A, Gorlitz , Poland. He recalls that at the time he and everybody in the camp were freezing, starving and miserable. The starvation was such that it heightened his 'coloured' dreams and this coupled with the experience of seeing the 'aurora borealis', coloured waves of clouds, led him to compose what is probably his most performed work: Quatour pour la Fin du Temps (Quartet for the end of Time). He befriended a German officer Carl-Albert Brüll who smuggled him manuscript paper, pencil and eraser which enabled him to retreat to the priests block after morning duties and compose. The instrumentation was governed by the musician friends that were with Messiaen in the camp. These were; violinist Jean Le Boulaire , cellist Etienne Pasquier , clarinetist Henri Akoka and with himself on a rather dilapidated piano premiered the work on January 15th 1941 in front of fellow prisoners who although maybe never understood the new harmonies etc. it took them away from the routine mundane life in the camp. He says that his music 'is not "nice" - it is certain. I am convinced that joy exists, convinced that the invisible exists more than the visible, joy is beyond sorrow, beauty is beyond horror'. Golden Oriole (Loriot) © Malcolm Raines and Chris Knights He returned from captivity in March 1941 and became a teacher and lecturer at the Paris Conservatoire giving his first class on 7th May the same year. He held classes in analysis, theory, aesthetics and rhythm but it wasn't until 1966 that he was officially appointed Professor of Composition (although he had in effect been teaching composition for years). Many famous 'names' passed through these classes including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, Alexander Goehr and later George Benjamin who Messiaen had a particular fondness and admiration of. Perhaps the one thing that rubbed off on all these composers is Messiaens' avoidance of regular metre citing it as artificial relating to marches and more popular music. Messiaen supports his argument by pointing out that in nature things are not even or regular. For example the branches of a tree and the waves of the sea are not even patterns. However, what is true is 'natural resonance', and this true phenomenon is what his music is based on. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ This period produced a great outpouring of music including the Trois Petite liturgies de la Presence Divine , the song cycle Harawi, Chant des deportes for choir and orchestra, Turangalila Symphonie , the mammoth piano cycles Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and Visions de l'Amen for two pianos. These last two works and many more to follow were dedicated to Yvonne Loriod a young and highly gifted pupil who turned up in Messiaens' first class held at the Conservatoire in 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 never imparted his own compositional techniques in his classes but rather steered students along their own paths. Messiaen has not always been in the favour of the musical establishment not least by the BBC who broadcast next to nothing on the then Third programme (later Radio 3) right up until the sixties by which time the composer was in his 60s. It was Felix Aprahamian who brought Messiaen to London in the late 30s to play La Nativite and has been a champion and formidable writer on Messiaen ever since. In the forties and fifties Messiaen was shunned on the one hand by the new 'avant-garde' as too sweet and sentimental and on the other hand by the more conventional musical public as too austere and discordant. Boulez in particular could not come to terms with and reacted against works like Turangalila with it's rich mix of tonal and atonal language saying that he prefers the ones that remain true to one style or the other. However, one gem of a composition was to turn 20th century music on its head. This was 'Mode de valeurs et d'intensites' part of four studies in rhythm for piano. It took Schoenberg's theory of serializing pitches a whole leap forward whereby Messiaen effectively serialized all musical parameters i.e. pitches, durations, dynamics and articulations. Thus each note has a character and identity all of its own which is maintained throughout the piece. For example, middle C will always appear as a dotted minim value, forte dynamic and have a tenuto articulation mark. Although this paved the way for the young generation of composers such as Stockhausen, Boulez, Nono etc. to explore previously uncharted territory, Messiaen himself never pursued the idea beyond that study but continued to turn to nature and his faith as the inspiration and starting points for his music continuing to use his own modes, complex rhythmic ideas and the songs of birds. Having said that, there are occasions when for instance he wanted to describe the horror and blackness of the night in the opening of " The Tawny Owl' from Catalogue d'Oiseaux where he uses a 'Mode de valeurs et d'intensites ' in a poetical sense to portray this. Indeed it must be said that Messiaen did more to advance rhythmic forms and ideas than any other composer of the 20th century. From the original programme of the first performance of Turangalîla Symphonie by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1949 Christiane Eda-Pierre in the role of the Angel: Saint Francois d'Assise Photo: Jacques Moetti In 1975 Messiaen embarked on his most ambitious project of his life, the opera Saint François d'Assise , a work that would occupy him for the following eight years. Saint François represents his life work combining all his compositional techniques gathered over fifty or so years. Scored for 22 woodwinds. 16 brass, 68 strings, 3 ondes Martenot and 5 keyboard percussions playing xylophone, xylorimba, marimba, glockenspiel & vibraphone. There are 6 percussionists playing tubular bells, claves, wind machine, snare drum, triangles,temple blocks, wood blocks, cymbals of various kinds, whip, maracas, reco-reco, glass chimes, shell chimes, wood chimes, tambourine, tôle (thunder sheet), gongs, tam tam, crotales tom toms and geophone (sand machine) together with 7 main solo characters and a choir of 150 it is certainly the largest forces Messiaen considered.Among the best essays on this work are Paul Griffiths' account in The Messiaen Companion and Messiaens' own comments in an interview with him. Soon after Messiaen's death I happened to be visiting Paris and felt the need to pay my respects at La Sainte Trinité, the church where Messiaen conceived so many of his great organ works. I was lucky enough to meet Father Yves de Boisrehen who for many years read the lessons etc. and said how he would be amazed when his words would suddenly 'come to life' for the congregation through the improvisations of Messiaen responding at the organ. Some would say 'an impossible act to follow' but in 1993 Naji Hakim entered that revered organ loft at la Trinité as successor to Messiaen. An accomplished composer and improviser, Naji Hakim was the one person Messiaen felt comfortable in the knowledge that the great French tradition of organist - composer and improviser would continue at la Trinité. Naji Hakim's reign came to an end in 2008 the centenary of Messiaen's birth. Thanks to today's mass audio market you won't have to scratch around as I did, finding recordings of the greatest French composer since Debussy. Fragments of Messiaen's music have found their way into several feature films including: Ken Russell's Dante's Inferno (Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum), the BBC documentary The Ascent of Man (also Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum), Oren Moverman's The Dinner (Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps) and Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant (Oraison-L'eau from Fêtes des Belles Eaux). Messiaen received many honours and prizes globally including: 1959 Nomination as an Officier of the Légion d'honneur 1967 Member of the Institut de France 1969 Calouste Gulbenkian Prize 1971 Erasmus Award 1975 Ernest von Siemens Award 1975 Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Science, Literature and Art of Belgium 1975 Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society 1978 The White Cliffs in Utah were renamed Mount Messiaen 1980 Presentation of the Croix de Commander of the Belgian Order of the Crown 1983 Wolf Foundation of the Arts Prize (Jerusalem) 1985 Inamori Foundation Prize (Kyoto) 1987 He was promoted to the highest rank, Grand-Croix, of the Légion d'honneur 1989 Primio Internazionale Paolo VI 1988 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. CALL FOR DONATIONS for the safeguarding of LA MAISON DES MESSIAEN in Fuligny (in Aube, in Champagne). Please make a payment to the LA QUALITE DE VIE Association. To make the treasurer's task easier: please choose bank transfer or Paypal. To make a transfer click on this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1m9Pkc3PEOClwaQxpk1xBtYk6eCx6UQIFCwQgCUSpQtE/edit Its Board of Directors will be responsible for making it a concentration of Culture: "adults" and "school children" will be able to learn to recognize birds, their song, their life... (visits organized by the Establishments schools and Associations for the elderly are more and more numerous: Heritage and Culture) - This place will fit perfectly into the North-East Aube circuit: From Gaulle to Colombey-les-deux-Eglises, Napoléon to Brienne, Bachelard in Bar-sur-Aube, Voltaire in Cirey-sur-Blaise, without forgetting the Champagne Route. Regularly, those responsible for tourism in the North-East Aubois complain about the lack of attractiveness of this territory where France's radioactive waste storage centers are located. The current residence will be restored and protected. An Aube company specializing in the renovation of old buildings is in the process of providing a quote. Furthermore, we imagine the construction of three small wooden buildings, using the A-shaped house technique: see this example: https://www.boisdesalpes.net/batiment.php?noIDB=11 - a small library, - a specialized media library, - a small auditorium with around sixty seats (the capacity of a school bus) with a large bay window facing the meadow, where you can listen to all the music and songs from the world of birds, with juke-box type equipment , - a care center for injured birds and animals, - etc. ​ All the details are in the draft Statutes which can be consulted by clicking on this link: https://www.villesurterre.eu/images/2021/Fonds-de-dotation-231117-Statuts-LA-MAISON-DES-MESSIAEN-FULIGNY-V13.pdf For organ lovers, there is another way to make a donation of 25 euros! On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Olivier Messiaen, the Forlane label, in co-production with the quantum label, and under the artistic direction of Pascal Vigneron, Director of the Toul Bach Festival, and producer of the box set, has released the complete organ works of Olivier MESSIAEN. This 8-CD box set was recorded with teachers and students from major organ classes at the largest European conservatories (more than 40 participants). In order to safeguard the Maison des MESSIAEN in Fuligny, where he composed many of his masterpieces, the LA QUALITE DE VIE Association invites you to purchase this box set. Part of this purchase will be donated to the preservation of this historic residence. We therefore suggest that you acquire this box as follows: You make a donation to the QUALITY OF LIFE Association. You send 50 euros. In this way you will help us to preserve the Residence of the MESSIAEN. And you will be able to deduct 60% of this amount in your tax return. It’s a great deal: the complete organ works of Olivier MESSIAEN, i.e. 8 CDs for 30 euros. And to thank you, the LA QUALITE DE VIE Association will send you the Box. If you are allergic to all these computer constraints send a cheque to: LA QUALITE DE VIE Association 8 route de Soulaines 10200 VILLE-SUR-TERRE FRANCE by providing your email address on the back of the cheque. ​ Thank you for your generosity. Here are the Articles of Association of the Endowment Fund (English ) (French ) Here are the Rules and regulations of the Endowment Fund (English ) (French ) Here are 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

  • 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 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

  • In the Press | Olivier Messiaen

    CONCERT REVIEWS InPressTop La Mort et la nouvelle vie from Saint François d'Assise & La Fauvette Passerinette David Josefowitz Rectial Hall & Angela Burgess Rectial Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London 13th June 2024 The Summer Piano Festival is a busy few days at the Royal Academy of Music . There is always something exciting and The Art of the Piano Transcription proved this. Hosted by Professor Mei-Ting Sun, he spoke of how impressed he is with his students, blessed with overflowing talent and a mastery in their technique of transcription. Staggeringly, Julian Chan took it upon himself to arrange the finale of Messiaen's leviathan Saint François d'Assise . You wouldn't think it was possible really, the orchestration alone took an eye watering four years to formulate. Chan wowed with a well handedly reining in of the mass of orchestra, chorus and soloist. There remained many shimmering, flashing colours ever present, Chan's cataclysmic playing saw Henry Cowell like tone clusters, a rampant, storm like conjuring physicality and a rhythmic vitality that the composer demands. The final few bars of extreme crescendo was a feat and quite flooring. It's almost as Chan could take on the whole opera. Later, the afternoon of Piano, Multimedia, Film opened yet again with Messiaen. Audiovisual artist Kathy Hinde has collaborated with the pianists in creating their own film work to complement their playing. Xiaowen Shang played La Fauvette Passerinette , the rediscovered and arranged from Peter Hill, work of Messiaen's. Quite harsh yet, profound in nature, the birdsong of the Subalpine Warblers and the artwork of Hieronymus Bosch were the inspiration. Shang drudged through the density, bringing alive what works so well in the twisted birdsong. This stirring playing was met with less than rewarding video work. The imagery of Bosch is screen wiped and contorted in a fairly easy exercise in media maker effects. Its cues matched the attacks of the score, and it worked to the best of its abilities. © James Ellis Saint Francois d'Assise Grand Theatre Geneva, Switzerland 11- 14- 16 - 18 April 2024 Musical Director, Jonathan Nott, Saint Francis Robin Adams, The Angel Claire de Sevigne , The Leper Ales Briscein , Brother Leo Kartal Karagedik , Brother Masseo Jason Bridges . Staging, Scenery, Costumes and Video, Adel Abdessemed , Lighting, Jean Kalman, Dramaturgy, Stephan Müller , Choral director, Mark Biggins . Choir du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Choir le Motet de Genève, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande . Ondes Martenot, Thomas Bloch, Jacques Tchamkerten and Caroline Ehret . After weeks of rain and unseasonably cool weather, the sun shone brilliantly over Geneva’s Grand Theatre on the 14th April, and the equally dazzling interior décor was indeed something to behold, although far removed from the subject material that awaited us in the form of Messiaen’s St. François d’Assise. This production, and another in Hamburg, were scheduled for performance nearly four years ago, but had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic (both productions will/have taken place this year). From the opening first scene (tableau) La Croix, Adel Abdessemed’s artistic personality was clearly apparent combining a unique blend of staging, scenery, costume and video in a sometimes naive and simplistic way that often mirrored Messiaen’s own approach to the score and libretto. As in many previous productions, most of the action takes place downstage due to the huge orchestral and choral forces required by Messiaen’s score – 119 orchestral players and a choir of 150. Abdessemed chose to drop in one or two huge circular screens to project images and videos pertinent to each tableau. While these images were extremely effective, the screens did just hamper some higher frequency detail and balance from the orchestra behind at times. Nonetheless, the all-important three Ondes Martenot’s were clearly defined and placed at the front left, centre and right of the orchestra ensuring clear spacialisation throughout. Abdessemed’s contemporary 21st century approach was successful in combining the secular aspects of modern-day recycling such as the Frère’s robes adorned with old portable CD players and domestic technological paraphernalia and the Leper draped in plastic refuse bags and light bulbs, with the 13th century fresco of the monastery and a huge replica of the Italian church on Mount Verna in the Stigmata scene. Messiaen’s (and St. François’s) birds got top billing as expected with a giant dove splashed with blood? and mounted on a mound of stones dominating tableau six, and one screen was devoted to a single looped video of an urban pigeon chosen by Abdessemed as the bird most familiar to him from his Paris home. This animated image was often, but by pure chance, in synchronisation with some of the orchestral rhythmic episodes in tableau six, The Preaching to the Birds, and it was at the end of this scene that Abdessemed ‘levitated’ St. François above the stage rather than at the end of the opera as several productions in the past have opted. Talking of levitation, one must not forget the ascending camel presumably representing the farewell to all God’s creatures and possibly a nod to Stockhausen’s Camel Dance in Mittwoch aus Licht! The Kissing of the Leper scene was suitably expressive if not quite as movingly gripping as it might be, but Ales Bricein made the most of his miraculous freedom dance. Claire de Sévigné’s Angel was rather more terrestrial than heavenly, dressed in a plain white dress and lacking some of the Zen-like quality Messiaen intended, but her vocal delivery was refined and poignant with expressive intimacy. She made good use of two wing-like accessories that were coloured as the original design suggested by Messiaen. Robin Adams took on the role of St. François with nonchalant authority with liquidity of the phrasing that was often impressive. There were just signs of vocal fatigue towards the final pages of his role, but this somewhat added to the drama and impending conclusion. A strong supporting cast of Brothers performed with committed intensity and individual characterisation, and the wonderful Suisse Romande orchestra under Jonathan Nott’s ebullient musical direction captured the score with vivid immediacy. The last word, or should I say notes must go to the choirs of Choir du Grand Théâtre de Genève and Choir le Motet de Genève who sang immaculately throughout and filled the entire front of stage in the final chorale of Joie! (see photos here ) St. François d'Assise in Stuttgart 11-22-25 June, 2 - 9 July 2023 Staatsoper, Stuttgart Titus Engel Conductor, Anna-Sophie Mahler Director, Katrin Connan Set Designer, Costume Designer, Janine Grellscheid Video, Georg Lendorff Lighting. Ingo Gerlach Dramaturgy. Staatsorchester Stuttgart Staatsopernchor Stuttgart. Michael Mayes Baritone Saint François, Beate Ritter Soprano L'Ange, Gerhard Siegel Tenor Frère Ellie, Elmar Gilbertsson Tenor Frère Massée, Moritz Kallenberg Tenor Le Lépreux, Danylo Matviienko Baritone Frère Léon, Thomas Bloch , Ondes Martenot, Jacques Tchamkerten , Ondes Martenot, Caroline Ehret , Ondes Martenot ©Martin Sigmund To say that putting on a production of St. François d'Assise is ambitious for any opera house is an understatement, but to put on a production and decide to move an entire Act from the opera house to a park area then back again might seem to some, downright foolhardy. Either way that is just what Anna-Sophie Mahler planned for the Staatsoper Stuttgart production that spanned five performances spread over almost a month. Each performance schedule began with a pre concert talk at 1.15pm in the sumptuous grandeur of the first balcony foyer of the opera house, then the performance began in the theatre at 2.00pm with Act I Tableau 1, 2, and 3. (La Croix, Les Laudes and Le Baiser au Lépreux ). Then a tram transfer would take the audience to Löwentobrüke park area where a walk of 1.5km took them to Wartberg while listening to Act II tableau 4 (L'Ange voyageur ) on personal headphones that was recorded prior to the performances. At 6.00pm Act III began with tableau 5 and 6 (L'Ange musicien and Le Prêche aux oiseaux) on the Killesberg open air stage. A return trip by tram to the city centre opera house would give time for a light meal before Act IV tableau 7 and 8 (Les Stigmates and La Mort et la nouvelle Vie) began at 9.00pm. So this took an already lengthy 5 hour opera to 8 hours! HOWEVER, there was a plan B should the weather prove inclement, which was the case on my visit on the 22nd of June. Instead of tram journeys across town, we made a short walk from the opera house to the nearby St, Eberhard's church where a talk and musical demonstration was offered and then we could listen to tableau 4 over headphones in the relative comfort of the church. While I applaud the Staatsoper for their creative thinking and the pilgrimage with Messiaen to bring nature into the opera house, I felt a little uncomfortable with the rearrangement of tableaus 4 and 5, but everything was superbly organised with excellent and helpful staff on hand throughout, as well as some Messiaen Angels guiding us through the park to the church(see photo) . A 'sustainability' theme was adopted from the outset and ‘following a public appeal by Staatsoper Stuttgart, over 300 hoodies were received as donations as costumes. In addition, the Staatsoper distributed knitting kits to interested people who wanted to knit parts of the stage set at home.’ This worked surprisingly well giving a sense of the 13th century rural life of St. François alongside 21st century attitudes and inclinations in the dramaturgy. There were some effective lighting and video imagery on display to remind us of Messiaen's thought processes and these were combined to great effect in the Stigmata scene where the choir were writhing from rear to front stage while being projected on the ceiling at the same time (see photo ). Lighting and costume also played off each other in the 'Angel' scenes. In this production the Angel took on the identity of a brightly coloured dragonfly and the reflective costume was impressive and dazzling as it caught the lights at different angles. The dragonfly element was carried through in the Death and New Life tableau 8 with video projections of a chrysalis morphing into a fully formed insect superimposed at the front of stage while St. François ascended to heaven as one or the same (see photo ). Titus Engels conducted with great precision, and the orchestra responded well despite a few rough edges and a slight lack of experience in Messiaen's bird language. Having said that, my musician friends who were performing, thought that the Sermon to the Birds tableau was all the more moving in the open air version, combining 'live' birds with Messiaen's birds. Michael Mayes (St. François) delivered a heart and soul performance with some (literally) hands on communication with the audience while maintaining the humble spirituality that is so important in the work. I believe that all of the friar brothers were new to the work, except Gerhard Siegel, tenor Frère Ellie, (who performed the role in Madrid 2011) and all gave sterling performances. Moritz Kallenberg as the Leper was exceptional and must be commended for finding his way around the set in such a bulky but effective costume. Beate Ritter's Angel was suitably capricious but just lacked a little purity in pitch in the celestial moments. Despite what must have been a logistical nightmare at times, this production was vibrant and energised while maintaining the spirituality that was so important to Messiaen and the life of St. François. TURANGALÎLA SYMPHONIE London Symphony Orchestra Sir Simon Rattle, conductor, Peter Donohoe, piano, Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot. Barbican Hall, London. 14 June 2023 This concert marked Sir Simon Rattles's last concert as Music Director of the LSO in the Barbican Hall and to mark the occasion he chose to conduct one of his personal favourite pieces: Turangalîla Symphonie, and to be joined by two soloists that he have been associated with him and the work over many years, this promised to be an evening to remember. We were not disappointed. The concert began with Ces belles années... a work by Betsy Jolas who enrolled in Messiaen's class at the Paris Conservatoire and succeeded Messiaen as Professor of Analysis in 1975. Ces belles années... is written for (often exclamatory) soprano - (Faustine de Monès in this performance) and large orchestra, with (like Messiaen) plenty of assorted percussion. Rattle coaxed a myriad of exotic and colourful nuances from said percussion as well as the entire orchestral palette that was clearly appreciated by the near capacity audience including the composer who was in attendance and on her feet at the end not looking anywhere near her 97th year. After an interval and stage reshuffle, Rattle and the LSO launched into the Introduction of Turangalîla with characteristic flare and uninhibited emotion, but this is a work of extremes on all levels and Rattle made the most of the quiet moments and silences such as the flower theme and the sensual love theme that recur throughout the work. Contrast that with the bombastic brassy-ness of the statue theme , the frenetic theme of joy, a keyboard based gamelan and you have a musical romp like no other in the repertoire and the players of the LSO gave their all, in honour of their chief conductor. Since his early days with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Rattle has had an innate sense of tempo for this work unlike some younger conductors who unfortunately let their excitement run riot resulting in a loss of detail and focus. Everything is measured while maintaining a sense of shape and direction making the points of climax and rapture even more intense. Both pianist Peter Donohoe and ondist Cynthia Millar have perhaps notched up more performances than most other soloists that have tackled this work, so together with Rattle and the LSO we really did have the Turangalîla dream team. ©M Ball ©LSO Mark Allan 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 More reviews of Harawi kindly submitted by Nicholas Armfelt Review of the the first British performance of Harawi. Interestingly given by Roy Bywood 'tenor' and John Boorman, piano. February 9th 1953 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 Pierre-Laurent Aimard 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, imagine 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 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

  • Writings | Olivier Messiaen

    Writings, Articles and Archive Material WritingsTop Jean-Rodolphe Kars ~ Wartime Letter ~ Nicholas Armfelt ~ Ruth Cole ~ Miriam Carpinetti ~ Jeffery Wilson ~ Thomas Lacôte ~ Lerie Dellosa ~ Cardinal Lustiger ~ Jennifer Bate ~ Robert Grenier ©Robert Grenier personal collection Robert Grenier (bass) rehearses with Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod Robert Grenier was understudy for the part of Frère Bernard in St.François d'Assise premier run in 1983. He made two appearances in place of Jean-Philippe Courtis on the 3rd and 18th December 1983 at the Palais Garnier. All the vocal soloists were coached by Messiaen himself and Robert recorded his session on cassette tape. He had all but forgotten about the 40 odd year old cassette until recently and was surprised that it still played for 16 mins before the sound disintegrates. Robert has very kindly shared this precious document with us. The quality is rather Lo-Fi but it gives us great insight into how Messiaen (and Loriod) worked with the soloists in preparation for performance. RGrenier/Messiaen 00:00 / 16:15 © Robert Grenier. Reproduction of audio is strictly forbidden without permission of the owner. Later in 2002 Robert produced an essay for Opera Quarterly entitled: Recollections on Singing Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise. Download the pdf below. RecollectionsStFranRG2002.pdf ©2002 Oxford University Press RGrenier Concert Programme of Trois Tala performed in Spain 22 February 1949 Père Jean-Rodolphe Kars maintained a close relationship with Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod and shares these documents from his personal archive. A Prayer composed by Olivier Messiaen Père Kars wrote the following about this rare and personal document: ''Some words of this prayer announce the poem of the third “petite liturgie”, and are very much influenced by some writings of St Thomas of Aquinas. This prayer is remarkable, with a real mystical ending which announce very precisely the last prayer of St Francis in the opera. It’s a testimony of how much Messiaen kept things in his memory and would use them in due time, sometimes decades later, after having matured them''. Prière inédite rédigée par Olivier Messiaen en septembre 1943, alors qu’il s’apprêtait à composer ses « Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine » (1943-1944). On reconnaît, sous une forme différente, beaucoup d’éléments du poème de la troisième « petite liturgie » (poème dont il est aussi l’auteur). Unpublished prayer written by Olivier Messiaen in September 1943, when he was preparing to compose his " Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine " (1943-1944). We recognize, in a different form, many elements of the poem of the third "little liturgy" (poem of which he is also the author). English translation here. OMPrayer.pdf Jean-Rodolphe Kars These are two extracts of Messiaen’s diary, which Yvonne sent to me many years ago. On the right part, dated 29-11-86, Messiaen mentions the event of my priestly ordination on that very day (see on the top). Of course he was not present (he was in Paris and the ordination took place in the little French town of Paray-le-Monial), but he did assure me that he would very much pray for me (“ de tout mon coeur”) on that occasion. And so he noted that in his diary. The left part dated 21-12-86, concerns the very first mass I celebrated in the église de la Sainte Trinité, three weeks after my ordination. Messiaen was at the organ. I did publicly pay homage to him, thanking him for the immense impact his works had on my spiritual journey. On the left part in the middle, one can read that I shall celebrate the 11h45 mass. And on the right part of the same date, nearly above, he did note that I “publicly thanked him”. You find that just under the indication “51e sem. 355:10”. And on the same side, but below, there is a mention of Jennifer Bate, probably in relation with the project of her playing the first Paris performance at the Trinité of the “Livre du Saint Sacrement” in May or June 1987. P. Jean-Rodolphe Kars Here is Père Kars description: These two letters were written to me by Messiaen in 1986, after I informed him about my conversion (which he didn’t know about up to that time) and about my future ordination, first as deacon (February 1986), then as priest (November 1986). In the first letter (January 1986), one can read his joy to hear about that; he also writes that “being priest is the most “great” thing on this earth”; and also a recommendation for me to care in my future ministry about the quality of the liturgy, giving preference to Gregorian Plain-Song (in fact, I never had any influence later in those matters). The second letter (August 1986) was written to me between the two ordinations. After interesting details about his activities during those months, (and also his expression of thanksgiving for the spiritual impact of his works in my life and in my vocation), the subject is primarily about a theological comment (very personal comment) I wrote about the Trinitarian dimension I discovered in the second half of his magnificent “Combat de la mort et de la vie” (Corps Glorieux IV). In this article I also wrote a paragraph about the theological dimensions of the sound of the organ. So Messiaen writes first about all this matter, and then he comes back to my priestly ordination, a few months later. A letter of thanks from Messiaen to Harry Halbreich for his book 'Messiaen' that remains one of the seminal and revealing tomes in print. Père Kars points out that interestingly the date on the letter is the same day and month as Messiaen's death 12 years later. A Wartime Letter An important wartime autograph letter signed by Olivier Messiaen ("Messiaen"), February 15, 1940, to his friend and musical supporter Virginie Schildge-Bianchini, thanking her for a care package, advising her on her musical pursuits, and shedding light on his own devotion to music even in the midst of a war. Translated from the French, in part: "Thank you for your very kind letter and magnificent package. It will all be appreciated: from the good jam to the Lu Petit-Beurres, by way of the cheese, wafers, gingerbread, [.] honey (my passion!), the good salted butter, the chocolate and the cognac. Many, many thanks again. I am very touched! It's a very good idea to learn Bach by heart. It is also very good to take harmony and counterpoint lessons with J. P. Hennebains: you won't find a wiser and more devoted teacher. and that will allow you to resume composition again more fruitfully and easily. I am so happy to see you cultivating music with such zeal. My wife and my little son are freezing in glacial Auvergne. For my part, I must forget our physical ailments and return gradually to my rainbow of modes, of rhythms, and of resonance, living two lives simultaneously: that of 'my brother the body' and 'that of the spirit." Written just four months before the composer's capture by German forces, and his two-year stay in a prisoner of war camp where he composed his Quartet for the End of Time, the letter demonstrates Messiaen's strength of purpose -- sustained, no doubt, by his strong religious faith -- in the worst of circumstances. Virginie Schildge-Bianchini (later Zinke-Bianchini) had been a regular supporter of Messiaen's work since the 1930's. After his return from the war, she took lessons from him in Paris and also hosted several concerts of his music at her house. Wartime Letter A postcard to boulez Nicholas Armfelt A letter of thanks Nicholas Armfelt kindly contributed this letter that he received from Olivier Messiaen thanking him for sending recordings of birdsongs indigenous to New Zealand. Nicholas met sound recordist Kenneth Bigwood while teaching in New Zealand in 1963 where they recorded the songs of the Bellbird, Grey Warbler and others, but most importantly the Tui that made a great impression on Messiaen who subsequently included its song in Couleurs de la Cité Céleste . More recentlty the Tui is featured in Un oiseau des arbres de Vie famously orchestrated by Christopher Dingle and premiered at the BBC Proms in 2015. Nicholas Armfelt 'Three Little Parcels'. Since his introduction to the music of Olivier Messiaen in the 1940s, Nicholas Armfelt has remained an ardent enthusiast of his music and through this has become a keen ornithologist in his own right. Over a period of time Nicholas made several recordings of birds native to New Zealand and sent three little parcels of such recordings to Messiaen to which the composer responded in the following three letters kindly submitted by Nicholas. Nicholas sent the first parcel to Messiaen in early 1963 and Messiaen's reply was as follows: 17 juin 1963 Cher Monsieur, J'ai bien reçu votre disque d'oiseaux de Nouvelle-Zélande. C'est merveilleux! J'ai apprécié particulièrement les chants extraordinaires de l'oiseau-Tui, de l'oiseau-cloche (bellbird), du Riroriro (grey warbler), du Kiwi, du Kéa, de l'ocydrome Weka, du Takahé (notornis) -etc, etc.. Ce cadeau me fait un immense plaisir. Merci de tout mon coeur! Avec une très grande reconnaissance. Olivier Messiaen. 17th June 1963 Dear sir, I have safely received the recording of the "Birds of New Zealand". It is marvellous! I particularly appreciated the exraordinary songs of the Tui, the Bellbird, the Riroriro (grey warbler), the Kiwi, the Kea, the wood-rail Weka, the Takahe (notornis) etc. etc. This present gives me immense pleasure. Thank you with all my heart! With very great gratitude. Olivier Messiaen Nicholas sent the second parcel in late 1976 and was delighted to receive the following reply: le 6 février 1977 Cher Monsieur, Je suis couvert de confusion à la pensée que vous avez attendu si longtemps ma réponse. J'etais absent pour tournées de concerts, et à mon retour, j'ai trouvé plusieurs centaines de lettres, et je n'ai pas encore pu répondre à tout. Un immense merci pour cette bande magnétique extraordinaire! Quelle variété, quelle beauté! J'ai déjà commencé une première notation de ce que vous m'avez envoyé. Effectivement c'est l'enregistrement (C) qui est le plus extaordinaire. L'Oiseau-Tui surtout est prodigieux, comme rythme, comme ligne mélodique, et comme variété de timbres. J'ai été absolument renversé par le KOKAKO (Blue-wattled Crow, Callaeas cinerea). Je ne connais pas cet oiseau. Est-il de la meme famille que les corbeaux fluteurs (Gymnorhina)? En tout cas, cet oiseau prodigieux fait ce que les flutistes et les clarinettistes ont découvert depuis peu, c'est-à-dire des double-sons! Si vous pouviez m'en donner une description, cela me rendrait grand service. Je connaissais déjà l'Oiseau-Tui, l'Oiseau-Cloche, et le Mohoua à tete jaune. Mais beacoup d'autres oiseaux que vous m'avez envoyés sont pour moi une révélation. Spécualement l'Oiseau-Tui que je connaissais mal, et le Kokako que je ne connaissais pas du tout. Avec encore tous mes remerciements, je vous prie de croire, cher Monsieur, à ma profonde reconnaissance. Olivier Messiaen. 6th February 1977 Dear sir, I am embarrassed by the thought that you have had to wait so long for my reply. I was away on concert tours, and on my return I found several hundred letters, and I haven't been able yet to reply to them all. A huge thank-you for this amazing tape! What variety! What beauty! I have already begun my first notations of what you have sent me. indeed it is section C of the tape which is the most extraordinary. The Tui especially is prodigious - for rhythm, melodic line, and variety of timbres. I was absolutely bowled over by the KOKAKO (Blue-wattled Crow). I don't this bird. Is it in the same family as the Australian bell-magpies? At any rate, this prodigious bird does what flautists and clarinetists have discovered only recently, namely double-sounds! If you could give me a description of it that would be of great service to me. I was already acquainted with the Tui, the Bellbird, and the Yellowhead; but many of the other birds you have sent are for me a revelation. Specially the Tui, which I didn't know well, and the Kokako, which I didn't know at all. With all my thanks. I beg you to believe, dear Sir, in my profound gratitude. Olivier Messiaen. Nicholas says of the third letter that 'it moved me the most, for the composer was very old and frail - and his hand writing is a delight!' 18 mars 1991 Cher Nicholas Armfelt, Merci de tout coeur pour votre cassette de chants d'oiseaux de Nouvelle-Zélande. Je l'ai déjà écoutée plusieurs fois, avec joie. Le Kokako est très original, avec ses sons lourés descendants, et la note grave enflée crescendo vers un suraigu grinçant. J'aime le glissando tremblé en cascade descendante, le bruit d'eau du Kea. L'Oiseau-Tui a des sons tantot flutés, tantot grinçants, absolument extraordinaires. J'ame encore l'Oiseau-cloche, le Notornis, le Riroriro, les sons étranges et primitifs du Kiwi du Nord a tete jaune, la trompe grave du Kakapo. Les cris des oiseaux de mer sont aussi tres interessants. Merci encore pour ce troisiéme envoi, qui m'a fait un immense plaisir. Croyez, je vous prie, a tous mes sentiments bien amicaux et tres reconnaissants. Olivier Messiaen. 18th March 1991 Dear Nicholas Armfelt Thank you with all my heart for your cassette of New Zealand birdsongs. I have listened to it several times, with joy. The Kokako is very original, with its sliding descending notes, and its deep note that swells in a crescendo up to a high shrill sound. I like the glissando trembling in a cascade, like cascading water, of the Kea. The Tui utters sounds that are sometimes flutelike, at other times grating, absolutely extraordinary. I also like the Bellbird, the Nototnis, the Riroriro, the strange and primitive calls of the North Island Kiwi, the cretic rhythms and cooings of the Yellowhead, the deep boom of the Kakapo. The cries of the seabirds are also very interesting. Thank you again for this third present, which has given me great pleasure. I assure you of my warm and grateful best wishes. Olivier Messiaen. It is thanks to Nicholas that Messiaen went on to transcribe and use these birdsongs in three of his works: Couleurs de la cité céleste (indeed the first few bars are the song of the Tui), Éclairs sur l'au-dela and Concert à quatre . 'Emotion in the Music of Messiaen' Messiaen scholar and enthusiast Nicholas Armfelt wrote this article in 1964 which was subsequently published in The Musical Times in November 1965. Messiaen’s music demands an extraordinary intensity of response; and each piece demands entire acceptance. It has the quality of a statement rather than an argument or question. It is a statement expressed emphatically and intensely. The critical listener is disturbed by this. He wants to question the validity of the statement; he regards music as an argument. But Messiaen’s music seems not to allow this: it demands all or nothing. Indeed it seems to demand all. That is why it has often provoked such violent reactions. Many listeners, while admitting the expression to be forceful, have found it hard to cope with a music so extreme in its emotive demands. One way of coping with the emotive demands is simply to ignore them. At one extreme there are some intellectual up-to-date people for whom Messiaen is significant only as the man behind Boulez and some other younger composers. Above all they admire the piano study, Mode de valeurs et d’intensités (1949) , and judge his other works by the extent to which they anticipate or fall away from that ideal. In it four series are used simultaneously: 36 pitches, 24 durations, 12 attacks, and 7 degrees of loudness and softness. These make a complex mode, the coherence of which is aurally obvious (e.g. The lower notes have the longer duration). This is rightly acknowledged as the first European work of total serialism (in which all elements are used serially). It lasts four minutes, and like all the works of the composer, was completely imagined aurally. But it led on to complex serial works by other composers in which the conjunction of the various elements was too complex to be imagined in detail beforehand. So Messiaen’s piece has historical importance in two related recent developments of music: total serialism and music of chance. But for me its significance is its beauty: the low notes like night, the notes above sparkling like fireworks. At the other extreme are some organists who, perceiving the technical brilliance, effectiveness, and workmanship of Messiaen as an organ composer, cull pieces from L’Ascension (1933) or La Nativité (1935) to show off their virtuosity in a recital. Fair enough I suppose. After all, it does draw attention to the fact that Messiaen is so effective. And it also draws attention to the traditional element in Messiaen’s pieces, their relationship to the great tradition of French organ music, the tradition of Franck, Widor, Dupré. Better to come to his music from the traditional past that from the fashionable future. But the trouble is that these recitals tend to obscure the originality and intense sincerity of the works by referring back to old familiar forms and to old, familiar, comfortable, worn-out emotions. So often one hears the fourth and final piece of L'ascension tripped off at twice its proper speed as if it were some pleasant little pastorale. In fact it is an intense, ecstatic piece, representing with characteristic literalness the prayer of Christ as he ascends to His Father. At a good performance the sympathetic listener will find himself almost entranced. The movement is very slow, the chords ascending with parallel harmonies. Indeed it is so slow that one can forget the ‘melody’ as such and become absorbed in each chord as a separate experience, tensing oneself in readiness for the next chord, the next step upward. The harmonies have a certain hardness to them, which should be brought out in the registration. Some listeners find the harmonies ‘soupy’ or ‘honeyed’. I think this is due to a failure to listen to the actual sounds. It is the tough element in the harmonies that causes the slow upward motion to be almost unbearable, till, at about two-thirds of the way through, the piece achieves its climax. Heaven, one feels is in sight. Thereafter the ascension continues, but with less strain – though even the long final chord is inconclusive, yearning to go higher. It is only when the piece is over that one realises one has experienced the beautifully phrased melody and form of the piece. Both these types of approach, as I have described them, the trendspotting-historical and the extrovert-workaday, fail to take proper account of the emotive demands of the music. The trouble is not so much that these people fail to respond fully to the particular pieces they admire; but more that they fail to admire Messiaen’s boldest pieces. Even the most ardent admirers of Messiaen find their powers of acceptance severely strained by some works. There are the more obvious failures, such as parts of the early Diptyque for organ and the Fête des belles eaux (1937) for six ondes Martenots. (It is fortunate that the beautiful sections of each are preserved as the ‘louange’ movements of Quatour pour la fin du temps (1941) . But then there are parts of other works which seem terrible bathos when the listener is all critical and emotionally below par, but which at other times seem to come off. David Drew , in his absorbing ‘Messiaen – a provisional study’ in The Score (Dec 1954. Sept and Dec 1955) , has cited L’Êchange from Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jésus (1944) as an example of an obvious failure. On paper it does indeed look mechanical, and the long pause towards the end can seem ridiculous. But personally, when I am in a sympathetic mood, I find the sustained crescendo and the amount of variation sufficient to hold my interest – especially in the context of the whole cycle. More frequent, though, than such dubious cases as L’Êchange are the passages that do come off, but are wrongly accounted failures by unsympathetic listeners – such daring effects as the notes of the chiffchaff at the climax of the Le Loriot and the 18-part birdsong polyphony for solo strings in the Epode section of Chronochromie (1960) . Contrary to some critics’ opinion, Messiaen’s peculiar excellence manifests itself in the form of his works. He uses a closed form, conceived rhythmically as the relationship of the parts to the whole. The material is often disparate and asymmetrical, involving unexpected phrase-lengths and lengthened or shortened note-values. More and more he uses the ‘catalogue principle’, where unrelated material is juxtaposed or superimposed. The success depends on taste and dramatic sense, above all on proportion, with effective contrasts and unexpected correlations. His music is proportioned by a literalness and truth to nature. The piece from L’Ascension was precisely symbolic in form. So are many other of his religious pieces. Take, for example the final movement of Les Corps Glorieux (1939) , where the thrice-three form symbolises the Holy Trinity, the three Persons registered so far apart yet integrated into the whole. Sometimes he uses the palindromic form of the non-retrograde rhythm, with its constant central value, to suggest the Star or the Cross. At other times he paraphrases plainsong for its traditional associations. The love-music is also unusually literal. One cannot naively distinguish it from his religious music, since he views life as a whole. In Amen du désir (Visions de l’Amen 1943) he chooses a mode of limited transposition for the charm of its impossibilities – it works up to a frenzy, but the desire remains as desire since the mode cannot rest on any modulation. True, the frenzy subsides into the harmonies of the more ‘celestial’ theme. But for the real resolution and sense of fulfilment one has to wait for the final piece of the cycle, Amen de la consommation. In the third of the Cinq Rechants (1949) the sexual act is presented with a literalness that equals Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It is all there: the male and female elements, the varying moods, the working up to a climax, the primitive universal shout at the moment of climax. Time seeming to halt at the moment of Love. One is reminded of certain Polynesian action-songs where the women sing in languorous harmony while the men shout and dance with urgent primitive gestures. This Rechant is extraordinarily compressed, its length corresponding to the act it represents. The earlier Turangalila Symphonie (1946-48) presents some of the same emotions in grander, more extended form. The fifth movement, for example, Joie du sang des étoiles, presents what takes only a few instants in the Rechant – frenzied joy, joy of the blood, joy of the blood universalised and linked with Death, joy of the blood of the stars. Messiaen uses big general words such as ‘joy’ to describe emotion. But in the music the emotions are more precise and complex. Each theme, as placed in context, has a precise emotional force. This can be realised in the music based on birdsong, notably Catalogue d’oiseaux (1958) . Each song is associated for Messiaen with a particular place and time, and consequently with a dramatic emotion. He recollects them in tranquillity, moulds them into musical form, always tending to organize and compress, and allows the sequence of events and birdsongs to guide the form of the compositions. The material may or may not be musically related, but dramatically it represents a true sequence of the composer’s emotions. Messiaen says he ‘takes his lessons from nature’. He trusts nature and the coherence of its larger rhythms. As for the more detailed rhythms, the birdsongs have inspired Messiaen to compose for piano a work unsurpassed in meaningful variety of rhythms, melodic contours, and sonorities. The most obvious of the larger rhythms determining the form of his pieces is the combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements in the passage of each day. An illustration of this is La Rousserolle effarvatte where various events of the first half are repeated irregularly in reverse order in the second half. Yet how irregular it is, and how complex and satisfying the form! This basic rhythm is also a clue to the overall form of some of the larger cycles of Messiaen’s middle period – for example, Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus . If in this article I emphasize the serene and joyful emotions in the music, it is because I feel that optimism predominates. I must mention, though, that this optimism would be comparatively meaningless were it not for the strong contrasting presence of disturbing emotions. Messiaen’s life has often been hard. The wonder is that his faith in life and human nature has so triumphantly survived. These disturbing emotions are as deep as anything in his music and are never cancelled out by the optimism: they remain as an integral part of the complex total vision. One thinks of the Abyss music in the third movement of Quatour pour la fin du temps and Livre d’Orgue , and of the frightening presence of death in certain of the Cinq Rechants . One of the most frightening effects is obtained in the mysterious death-cries and night-music of La Chouette Hulotte (The Tawny Owl) in Catalogue d’Oiseaux. One of the most striking features of some of Messiaen’s music is that it makes one conscious that everything in it is within the context of something bigger. There is the sound behind the sound, the longer duration behind the shorter one, the slower rhythm behind the quicker one. And behind all movement there is an awareness of stillness, behind all sound an awareness of silence, and behind all measured time an awareness of eternity. The silence is not mere silence. It is composed of various colours. The composer of Chronochromie (1960) and Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (1963) sees music in terms of colour and visa versa. At the end of the piano piece Je dors mais mon Coeur veille the sounds are progressively converted into silence. One knows exactly what the ‘missing’ sounds are. In Regard du silence special sonorities, some of them quite violent, are used to suggest the potential sounds that are within all silence. Some people dislike the static quality of a music that hearkens to the End of Time. They wish that it could be lighter, more critical, less absolute. It is true that many techniques are used to break down one’s sense of the temporal, among them extremely slow tempos, pedal-rhythms or ostinati, the disruptive effect of irregular note-values, and the combination of modes of limited transposition and non-retrograde rhythms. But to call the music plainly static seems to me altogether too simplified an interpretation. The characteristic effect of Messiaen’s music is to induce in the listener a trance-like state of heightened response to every instant, a state where he experiences simultaneously several different rates of time-flow. This is sometimes achieved, of course, by superimposing several rhythms. More amazingly, it is also often achieved by juxtaposition of contrasting rhythms, where one’s sense of the first rhythm continues to be effective long after it has been succeeded by another. Paradoxically, the result of all this is to make the listener feel outside time, so that all the movement seems but a complex decoration of an eternal stillness behind all things. Messiaen, humble before the vast diversity of Nature, has embraced this diversity in all its rhythms and colours to express his Faith in its Creator. Whether or not we share his Faith, we can welcome the richness and sincerity of its expression. © Nicholas Armfelt A letter of encouragement Ruth Cole This a short letter written by Olivier Messiaen in 1947 to Ruth Ellen Cole, (pictured at the time) kindly contributed by her daughter Sue Ellen (Matthews) Fealko. Ruth Cole Matthews (maiden name, Ruth Ellen Cole) was the first of her family to go to college, graduating from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in 1946. She was then accepted into the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she majored in music theory. She completed her Master of Arts in 1949, and her thesis was titled "An Analysis of Three Piano Preludes of Olivier Messiaen ." Sibley Music Library at Eastman has a copy of it (under Ruth C. Matthews). Ruth went on to live a life filled with music. For years, she taught piano, organ, and music theory at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. She performed as a pianist in countless concerts and recitals, and she also was a church organist for over fifty years. Her true love really was organ music and she even went on several tours to see famous organs of Europe. Ruth died last October aged 89. Among her things, Sue Ellen's sister was surprised to find this letter from Olivier Messiaen written to her while she was at Eastman. Evidently she wrote to him first with questions concerning her thesis. His reply is just a simple, short letter, but it certainly shows what a kind and considerate man he was that he would take the time to write to a young American music student. My sincere thanks go to Sue Ellen (Matthews) Fealko for sharing this. Miriam Carpinetti Universidade Estadual de Campinas, INSTITUTO DE ARTES, Department Member Advisors:Denise Hortência Lopes Garcia PAPERS - ARTIGOS 15 Considerações sobre materiais compositivos utilizados em Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité de Olivier Messiaen see details and pdf An article for our Norwegian readers! "Olivier Messiaen. – music, time, and eternity ." Thanks to Jon Mostad Miriam Carpinetti From Bloomsbury to Paris British Musician and composer Jeffery Wilson reminisces with Malcolm Ball on his time spent with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. My first encounter with Jeffery Wilson was on a hot summer’s day in central London at a rather ‘tired’ meeting of fellow music examiners having to moderate several graded music exams on video for standardisation purposes. It was near the end of the day after discussing a particularly poor performance by a grade 4 violin that the chief examiner asked if we should watch this video again at which point Jeffery commented that he would rather have his eyes pierced with hot needles than to be subjected to a further hearing! I soon discovered that Jeffery’s spontaneous wit and dry humour was well known and a source of often needed light relief at such occasions. Our path’s had crossed briefly at other meetings and events but it wasn’t until the examiner’s conference in 2009 where Jeffery was awarded the much coveted service award when I discovered that he had studied with Olivier Messiaen. Having got to know Jeffery more over time I was particularly keen to meet up and discuss not only his time with Messiaen but also the fact that he was a like minded musician having an apprenticeship in Jazz and going on to more classical study. Not quite as most Messiaen scholars the more traditional musically established Conservatoire and University route. He revealed that, like myself during college days of the 70’s and 80’s, it didn’t seem right to be attracted to the music of Messiaen (and other contemporary ‘serious’ composers) while at the same time enjoy listening (and in our case) performing charts by Charlie Parker, Ellington, Basie etc. As far as I was concerned I never mentioned my ‘altered state’ as a jazz musician (and particularly a drummer) when speaking with Messiaen scholars and aficionados at college. A large broom came in handy to sweep such things under the proverbial carpet! Times have of course changed and views nowadays are not nearly as pedantic or ostentatiously learned as they were back then. It is well known that Messiaen abhorred jazz for a variety of reasons but it is encouraging that this did not deter Jeffery and that other jazz luminary Quincy Jones from making the trip to Paris. Jeffery Wilson studied composition with John Lambert and Herbert Howells, and later with Aladar Majorossy, Gordon Jacob and Olivier Messiaen, and while at the Royal College of Music he also studied clarinet, saxophone, piano and percussion. It was while studying with John Lambert at the Royal College of Music that Jeffery was encouraged to attend a concert at the Bloomsbury theatre, London in 1979 where Messiaen was to be present. John Lambert himself could be thought of as a ‘British Messiaen’. He had studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and held a composition class at the RCM for over 20 years beginning in 1970 where a plethora of British composers as diverse as Javier Alvarez, Simon Bainbridge, Gary Carpenter, David Fanshawe, Oliver Knussen, Jonathan Lloyd, Carlos Miranda, Barrington Pheloung, Mark-Anthony Turnage and of course Jeffery Wilson passed through his class. The diversity of these composers was reflected in those that attended Messiaen’s classes in Paris. Under the auspices of John Lambert Jeffery was introduced to Messiaen at the Bloomsbury and after asking Messiaen twice if he could study with him, twice Messiaen said ‘non’. However, after some persistence on Jeffery’s part, Messiaen finally said yes – he may visit him. Indeed Jeffery was to make two visits to Paris first in 1979/80 and again in1983. The ‘back door’ element for Jeffery was as Saxophonist and after some frantic swatting up of the solfege system, to pass the entrance exam, Jeffery was enrolled as a saxophonist and upon invitation attended the so called harmony and analysis classes of Messiaen. Commenting on the impression that Messiaen made, Jeffery says, “one of the most underestimated elements of Messiaen’s personality is breadth of understanding in a broad sense. For example his knowledge of German music. He often commented on the music of Hindemith and quartal harmony (which – by the way is very much a modern jazz harmonic language) citing and playing examples. But by far the deepest impression that Messiaen made was a religious one”. He says meeting Messiaen was “truly a personal and deep religious experience because he knew so much; understanding Aramaic and Hebrew for example and sharing the narrative of the entry into the Temple – the generous translation of that from the original text: ‘my stomach bile turns over at the very thought of you’ was what Jesus said not ‘woe unto you’ (King James) – that sort of thing matters to me enormously”. Jeffery was often moved by Messiaen’s “incredible textual skill”- “because he is able to look at Greek mythology and say what he says about that and yet paraphrase it in terms of Roman Catholicism – a sort of intellectual inclusivity” Messiaen had a great regard for the music of Roussel and indeed in the 1930’s said that Roussel’s was the finest example of French music at that time. Jeffery goes on to say that “Messiaen analyzed Roussel’s Pan for flute and he spoke of the myth in the same breadth as it were, as the assimilation of colour, light and God…. It was part of his speech”. Perhaps the highlight on his first visit its conclusion - Messiaen’s comments on Jeffery’s composition Three English Songs. The middle song is set to words by Shakespeare and after dismissing some attendants in the church at La Trinité Messiaen proceeded to improvise on the opening theme of the song and as he was doing so, Jeffery “could hear his improvisational devices working and you could hear him ‘smile’ as the improvisation progressed”. Curiously enough or perhaps typically, Messiaen finished the improvisation, locked the organ loft and left by the rear door and Jeffery never saw him again until his second visit in 1983. From 1983 Messiaen was in a state of considerable exhaustion after the composition of Saint-François d’Assise but after Jeffery Wilson’s second visit to Messiaen he came away with that valuable ‘knowledge base’ that students today are able to tap into and access which allows them to engage, research, question and deal with the art-form that is so rich in the oeuvre of Messiaen. Unlike many composers for example, “Scriabin, where once you can play, say, one of the Sonatas you’ve got a hook, so to speak, on to the language -base of the composer and you use this as a tool for understanding much of his music. Although this may be true of Messiaen to some extent where one can perceive a language base, he reveals more. Not in his mathematics so much as his words. So his rhythms that are derived less from symbiotic relationships with mathematics as the deep relationship with Holy texts, and that for me, is the heart and soul of the rhythmical ambient nature of his music. I hear performances (for example in Vingt Regards) that calculate the compositional devices rather than more subtle rhythmic interest. I believe that performers would benefit from this more intimate approach and perhaps gain more of the vision”. Jeffery got to know the church officials at La Trinité much better than he did any musician at the classes - a testimony to the religious impact made from meeting Messiaen. We spoke as two Englishmen often bewildered at the mentality of the French conservatoire hierarchy. For example the way Messiaen was treated on his last day at the establishment where nothing was said or celebrated after such long service at the conservatoire seems unthinkable to us. To all intents and purposes it was just another day. Jeffery Wilson sums it up superbly by saying that; “The light he shone was far greater than the shadows cast by other people”. No amount of thanks is ever enough to Jeffery for sharing his very personal thoughts about his time with Olivier Messiaen. ©Malcolm Ball. May 2009 Jeffery Wilson Reviving Messiaen's improvisations: An encounter with Thomas Lacôte around the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Church of the Trinity,Paris. Rarely recorded, the improvisations of Messiaen constitute the least known part of the creative activity of the French composer and pedagogue, also titular organist at the Church of the Trinity from 1931 to his death. Based on improvisation notes recently deposited at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Thomas Lacôte pays tribute to his illustrious predecessor on the Cavaillé-Coll organ on April 23, in an approach that combines research, experimentation and musical virtuosity. Meeting around the mythical instrument and figure of the French musical heritage. What is the place of improvisation in Messiaen's creative approach? The organist training that Messiaen received was essentially focused on improvisation, and his duties in the Trinity led him to improvise regularly throughout the course of his life, but also, rarely, in concert. Messiaen claimed that several of his organ works were directly related to his improvisations: the Messe de la Pentecote, the Meditations sur le Mystere de la Saint Trinite, for example. However, it seems to me quite likely that his most famous works, such as the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus or the Turangalila-Symphonie, could also have been marked by this practice. The main challenge seems to be to understand how Messiaen was able to have a very organized theory of composition interact with his intimate, intuitive, keyboard and creative relationship "in the moment". His earliest improvisations recorded today and accessible, date from the late 1960s; For the preceding decades, we were reduced to conjectures. That is why I wanted to advance research on these issues. Can you describe the preparatory notes for the improvisation of Messiaen kept at the BnF? What were you able to achieve with a view to a "replenishment"? The personal archives of Olivier Messiaen and his wife, deposited recently at the BnF, constitute an immense mine, one of the most extraordinary testimonies on artistic creation in the last century. During the very first stages of identification and ranking in which I participated, I stopped on a few very old handwritten manuscripts, dating from the years 1940-1950: these were lists of "registrations" for verses (That is to say, brief improvisations between the sung parts) during the Sunday afternoon vespers, about thirty in total. Messiaen notes very precisely the registration (organ sounds) to be used, associated with a very brief reminder corresponding to musical ideas: « chant suraigu », « bouger un doigt puis l’autre à chaque main », « trois cors dans le medium en louré », etc. To truly "speak" this document, the only solution is to "put it into action" on its place of origin, the organ of the Trinity: to pull the stops requested by Messiaen, to be guided by its brief indications, and thus make it possible to hear a buried musical idea that this single instrument allows to "decode", with obviously a very good knowledge of its techniques of composition at that time. It is as much research as creation, reconstruction or invention, because the blanks left are enormous, but it is the only way to make this document anything but a piece of paper ... What are the peculiarities of the Cavaillé-Coll church of the Trinity? How did they influence the technique of writing the Messe de la Pentecote, a work specifically composed from the sounds of this instrument? Before Messiaen, the way of associating organ tones (what is called registration) is more a matter of convention than of invention. He reverses this fact: for him, to compose a play, it is, most often, to invent a registration or several registrations unpublished. Of course, this can only be done during experiments on the instrument itself, again by a special relation to improvisation which my research has enabled me to clarify and which has changed my way of interpreting this work. The incredible quality of each set of this organ of the Trinity leads him to work not in large masses but essentially in "pure colours". A stop, two stops only to create mixtures and crossings unpublished, sometimes even a single note! It is thus that he represents in his Mass the horrible "beast of the Apocalypse": a peculiar pipe, with a terrifying sonority, happily preserved as such up to us. Not one visitor to the organ of the Trinity who does not want to hear this sound become almost mythical! Besides the important musical corpus, what is the legacy of Messiaen in aesthetic terms, of roads of research? Is it still a model for the young generation of composers? It seems to me that for the young composers of today, Messiaen is an ancestor already very distant. But, paradoxically, his very voluminous Treatise in 7 volumes appeared gradually after his death is still a recent work and relatively unread. It is this paradox that, together with my colleagues Yves Balmer and Christopher Brent Murray, we have sought to address, and have been working since 2010 on an in-depth re-examination of his compositional techniques. The results of this research, which will appear in the form of a book at Editions Symétrie in October 2017, seem to me to go beyond a work of history or musical analysis. By showing how Messiaen really collects musical materials in all the music he loves to transform and build his own, I believe that we can bring (thanks to him) some elements of reflection at a time tormented by the conflict between inheritance, system and creation. Like Messiaen, you are organist, composer, improviser but also professor of analysis at the Conservatoire de Paris and musicologist. Do you claim this complementarity in your musical approach as a form of engagement? I must especially say that I do not imagine doing otherwise! From then on, I had to think about what seemed to me to be an obvious fact, and to realize that it was not for everyone. Today, it is important for me to defend these necessary conjunctions, to understand why the gaps have widened between these practices, and to build musical projects impossible to classify! It is not a matter of returning to the former "master of music" but rather of the conviction that to think and create through categories is a permanent necessity for musical invention to remain alive. Nicolas Schotter, 11 April 2017 Thomas Lacôte at the organ of La Trinité. Thomas Lacôte Messiaen's Musical Language: Technique and Theological Symbolism in Les Corps Glorieux, "Combat de la mort et de la vie" Lerie Dellosa would like to contribute a copy of her DMA dissertation (158 pp.) entitled: Messiaen's Musical Language: Technique and Theological Symbolism in Les Corps Glorieux, "Combat de la mort et de la vie." It was her research for her DMA in organ performance degree from the University of North Texas in 2015; it focuses on Messiaen's melodic and harmonic techniques, which are less studied than his rhythms. Download full pdf document here . Lerie Dellosa The remarkable talk of the late Cardinal Lustiger, (former Archbishop of Paris), given in Notre Dame de Paris, for the Paul VI Prize received by Messiaen in 1989 and other texts of Lustiger. LE CARDINAL LUSTIGER ET OLIVIER MESSIAEN ​ (Trois Documents Précieux) I- REMISE DU PRIX PAUL VI A OLIVIER MESSIAEN Allocution du Cardinal Jean-Marie LUSTIGER NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS, MARDI 28 MARS 1989 Maître, En vous décernant son grand prix, l'Institut Paul VI rend hommage à votre œuvre. Elle a ce mérite de toucher une âme religieuse d'aujourd'hui avec peut-être plus de force encore que les œuvres du passé : précisément parce qu'elle est à la fois religieuse et d'aujourd'hui. Plus que religieuse, chrétienne. Ce faisant, elle touche tout homme, chrétien ou non. Comment comprendre ce paradoxe ? Paul VI avait clairement formulé le fondement dans la foi de cette intime corrélation de l'humanisme et du christianisme : « Est-ce la tâche de l'Eglise de travailler à l'extension de la culture ? A cette question continue le Pape, on ne peut répondre qu'affirmative­ment. II y a là une sorte d'œcuménisme de la culture et l'Eglise en a ouvert les portes toutes grandes... Tout ce qui est humain, tout ce que l'homme divulgue, imprime et diffuse, l'Eglise l'accueille. Cela témoigne combien elle est mère, combien son âme est universelle. Rien ne lui semble étranger, rien ne peut lui être indifférent, ses yeux sont ouverts sur tous les phénomènes humains... Que tout se transforme en hymne, en louange de Dieu - même si cette louange est d'abord confuse et inconsciente -, en reconnaissance au Verbe qui fait pleuvoir sur les choses humaines son intelligence et sa cognoscibilité ». Master, By awarding you its grand prize, the Paul VI Institute pays tribute to your work. It has the merit of touching a religious soul of today with perhaps even more force than the works of the past: precisely because it is both religious and of today. More than religious, Christian. In doing so, it affects every man, Christian or not. How to understand this paradox? Paul VI had clearly formulated the foundation in faith of this intimate correlation between humanism and Christianity: “Is it the task of the Church to work for the extension of culture? To this question the Pope continues, we can only answer in the affirmative. There is here a kind of ecumenism of culture and the Church has opened its doors wide ... Everything that is human, everything that man discloses, prints and disseminates, the Church welcomes. . It testifies how much she is a mother, how universal her soul is. Nothing seems foreign to him, nothing can be indifferent to him, his eyes are open to all human phenomena ... May everything turn into a hymn, into praise of God - even if this praise is at first confused and unconscious -, in gratitude to the Word which makes rain on human things its intelligence and its cognoscibility ”. Et, en 1967, dans Populorum Progressio (§ 42), reprenant l'expression de Maritain d'un « humanisme plénier qu'il faut promouvoir », Paul VI écrivait : « Qu'est-ce à dire sinon le développement intégral de tout l'homme et de tous les hommes ? Un humanisme clos, fermé aux valeurs de l'esprit et à Dieu qui en est la source, pourrait apparemment triompher. Certes, l'homme peut organiser la terre sans Dieu, mais - et le pape Paul VI cite ici le Père de Lubac - ‘sans Dieu il ne peut en fin de compte que l'organiser contre l'homme. L'humanisme exclusif est un humanisme inhumain’ ». II n'est donc d'huma­nisme vrai qu'ouvert à l'Absolu, dans la reconnaissance d'une vocation, qui donne l'idée vraie de la vie humaine. Loin d'être la norme dernière des valeurs, l'homme ne se réalise lui-même qu'en se dépassant. Selon le mot si juste de Pascal : « L'homme passe infiniment l'homme ». A mon tour, je dois remercier l'Institut Paul VI de vous avoir conféré ce prix international. Jamais, en effet, je n'avais imaginé qu'il me serait accordé de vous dire, en cette cathé­drale Notre-Dame de Paris, ma fervente admiration et ma reconnaissante amitié. Que ces derniers mots ne vous surprennent pas. And, in 1967, in Populorum Progressio (§ 42), taking up Maritain's expression of a “plenary humanism that must be promoted”, Paul VI wrote: “What does that mean if not the integral development of everything? man and all men? A closed humanism, closed to the values ​​of the spirit and to God who is their source, could apparently triumph. Of course, man can organize the earth without God, but - and Pope Paul VI quotes Father de Lubac here - ‘without God he can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism ". There is therefore no true humanism except open to the Absolute, in the recognition of a vocation, which gives the true idea of ​​human life. Far from being the ultimate standard of values, man only realizes himself by surpassing himself. According to Pascal's apt word: "Man infinitely passes man". In my turn, I must thank the Paul VI Institute for conferring this international prize on you. In fact, I never imagined that I would be allowed to tell you, in this Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, my fervent admiration and my grateful friendship. Don't let these last words surprise you. Dans cette assistance, ce soir, sont présents quelques-uns des musiciens - vos cadets - avec qui j'ai souvent discuté et « célébré »; c'est le mot qu'il faut employer puisque c'est la liturgie qui nous réunissait, eux à leur tribune d'orgues et moi à l'autel. Ils savent quelle joie et quelle communion spirituelle nous étaient données lorsque l'une de vos œuvres retentissait dans la célébration liturgique. In this audience this evening are present some of the musicians - your cadets - with whom I have often discussed and "celebrated"; this is the word that must be used since it is the liturgy that brought us together, them to their organ gallery and me to the altar. They know what joy and what spiritual communion we were given when one of your works resounded in the liturgical celebration. Pourquoi une œuvre musicale comme la vôtre, Maître, aussi originale et novatrice, savante et, pour certains, provocante, est-elle accueillie et aimée d'un si grand nombre de nos contemporains ? Why is a musical work like yours, Master, so original and innovative, scholarly and, for some, provocative, received and loved by so many of our contemporaries? On se figure assez naïvement, du moins dans la jeunesse, que l'expérience esthétique est essentiellement la projection de la subjectivité poussée à son plus haut point, et, finalement, le refus de toute autre contrainte que celle d'obéir au jaillissement obscur du cœur de l'homme. We imagine fairly naively, at least in youth, that the aesthetic experience is essentially the projection of subjectivity pushed to its highest point, and, finally, the refusal of any constraint other than that of obeying the obscure outpouring of the human heart. Depuis au moins un siècle, ce subjectivisme que le romantisme pensait inspiré, a fait porter tout son effort contre l'académisme. Je nomme ainsi les contraintes d'un apprentissage répétitif des formes et des règles dont les fruits, souvent élégants et raffinés, offrent au public la sécurité et la joliesse du déjà connu, au lieu de la grandeur toujours déconcertante du Beau et de son inépuisable nouveauté. Or, ne faisiez-vous pas remarquer que cette œuvre des années 30 que nous venons d'entendre paraissait peut-être aujourd'hui classique ? Et, nous le savons bien, tout au long de ces années de création où vous avez accumulé des œuvres si singulières et novatrices, votre musique, bien que sonnant moderne et déconcertante pour l'académisme de certains est apparue, dès le départ, comme entrant dans le classicisme. Qu'est-ce à dire ? For at least a century, this subjectivism that romanticism thought inspired, has focused all its efforts against academicism. I thus name the constraints of a repetitive learning of forms and rules whose fruits, often elegant and refined, offer the public the security and the prettiness of the already known, instead of the always disconcerting grandeur of Beauty and its inexhaustible novelty. . However, did you not point out that this work of the 1930s that we have just heard perhaps seems classic today? And, we know it well, throughout these years of creation in which you have accumulated such singular and innovative works, your music, although sounding modern and disconcerting for the academicism of some, appeared, from the start, as entering. in classicism. What to say? D'abord, contrairement à ce qu'imagine l'illusion subjective, l'art véritable sait se donner des règles et y obéir. Car l'art est une langue; même lorsque - comme souvent aujourd'hui - chacun doit se créer son vocabulaire et sa grammaire. La vraie question esthétique de notre temps, après les ruptures opérées depuis plus d'un siècle, est d'éprouver si la langue que se crée chaque artiste, n'est qu'un cri solitaire, si elle ne fait qu'expri­mer la déconcertante énigme de chacun, enfermé en lui-même, ou bien si elle permet le langage entre les humains, si adaptée, elle est entendue par le peuple qu'elle entraîne au-delà de lui-même. Cette épreuve fait comprendre comment le créateur dans le domaine esthétique rejoint l'expérience du prophète - le vrai et le faux - et la reconnaissance sociale de l'art a pour paradigme le miracle des langues de la Pentecôte. L'écriture musicale exige un travail d'élaboration que certains imaginent vainement inutile et contraire à l'inspiration spontanée et irrépressible. En réalité, le compositeur, comme tout créateur, doit se consacrer à un travail savant, pénible, réfléchi - ô combien ! - qui articule l'indicible pour en faire un discours dont la cohérence est à rechercher non dans sa seule rigueur, mais aussi dans sa beauté et son intuition. First, contrary to what the subjective illusion imagines, real art knows how to give itself rules and obey them. Because art is a language; even when - as is often the case today - everyone has to create their own vocabulary and grammar. The real aesthetic question of our time, after the ruptures operated for more than a century, is to test whether the language that each artist creates for himself is only a solitary cry, if it only expresses the disconcerting enigma of each, locked in himself, or if it allows language between humans, if adapted, it is understood by the people that it leads beyond itself. This test makes us understand how the creator in the aesthetic domain joins the experience of the prophet - the true and the false - and the social recognition of art has as a paradigm the miracle of the tongues of Pentecost. Musical writing requires a work of elaboration that some people vainly imagine useless and contrary to spontaneous and irrepressible inspiration. In reality, the composer, like any creator, must devote himself to scholarly, painful, thoughtful work - oh how much! - which articulates the unspeakable to make of it a discourse whose coherence is to be sought not in its only rigor, but also in its beauty and its intuition. Ensuite, qui dit classicisme dit rapport au réel. Non plus seulement lorsque l'artiste dans son jeu narcissique ne fait que se dire et se contempler soi-même au miroir de son apparence. Mais surtout lorsque l'homme en quête du vrai reçoit le réel et sa diversité comme un autre langage. Le croyant, lui, y reconnaît Celui qui parle dans la création Dieu qui est son auteur. Alors, les balbutiements de l'artiste ne sont qu'une obéissance au langage de Dieu qui se dit dans sa création, même s'il lui faut l'accueillir en recueillant précieusement les chants d'oiseaux ! Ce rapport au réel rend l'artiste le plus novateur et apparemment le plus iconoclaste infiniment respectueux des cultures surgies des cœurs et des mains des hommes. Dès lors, il n'y a plus d'exotisme dans la symphonie des cultures humaines. Les débris des cultures passées, les apports des cultures lointaines sont comme revivifiés par celui qui sait y entendre le Créateur de l'homme chanter par la bouche de l'homme, sa créature. Then, who says classicism says relation to reality. Not only when the artist in his narcissistic game does nothing but talk about and contemplate himself in the mirror of his appearance. But above all when the man in search of truth receives reality and its diversity as another language. The believer recognizes the One who speaks in creation, God who is its author. So, the artist's beginnings are only obedience to the language of God which is said in his creation, even if he must welcome it by carefully collecting the songs of birds! This relationship to reality makes the most innovative artist and apparently the most iconoclastic, infinitely respectful of cultures that emerge from the hearts and hands of men. Consequently, there is no longer any exoticism in the symphony of human cultures. The remains of past cultures, the contributions of distant cultures are as if revived by those who know how to hear the Creator of man singing through the mouth of man, his creature. Enfin, dans la culture contemporaine, dans l'expérience esthétique de notre pays, le vrai danger qui menace les créateurs est d'être coupés du peuple. De s'adonner à un art de « chapelle », un art d'esthète, un art sans public, sinon de mode et d'humeur. Or, vous êtes un musicien d'église. Et vous êtes parmi les seuls musiciens contemporains dont l'œuvre, au gré des organistes et des assemblées, est, de dimanche en dimanche, jouée, donnée, livrée à l'oreille et au cœur de foules non triées de croyants. Et cette œuvre contemporaine - ô combien !- fût-elle parfois surprenante pour certains - est accueillie, acceptée, aimée, reconnue. L'art d'église a cette chance inouïe, qui n'existe en aucun autre domaine de l'art contemporain, de ne pas dépendre des publics choisis par les cooptations fugitives des modes ou des snobismes, des commandes ou de l'argent, mais d'être au service d'un peuple que réunit l'acte du culte, la forme la plus fonda­mentale et la plus désintéressée de la culture. L'œuvre musicale y est un langage; et l'artiste est appelé à accomplir une fonction médiatrice face à l'invisible réalité de Dieu. II se fait entendre à un peuple à l'écoute de cette Parole divine qui lui est adressée dans chaque célébration. Finally, in contemporary culture, in the aesthetic experience of our country, the real danger that threatens creators is to be cut off from the people. To indulge in an art of "chapel", an art of esthete, an art without public, if not of fashion and humor. Now, you're a church musician. And you are among the only contemporary musicians whose work, according to the organists and the assemblies, is, from Sunday to Sunday, played, given, delivered to the ears and the hearts of unsorted crowds of believers. And this contemporary work - oh so much! - even though it was sometimes surprising to some - is welcomed, accepted, loved, recognized. Church art has this incredible chance, which does not exist in any other field of contemporary art, of not depending on the audiences chosen by the fleeting co-options of fashions or snobbery, commissions or money, but to be at the service of a people united by the act of worship, the most fundamental and disinterested form of culture. The musical work is a language there; and the artist is called to perform a mediating function in the face of the invisible reality of God. It makes itself heard by a people listening to this divine Word which is addressed to it in each celebration. Dès lors, ne nous étonnons pas si l'artiste doit dans son œuvre de création pratiquer toutes les disciplines spirituelles qui sont celles de l'expérience chrétienne à propre­ment parler. Platon notait déjà à propos de la musique qu'il y a des bons et des mauvais génies; et que, quoi qu'il en soit de la soumission. aux règles et du talent déployé, l'inspiration intérieure compte et qualifie d'une certaine façon l'œuvre. Et l'œuvre juge l'auteur. J'aurais vivement désiré pouvoir ici recueillir votre sentiment au sujet du jugement de Socrate que Platon nous rapporte dans La République. Y a-t-il ainsi des « harmonies » bénéfiques ou maléfiques ? Plus précisément en accord avec la dignité morale et spirituelle de l'homme, ou bien qui lui seraient contraires ? Laissons de côté cette identification objective entre la manifestation du Beau et l'expression du Bien. Therefore, let us not be surprised if the artist must in his work of creation practice all the spiritual disciplines which are those of the Christian experience properly speaking. Plato already noted with regard to music that there are good and bad geniuses; and that, regardless of the submission. with the rules and talent displayed, interior inspiration counts and qualifies in a certain way the work. And the work judges the author. I would have greatly wished to be able here to collect your feelings on the subject of the judgment of Socrates that Plato relates to us in The Republic. Are there thus beneficial or evil "harmonies"? More precisely in accordance with the moral and spiritual dignity of man, or who would be contrary to him? Let us leave aside this objective identification between the manifestation of Beauty and the expression of Good. ​ Nous pouvons dire, en tout cas, qu'il existe une intime connexion, nécessaire mais non suffisante, entre la recherche de Dieu et l'expression du beau. Je dis bien : non suffisante, sans doute. Car hélas ! dans notre monde cassé entre la recherche de la vérité et l'expression de la beauté, écartelé entre la sainteté et l'esthétique, les discordances ne sont pas rares. Mais, il faut travailler à la réconciliation de ces deux expériences. Et, vous le savez mieux que quiconque, la quête obstinée et patiente de l'artiste véritable, son humble obéissance à la recherche de l'insaisissable et de l'indivisible, l'usure indéfinie des forces et l'incertitude du résultat trouvent comme analogie la montée du mystique qui veut obéir à l'obscure lumière que lui donne le Seigneur et Rédempteur de tous. L'obstination de cet artiste-là n'a de comparable que la patience de celui qui prie, contemple et médite. We can say, in any case, that there is an intimate connection, necessary but not sufficient, between the search for God and the expression of the beautiful. I say: not sufficient, no doubt. Because alas! in our world broken between the search for truth and the expression of beauty, torn between holiness and aesthetics, discrepancies are not rare. But, we must work to reconcile these two experiences. And, you know it better than anyone, the stubborn and patient quest for the true artist, his humble obedience in the search for the elusive and the indivisible, the indefinite wear and tear of forces and the uncertainty of the result are found as analogy the rise of the mystic who wants to obey the obscure light given to him by the Lord and Redeemer of all. The stubbornness of this artist can only be compared with the patience of one who prays, contemplates and meditates. ​ C'est pourquoi je me permets de remercier ici, en cette occasion, tous ceux et celles qui ont voulu contribuer à créer un comité dont j'attends beaucoup. Son nom est un programme : Art, Culture et Foi. II voudrait faire se rejoindre les chemins de la recherche de Dieu et ceux du service du beau. De la sorte, puisse la vraie liberté de l'artiste qui grandit à l'école de la purifi­cation, puisse le vrai désintéressement d'un peuple qui reconnaît un don de Dieu dans les grâces données aux serviteurs de l'art et du beau, se rencontrer et contribuer à ce que notre terre exprime cette Beauté invisible et secrète que nos yeux, un jour, contempleront et que nos oreilles, un jour, entendront. Déjà, les chants célestes plus beaux que tout autre chant en ce monde, associent à leur union dans l'Eucharistie tous les chants du monde par nos voix : « una voce dicentes... » This is why I take the liberty of thanking here, on this occasion, all those who wanted to help create a committee from which I have great expectations. Its name is a program: Art, Culture and Faith. He would like to bring together the paths of the search for God and those of the service of beauty. In this way, may the true freedom of the artist who grows up in the school of purification, may the true disinterestedness of a people who recognize a gift from God in the graces given to the servants of art and beauty, to meet and contribute to our earth expressing this invisible and secret Beauty that our eyes, one day, will contemplate and that our ears, one day, will hear. Already, the heavenly songs, more beautiful than any other song in this world, associate with their union in the Eucharist all the songs of the world through our voices: "una voce dicentes ..." Que le Seigneur de gloire vous bénisse, Maître, lui qui vous a fait la grâce de le servir et de servir son Peuple par votre art. Paris le 28 mars 1989 May the Lord of glory bless you, Master, he who has given you the grace to serve him and to serve his people through your art. Paris March 28, 1989 Cardinal Jean-Marie LUSTIGER II- MESSE DE REQUIEM POUR OLIVIER MESSIAEN Extrait de l’Homélie du Cardinal Jean-Marie LUSTIGER EGLISE DE LA SAINTE TRINITE, PARIS ; 14 MAI 1992 Olivier Messiaen voyait le passage énigmatique de la mort comme un accès à la gloire divine tant désirée et peut-être anticipée par les mystères de son art. Olivier Messiaen saw the enigmatic passage of death as an access to the divine glory so longed for and perhaps anticipated by the mysteries of his art. Toute vie d'homme est un signe de Dieu. Les unes ne sont déchiffrables que dans le secret ultime évoqué par saint Jean dans l'Apocalypse (chapitre 2, verset 17) : au jour de « révélation », chacun recevra le nom nouveau, connu de lui seul, gravé sur une pierre blanche que le Maître de toutes choses lui donnera. D'autres, au contraire, ont cette grâce d'être en ce monde des révélateurs, des êtres par qui apparaît ce qui est caché. Parfois, cela coïncide avec le génie ou le talent extrê­me, avec des destins hors du commun. All human life is a sign from God. Some can only be deciphered in the ultimate secret mentioned by Saint John in the Apocalypse (chapter 2, verse 17): on the day of "revelation", each will receive the new name, known only to him, engraved on a white stone that the Master of all things will give him. Others, on the contrary, have this grace of being in this world revelators, beings through whom what is hidden appears. Sometimes it coincides with genius or extreme talent, with extraordinary destinies. La vie d'Olivier est certainement de celles-là. En lui – par ce qu'il a été, et par ce qu'il a fait – apparaît avec une pleine clarté une réalité que nous avons du mal à saisir. L'expérience proprement spirituelle, c'est-à-dire dans l'Esprit Saint, l'expérience de la foi (le Christ Messie, doux et humble de cœur, Seigneur de gloire, Fils éternel et Verbe de Dieu, nous fait entrer par le don de l'Esprit dans le mystère ineffable du Père des cieux), cette expérience de la foi, dis-je, dans son insondable beauté et son déploiement dont l'être humain explore peu à peu les richesses insoupçonnées, coïncide avec un autre type d'expérience, celle de l'esthétique, de la musique, pour prendre les termes les plus familiers. Olivier's life is certainly one of them. In him - by what he was, and by what he did - appears with full clarity a reality that we have difficulty grasping. The properly spiritual experience, that is to say in the Holy Spirit, the experience of faith (Christ the Messiah, meek and humble of heart, Lord of glory, Eternal Son and Word of God, brings us into by the gift of the Spirit in the ineffable mystery of the Father in Heaven), this experience of faith, I say, in its unfathomable beauty and its unfolding, of which the human being gradually explores the unsuspected riches, coincides with a another type of experience, that of aesthetics, of music, to use the most familiar terms. ​ Lorsque nous disons qu'Olivier Messiaen a été un musicien liturgique, un musicien d'Église, un croyant musicien, nous trébuchons sur les mots. Car il ne s'agit pas seulement d'une convergence accidentelle, mais d'une concentration, d'une focalisation sur l'essentiel de la vie et de l'intelligence humaine et divine. En réalité, ces deux chemins s'entremêlent et se recouvrent. Et Olivier Messiaen ne confiait-il pas : « Le drame de ma vie, c'est que j'ai écrit de la musique religieuse pour un public qui n'a pas la foi ». When we say that Olivier Messiaen was a liturgical musician, a church musician, a believing musician, we stumble over words. Because it is not only an accidental convergence, but a concentration, a focus on the essentials of life and human and divine intelligence. In reality, these two paths intertwine and overlap. And Olivier Messiaen did not confide: "The drama of my life is that I wrote religious music for an audience that does not have faith". Olivier Messiaen a été l'un de ces hommes en qui la coïncidence entre l'œuvre musicale et le chemin spirituel s'est expri­mée avec une telle sérénité, une telle assurance, que sont dépassées les séparations, les divisions, les hostilités, les incom­préhensions parfois mortelles qui ont pu exister entre cette Église que Messiaen aime tant et qu'il nous aide à aimer, et l'art avec ses obscurités et ses lumières, ses allées et venues, ses échecs et ses foudroyantes découvertes. Olivier Messiaen was one of those men in whom the coincidence between the musical work and the spiritual path was expressed with such serenity, such assurance, that separations, divisions, hostilities, misunderstandings are overcome. sometimes deadly that may have existed between this Church that Messiaen loves so much and that he helps us to love, and art with its obscurities and its lights, its comings and goings, its failures and its lightning discoveries. Avec Olivier Messiaen, nous comprenons mieux l'amour mutuel que nous devons nous porter. Nous mesurons la recon­naissance que le peuple des croyants doit à l'artiste capable non pas d'illustrer la foi, mais de faire chanter à des oreilles humaines le plus insondable et le plus inconnaissable langage. With Olivier Messiaen, we better understand the mutual love that we must have for each other. We measure the gratitude that the people of believers owe to the artist capable not of illustrating the faith, but of making human ears sing the most unfathomable and the most unknowable language. L'art est ici comme un vêtement, comme une chair de surcroît à cette chair qu'est la Parole divine, le Verbe incarné. L'art est ici surabondance de la Parole qui nous fait pénétrer dans l'au-delà de la Parole. Art is here like a garment, like a flesh in addition to this flesh which is the divine Word, the Incarnate Word. The art here is an overabundance of the Word which makes us penetrate into the beyond of the Word. Olivier Messiaen nous montre aux uns et aux autres comment avancer dans le chemin qui est le nôtre. Il nous invite et nous encourage à obéir à la Vérité qui est aussi Beauté. Paris le 14 mai 1992, Eglise de la Sainte Trinité Olivier Messiaen shows us both how to move forward on our path. He invites us and encourages us to obey the Truth which is also Beauty. Paris May 14, 1992, Church of the Holy Trinity III- OUVERTURE DU FESTIVAL MESSIAEN, 1995 Intervention du Cardinal Jean-Marie LUSTIGER EGLISE DE LA SAINTE TRINITE, PARIS ; 8 MARS 1995 Extrait de l’intervention du Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, lors de la soirée inaugurale du Festival Messiaen, à l'église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris. Ces paroles traitent essentiellement de l'œuvre d'orgue du maître, qui avait été intégralement donnée au cours de ce festival. Nous conservons le style oral de cette intervention. « Olivier Messiaen n'a pas été un « fabricant de liturgie ». Il n'a rien fait qui soit utilisable dans ce registre. Mais il acréé un nouveau genre, puisque l'œuvre d'orgue est comme une place, qui brusquement est prise dans le culte catholique [par] la musique seule, qui ne se substitue pas à l'acte du culte, mais qui y ajoute comme une nouvelle dimension„Ÿ analogue et comparable à ce que fut la cantate, sans doute, dans le culte luthérien, mais qui se déploie à l'intérieur de l'espace sacramentaire et eucharistique du culte catholique. C’est, me semble-t-il, non seulement un nouveau genre musical mais un nouveau genre liturgique, où l'œuvre d'orgue n'est pas là seulement pour accompagner une action et couvrir les bruits d'une assemblée... n'est pas là comme soutien plus ou moins renforcé d'un chant plus ou moins déficient... n'est pas là comme pour donner voix à un chœur ou à une foule qui cherche sa voix ou ses voix... Il se fait entendre comme la voix, oserais-je dire, d'un concélébrant, « cocélébrant », qui par lui-même ajoute le déploiement de la méditation contemplative, devenue communicable à une foule par la grâce du langage esthétique et de la musique. Extract from the intervention of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, during the inaugural evening of the Messiaen Festival, at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Paris. These lyrics mainly deal with the master's organ work, which was given in full during this festival. We keep the oral style of this intervention. “Olivier Messiaen was not a“ maker of the liturgy ”. He did nothing that could be used in this registry. But he created a new genre, since the organ work is like a place, which is suddenly taken in Catholic worship [by] music alone, which does not replace the act of worship, but adds to it. as a new dimension „Ÿ analogous and comparable to what the cantata was, no doubt, in Lutheran worship, but which unfolds within the sacramental and Eucharistic space of Catholic worship. It is, it seems to me, not only a new musical genre but a new liturgical genre, where the organ work is not there only to accompany an action and cover the noises of an assembly. . is not there as a more or less reinforced support for a more or less deficient song ... is not there as if to give voice to a choir or to a crowd which seeks its voice or its voices ... It is heard like the voice, dare I say, of a concelebrant, "co-celebrant", which by itself adds the deployment of contemplative meditation, which has become communicable to a crowd by the grace of aesthetic language and music. Et [le] caractère savant [de cette musique] est une garantie de sa rectitude spirituelle, de sa rigueur spirituelle. Nous ne sommes pas là devant le déploiement abusif du sentiment religieux; nous sommes là devant une œuvre qui, s'appuyant sur la sensibilité et l'esthétique, veut nous mener jusqu'aux rigueurs pures et saintes de la contemplation du mystère ineffable ». Paris le 8 mars 1995, Eglise de la Sainte Trinité Petit supplément : « Il se trouve que j’ai été très touché par la musique de Messiaen. J’y entends ce que la Parole peut inspirer à un musicien et ce qu’un musicien peut exprimer d’une Parole reçue ; j’y ai trouvé, dans la méditation exprimée du musicien, des aspects qui m’ont aidé à comprendre la Parole neuve qu’il commentait… » And [the] learned character [of this music] is a guarantee of its spiritual rectitude, of its spiritual rigor. We are not here in the face of the abusive display of religious sentiment; we are there in front of a work which, based on sensitivity and aesthetics, wants to lead us to the pure and holy rigors of the contemplation of the ineffable mystery ”. Paris March 8, 1995, Church of the Holy Trinity Small supplement: “I happened to be very touched by Messiaen’s music. I hear what the Word can inspire in a musician and what a musician can express from a received Word; I found there, in the expressed meditation of the musician, aspects that helped me to understand the new Word that he was commenting on ... " Cardinal Lustiger, extrait d’interview, Janvier 2005. Le Cardinal Aron Jean-Marie Lustiger a été rappelé à Dieu le dimanche 5 août 2007, dans la soirée, en la vigile de la Transfiguration. Cardinal Lustiger Further writings, papers and readings Interview with Messiaen and Edith Walter. First published in French magazine 'HARMONIE' 1970. The interview focuses on La Transfiguration then only recently composed. Cheong, Wai-Ling. "Symmetrical Permutation, the Twelve Tones, and Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux." Perspectives of New Music 45/1 (Winter 2007): 110-37. Christoph Neidhöfer. "A Theory of Harmony and Voice Leading for the Music of Olivier Messiaen." Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 27 Issue 1, pp. 1-34. 2005. Gareth Healey: "Messiaen and the concept of 'Personages'. Tempo (October 2004) Nigel Simeone: 'Messiaen and the Concerts de la Pléiade: "A Kind of Clandestine Revenge on the Occupation" ' Music & Letters (November 2000) Nigel Simeone: 'Offrandes oubliées: Messiaen in the 1930s', (Musical Times, Winter 2000) Nigel Simeone: 'Offrandes oubliées 2: Messiaen, Boulanger and José Bruyr', (Musical Times, Spring 2001) Nigel Simeone: ‘Daniel-Lesur’, Musical Times (Winter 2002), pp.6–8 [obituary, including the first publication of a speech by Messiaen about Daniel-Lesur] Nigel Simeone: ‘An Exotic Tristan in Boston: The First Performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie’, King Arthur in Music, ed. R. Barber [Arthurian Studies, vol.52] (Boydell and Brewer, 2002), 106–125 [book chapter]. Nigel Simeone: 'Towards "un succès absolument formidable": the birth of Messiaen's La Transfiguration'. Musical Times (Summer 2004) pp.5-24. N. Simeone: ‘”Chez Messiaen, tout est prière”: Messiaen’s appointment to the Trinité in 1931,’ Musical Times (Winter 2004)pp.36-53 Vincent Benitez: Simultaneous Contrast and Additive Designs in Olivier Messiaen's opera St. François d'Assisie. Music Theory Online 8.2 (August 2002) Vincent Benitez: A Creative Legacy: Messiaen as Teacher of Analysis. College Music Symposium 40. 2000 117-39 Vincent Benitez: Aspects of Harmony in Messiaen's Later Music: An Examination of the Chords of Transposed Inversions on the Same Bass Note. Journal of Musicological Research 23 no.2 (April-June 2004): 187-226. ​ Jean Barraqué: 'Rythme et dévéloppement', Polyphonie (1954) Jonathan Bernard: 'Messiaen's Synaesthesia: the Correspondence Between Color and Sound Structure in His Music'. Music Perception, IV (1986) Pierre Boulez: 'Olivier Messiaen' Anhaltspunkte (Stuttgart and Zurich, Belser 1975) Leonard Burkat: Turangalila Symphonie, Musical Quarterly, xxxvi (1950) Norman Demuth: 'Messiaen's Early Birds', Musical Times (1960) David Drew: 'Messiaen, a Provisional Study', The Score (1954) Adrian Evans: Olivier Messiaen In The Surrealist Context: A Bibliography Part One Brio Vol 11 No 1 Spring 1974 IAML UK Olivier Messiaen In The Surrealist Context: A Bibliography Part Two Brio Vol 11 No 2 Autumn 1974 IAML UK ‘Messiaen and Surrealism’ see article Bennett Gardiner: 'Dialogues with Messiaen'. Musical Events xxii (1967) Hellmut Heiss: 'Struktur und Symbolik in 'Reprises par interversion" und "Les mains de l'abîme" aus Olivier Messiaen's Livre d'Orgue'. Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie (1970) Trevor Hold: 'Messiaen's Birds'. Music and Letters. (1971) Messiaen issue of Melos xxv/12 (1958) Messiaen issue of Musik-Konzept, 28 (1982) Roger Nichols: 'Boulez on Messiaen'. Organist's Review (August 1986) Roger Nichols: 'Messiaen's "Le Merle noir": the Case of a Blackbird in a Historical Pie'. Claude Samuel: 'Discographie compléte', Diapason-Harmonie (December 1988) Roger Smalley: 'Debussy and Messiaen', Musical Times cix (1968) Harriet Watts: 'Canyons, Colours and Birds: an Interview with Olivier Messiaen', Tempo 128 (1979) Les Editions de Minuit, CONTREPOINTS. No 1, Janvier 1946. Revue de Musique dir. par Fred. Goldbeck. Paris, 1946,128 pages. Contient: OEUVRES DE DARIUS MILHAUD, par Francis Poulenc. FRANCIS POULENC, MUSICIEN FRANCAIS, par A, Schaeffner - LA PROPAGANDE ALLEMANDE ET LA MUSIQUE, par Marc Pincherle - MUSIQUE ET RESISTANCE , par H. Barraud, Olivier Messiaen musicien mystique ?, Eric Satie évoqué a Londres .... War Music. A play by Bryan Davidson Directed by Jessica Kubzansky b ased upon dramatic events in the lives of composers Frank Bridge, Anton Webern, and Olivier Messiaen Vincent Benitez: Narrating Saint Francis's Spiritual Journey: Referential Pitch Structures and Symbolic Images in Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise. (In Poznan Studies on Opera Vol 4, Theories of Opera, ed. Maciej Jablonski, 363-411. Poland; Publishing House of the Poznan Soc. for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences. Section of Music and Fine Arts, Publication of the Committee for Musicology, Vol 16 2004.) Jennifer Bate Jennifer Bate and Olivier Messiaen Jennifer is famous for her interpretation of both modern and romantic music. In particular, she enjoys a unique reputation as the world authority on the French composer Olivier Messiaen, and was his organist of choice. Indeed, she “may claim honors as THE Messiaen player of this generation” . In 1975, when Jennifer was due to broadcast a programme of Messiaen’s music, the BBC invited the composer to hear her preparing it. She played to him and Mme Messiaen at St James’s Church, Muswell Hill. Messiaen immediately made a dedication on the scores she played and also gave her the following written recommendation: “Jennifer Bate is an excellent organist, not only for her virtuosity, but also for her musicianship and sensitivity in choosing her timbres. She is a really accomplished musician who loves what she plays and knows how to make others love it too”. This visit marked the beginning of a close artistic association and friendship with both Olivier Messiaen and his wife, Yvonne Loriod. The press reviews of her début recording (the three great works of Liszt) were so outstanding that the Gramophone magazine arranged an interview when her second record (Elgar and Schumann) was released. The Gramophone quoted Messiaen’s opinion of her artistry and John Goldsmith, of Unicorn records, immediately offered to record with her the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen on the instrument of her choice. Having by now played many times in France, she chose the recently-built organ at Beauvais Cathedral. The recording took place between 1980 and 1982, appearing first on LP and cassette in six volumes, and subsequently on CD. Each volume was heard by Messiaen prior to release; he endorsed them all with enormous enthusiasm. All won international acclaim. The success of these recordings led to a number of Messiaen recitals, many attended by the composer. In 1983, Messiaen took her to his Paris agent and asked him to re-allocate to Jennifer all organ recitals scheduled for him. At this stage, he also started annotating all her scores with his personal nuances of interpretation. The high point came when he sent her the manuscript of his last masterpiece for organ, Livre du Saint Sacrement. She gave the British première at Westminster Cathedral in 1986, to a capacity audience with the composer present, receiving a 20-minute standing ovation and unanimous critical acclaim. The concert was filmed and shown on Channel 4 later that year. One week after this performance, she opened the Radio France complete Messiaen cycle, broadcast live in his presence and, while working together, he invited her to make the world première recording of Livre du Saint Sacrement on his own instrument in Paris, arranging his schedule to attend all rehearsals and recording sessions. This recording had exceptional international success, including the award of a Grand Prix du Disque. Jennifer gave 25 performances of Livre du Saint Sacrement round the world before the score was published. Jennifer was the Artistic Advisor to, and performed in, the LWT South Bank Show television programme about Messiaen in 1985. This programme has been shown all over the world. There were three screenings at the Barbican in 1999 as part of Visions – The Music of Olivier Messiaen. Jennifer gave the second London performance of Messiaen’s Livre du Saint Sacrement at the Royal Festival Hall in 1988. A full house, again with the composer present, gave her another prolonged standing ovation and her playing attracted more magnificent press notices. Following the great success of the filming of the première of Livre du Saint Sacrement , Channel 4 commissioned a further programme. La Nativité du Seigneur was filmed in concert at the 1989 Norwich and Norfolk International Festival and shown on Christmas Day. La Nativité du Seigneur is distributed worldwide and is currently being promoted for 2002 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Messiaen’s death. In 1990, Jennifer’s outstanding ability and contribution to music received international recognition with the award of Personnalité de l’Année by the French-based jury. She was the first British woman to win the award and only the third British artist to do so after Sir Georg Solti and Sir Yehudi (later Lord) Menuhin; Sir Simon Rattle has since won it. In 1995, Jennifer opened a special festival at l’Eglise de la Sainte Trinité, Paris where Messiaen’s complete organ works were performed. The cycle was recorded by Jade Records; the boxed set of six CD’s received great acclaim, and Jennifer’s recording was also released as a separate CD winning, among other awards, the Diapason d’Or (France), Prix de Répertoire (France) and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Germany). In 2001, she opened the new season of concerts at the Royal Festival Hall with a programme that included the UK première of a newly-discovered piece by Messiaen, Offrande au Saint Sacrement . In November, she was invited to Avignon by the Association Orgue hommage à Messiaen to give a recital and participate in the dedication of a plaque at the church where the composer was baptised. This was such a success that she was immediately re-engaged to repeat her programme in the 2002 Acanthes Festival. This is one of her many concerts around the world commemorating both the 10th anniversary of Messiaen’s death and the centenary of Maurice Duruflé’s birth. Regis Records has re-released all Jennifer's Messiaen recordings, made by Unicorn-Kanchana, as a boxed set of six CDs (RRC6001). These are also available as two single and two double CDs. All are at budget price and carry the Penguin CD Guide Top Recommendation, a judgement endorsed by The Gramophone (May 2002). Visit Jennifer's home page Back to top

  • News | Olivier Messiaen

    NEWS REAKTION BOOKS 1 May 2024 9781789148657 234 mm x 156 mm | 208 pages 20 illustrations Hardback | £25 World Rights: Reaktion OLIVIER MESSIAEN A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY This groundbreaking biography offers fresh perspectives on the life, ideas and music of French twentieth-century composer, organist and ornithologist Olivier Messiaen. Drawing on previously unexplored sketches and archival material, Robert Sholl seamlessly combines elements of biography, musicology, theology, philosophy, psychoanalysis and aesthetics to present a nuanced perspective on Messiaen’s work. This book examines the profound impact of Messiaen’s devout Catholicism, which found expression through his work as a church organist, his engagement with birdsong, his interaction with Surrealism and his influence on major musical figures of the latter twentieth century. Unlike previous biographies, this book also considers the perspectives of Messiaen’s contemporaries and students, providing a comprehensive understanding of his life and artistic legacy. 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. Hérault ***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. Passerinette 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

  • CD Reviews | Olivier Messiaen

    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 La 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 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) 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 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.

  • 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 . Download new proposal here. Please prebuy this multi-disc boxset from Fugue State Films . Tom Bell will perform several of Messiaen’s great cycles of organ music: La Nativité, Messe de la Pentecôte , as well as the magisterial Livre du Saint-Sacrement in its entirety, plus other movements. These will be filmed and recorded at Blackburn Cathedral , home of the best organ for playing Messiaen’s organ music in the UK. Thomas Lacôte will explore Messiaen’s improvisation, and Loïc Mallié and Carolyn Shuster-Fournier will discuss Messiaen’s music. The French organists will be filmed at Messiaen’s church, La Trinité in Paris, where the composer was organiste titulaire for 60 years. In an accompanying documentary biographer and scholar Christopher Dingle will explore Messiaen’s life and compositional styles and development in relation to his organ music. We will record with Tom Bell . 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, but he will also co-present a documentary with leading Messiaen-scholar Christopher Dingle . ​ 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!

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