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Bibliography
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Visions of Amen: The Early Life and Music of Olivier Messiaen
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (30 April 2014)
Language: English ISBN-10: 0802807623 ISBN-13: 978-0802807625
This book explores the enormous web of influences in the early part of Messiaens long life. The first section of the book provides an intellectual biography of Messiaens early life in order to make his (difficult) music more accessible to the general listener. The second section offers an analysis of and thematic commentaries on Messiaens pivotal work for two pianos, Visions of Amen, composed in 1943. Schloessers analysis includes timing indications corresponding to a downloadable performance of the work by accomplished pianists Stéphane Lemelin and Hyesook Kim.



IL SAINT FRANÇOIS D'ASSISE DI OLIVIER MESSIAEN

Book by Carola Lambruschini - 450 pages, 90 musical examples, a wealth
of synoptical tables - italian language
ABEditore, Milano, 2013. Collana: Saggistica musicale.
ISBN-10: 8865511389
ISBN-13: 978-8865511381



Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences
Ashgate
Illustrations: Includes 35 b&w illustrations and 73 musical examples
Published: November 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4094-2695-0

Edited by Christopher Dingle, Birmingham Conservatoire, UK and Robert Fallon, Carnegie Mellon School of Music, USA

Focusing on Messiaen’s relation to history - both his own and the history he engendered - the Messiaen Perspectives volumes convey the growing understanding of his deep and varied interconnections with his cultural milieux. Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences examines the genesis, sources and cultural pressures that shaped Messiaen’s music. Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception analyses Messiaen’s compositional approach and the repercussions of his music. While each book offers a coherent collection in itself, together these complementary volumes elucidate how powerfully Messiaen was embedded in his time and place and how his music resonates ever more today.

Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences presents many new primary sources, including discussion of Messiaen’s birdsong cahiers, sketch and archival materials for his Prix de Rome entries and war-time Portique, along with performance practice insights and theological inspiration in works as diverse as Visions de l’Amen, Harawi, Timbres-durées and the organ Méditations. The volume places the composer within a broader historical and cultural framework than has previously been attempted, ranging from specific influences to more general contexts. As a centrepiece, the book includes an examination of the impact of one of the greatest influences upon Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod.

Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception
Ashgate
Illustrations: Includes 8 b&w illustrations and 83 music examples
Published: November 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4094-2696-7

Edited by Christopher Dingle, Birmingham Conservatoire, UK and Robert Fallon, Carnegie Mellon School of Music, USA

Focusing on Messiaen’s relation to history - both his own and the history he engendered - the Messiaen Perspectives volumes convey the growing understanding of his deep and varied interconnections with his cultural milieux. Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences examines the genesis, sources and cultural pressures that shaped Messiaen’s music. Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception analyses Messiaen’s compositional approach and the repercussions of his music. While each book offers a coherent collection in itself, together these complementary volumes elucidate how powerfully Messiaen was embedded in his time and place and how his music resonates ever more today.

Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception explores Messiaen’s imprint on recent musical life. The first part scrutinizes his compositional technique in terms of counterpoint, spectralism and later piano music, while the second charts ways in which Messiaen’s influence is manifest in the music and careers of Ohana, Xenakis, Murail and Quebecois composers. The third part includes case studies of Messiaen’s reception in Italy, Spain and the USA. The volume also includes an ornithological catalogue of Messiaen’s birds, collates information on the numerous ‘tombeaux’ pieces he inspired, and concludes with a Critical Catalogue of Messiaen’s Musical Works.



Messiaen's Musical Techniques: The Composer's View and Beyond
by Gareth Healey. April 2013. Ashgate ISBN: 978-1-4094-4825-9
Despite Messiaen's position as one of the greatest technical innovators of the twentieth century, his musical language has not been comprehensively defined and investigated. The composer's 1944 theoretical study, The Technique of My Musical Language, expounds only its initial stages, and while his posthumously published Traité de rythme, de couleur, et d'ornithologie contains detailed explanations of selected techniques, in most cases the reader is left to define these more precisely by observing them in the context of Messiaen's analyses of his own works. Technical processes are nevertheless in many cases the primary components of a work or movement. For instance, personnages dominate 'Joie du sang des étoiles' from the Turangalîla-symphonie, and in certain cases, such as 'L'échange' from the Vingt regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, the process (asymmetric augmentation) is the only structuring element present.
Given this reliance on idiosyncratic techniques, clear comprehension of the music is impossible without a detailed knowledge of Messiaen's methods. Gareth Healey charts their development and interconnections, considers their relationship with formal structures, and applies them in refined and extended form to works for which Messiaen himself left no published analysis.

More from Ashgate


Birdsong in the music of Olivier Messiaen by David Kraft
2013. London: Arosa Press. ISBN 978-1477517796
In this book, Dr David Kraft surveys and evaluates Messiaen's use of birdsong and formulates a chronological and critical taxonomy of his music, covering the species involved and his evolving methods of manipulation, instrumentation and harmonic incorporation. He also explores issues relating to authenticity and modification with respect to the incorporation of birdsong in Messiaen's music. Further, he develops appropriate graphical and tabular methods in order to help the reader better to understand his music. This book is essential reading for those who love Messiaen’s music. It is also a useful handbook for those studying at GCSE, A level, degree and postgraduate level. I hope that you enjoy reading this book, and trust that you will continue to enjoy the unique sound world of Olivier Messiaen.


MESSIAEN'S FINAL WORKS
by CHRISTOPHER DINGLE(Ashgate, ISBN 9780754606338)392 pages.
When Olivier Messiaen completed the vast opera Saint François d'Assise in 1983, he was mentally and physically exhausted, believing that this monumental work would be his final compositional statement. Coaxed at first by his wife, Yvonne Loriod, he began to write a series of miniatures - a rarity in his output. Then, in the last years of his life, Messiaen composed a final large orchestral cycle, Éclairs sur l'au-delà..
Messiaen's Final Works examines the seven works which Messiaen completed after Saint François and argues that, following the crisis provoked by the opera, his music underwent a discernible change in style. In addition, the book uses the works in question to examine the characteristics of Messiaen's music, with a particular emphasis on an often overlooked aspect of his technique: harmony. In the process, many other questions are addressed, such as the ways in which Messiaen utilizes birdsong within a larger structure.
Messiaen's Final Works is in three parts. Part I begins with a brief historical survey before discussing Saint François d'Assise as the work which defines everything that follows. Part II examines the series of miniatures whose significance belies their (relatively) modest proportions. Not only do they provide an indication of Messiaen's artistic self-confidence, but they also contain important links with his final masterpiece, Éclairs sur l'au-delà.. This sublime eleven movement work for large orchestra is the subject of Part III, and is the focus of the book. Each movement is analysed in turn, before the work is considered as an entity and its hidden structure and motivic cohesion is discussed.

OLIVIER MESSIAEN-JOURNALIST: by Stephen Broad. Published Ashgate: April 2012
(ISBN: 978-0-7546-0876-9)
Contents: Preface; Introduction; The Journalism: Articles for la revue musicale; Articles for La Sirène (later La Syrinx); Articles for Le monde musical; Articles for La Page musicale; Articles for various other journals; A catalogue of Messiaen's journalism; Selected personalia; Bibliography; Index.

RELIGION UND GLAUBE
Als Künstlerische Kernkräfte Im Werk Von Olivier Messiaen
Religion and Faith as
Essential Artistic Energies in the Works of Olivier Messiaen
and Other Composers
Author: Herausgeber: Goetze, Albrecht U. Hiekel, Jörn P.; Goetze, Albrecht; Hiekel, Jörn P
.
Published by:Wolke Verlagsges. Jan-01-2010. ISBN 10: 3936000263


Olivier Messiaen THE CENTENARY PAPERS
Edited by Judith Crispin
In 2008 musicians and scholars world-wide celebrated the centenary of Olivier Messiaen's birth. One of the most influential composers in living memory, Messiaen is remembered as a great nature poet - a mystic whose music had a profound effect on the Twentieth-century avant-garde. This volume of essays, marking the occasion of Messiaen's centenary, was authored by musicologists, performers, composers, ornithologists and researchers from Australia, Germany, France, North America, Japan, New Zealand, Serbia and England. The writers, internationally acclaimed experts as well as emerging scholars, span three generations - living testimony to the diverse and lasting sphere of Messiaen's legacy.
ISBN: 9781443824989 - Cambridge Scholars Publishing


The Miracle of Stalag 8A. Beauty Beyond the Horror by John William McMullen
BIRD BRAIN PUBLISHING (August 2010)
ASIN: B0040GJI6C - ISBN 978-0-9826255-2-151995

The Miracle of Stalag 8A is a retelling of the fascinating story of Olivier Messiaen's composition of his Quartet for the End of Time. Set in France & Germany from 1939 to 1941, Messiaen served in the French army, was captured at Verdun, and sent to Stalag 8A in Gorlitz, Germany, where he composed the great work, The Quartet for the End of Time.
The enigmatic Messiaen, an avant-garde composer and also a devout Catholic, along with Etienne Pasquier, an agnostic cellist, Henri Akoka, a Jewish Trotskyite Clarinetist, and Jean le Boulaire, an atheistic violinist, become the famous quartet of Stalag 8A. These four very different men collaborated to create musical history in the most unlikely of places. Messiaen's Quartet, composed in a Stalag, transforms man's inhumanity to man with hope.
Yet to the avant-garde, he was too traditional and too religious; to the traditionalists and religious, he was too avant-garde. As a result he will always stand somewhere outside of Time. The first performance of the Quartet for the End of Time at Stalag 8A in January 1941 has become, in the words of Paul Griffiths, "one of the great stories of twentieth-century music". - From the Publisher


Olivier Messiaen - Dai canyons alle stelle by Peter Hill
Pub: Il Saggiatore (Italian) EAN9788842814856
A century after his birth, Messiaen's work was missing in Italy. This gap is now filled by this book edited by the English pianist and musicologist Peter Hill, a former pupil of Messiaon and Yvonne Loriod. Here, broken down by gender, the vast production of the French master is addressed by scholars such as Wilfred Mellers, Jane Manning. Richard Steinitz, Paul Griffith and Hill himself. The work is completed by two introductory articles that emphasize the breadth of the cultural life and work of Messiaen: music of the Greeks, that of India and Japan, the song of birds, and structuralism Darmstadtium and more.


Messiaen the Theologian. Edited by Andrew Shenton, Boston University, USA
Ashgate. Illustrations: Includes 12 b&w illustrations and 21 musical examples. Published: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7546-6640-0
An international array of Messiaen scholars cover a wide variety of topics including Messiaen's personal spirituality, the context of Catholicism in France in the twentieth century, and comparisons between Messiaen and other artists such as Dante and T.S. Eliot. Interdisciplinary methodologies such as exegesis, theological studies and analysis are used to contribute to the understanding of several major works including Éclairs sur l'au-delá..., Sept Haïkaï and Saint François d'Assise.
Contents: Introducing Messiaen the theologian, Andrew Shenton; Part 1 Messiaen the Theologian: Religious literature in Messiaen's personal library, Yves Balmer; Messiaen as preacher and evangelist in the context of European modernism, Peter Bannister; Messiaen's saintly naïveté, Sander van Maas. Part 2 Messiaen's Relationship with Theologians: Olivier Messiaen and Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger: 2 views of the liturgical reform according to the 2nd Vatican Council, Karin Heller; Messiaen's relationship to Jacques Maritain's musical circle and neo-Thomism, Douglas Shadle; Messiaen and Aquinas, Vincent P. Benitez. Part 3 Messiaen, Poets and Theological Themes: Dante as guide to Messiaen's Gothic spirituality, Robert Fallon; Five quartets: the search for the still point of the turning world in the war quartets of T.S. Eliot and Olivier Messiaen, Andrew Shenton; The charm of impossibilities: mystic surrealism as contemplative voluptuousness, Stephen Schloesser. Part 4 Theology in Messiaen's Music: 'Une œuvre simple, solonnelle…': Messiaen's commission from André Malraux, Nigel Simeone; Olivier Messiaen and the avant-garde poetics of the Mess de la Pentecôte, Robert Sholl; Messiaen as explorer in Livre du Saint Sacrement, Luke Berryman; Buddhist temple, Shinto shrine and the invisible God of Sept Haïkaï, Cheong Wai Ling; Glossary of people; Select bibliography; Index.


Messiaen: Transcending Time
(ISBN: 363909574X / 3-639-09574-X )
Mareli Stolp. Publisher: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
Publication Date: 2008-12-16
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), one of the most prolific composers of the 20th Century, was a devout Catholic whose compositions were very often inspired by the ideals of his faith. A theme that recurrs often in his works is music's relationship to time, and the linear nature of the passage of time as human beings comprehend it. It is Messiaen's ideal to write music that aspires to reach a divine level, free from human constraints. The most important of these constraints is time, music being dependant on the linear passage of time. By using a variety of techniques, Messiaen tries to alter the linear nature of time, thus reaching Divinity on a symbolic level. This book discusses the reasons for Messiaen's attitude towards time in music. It also gives a thorough analyses of two major works, the Visions de l'Amen and the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus, as examples of Messiaen's techniques for approaching time in music.


Performing Messiaen's Organ Music: 66 Masterclasses (Hardcover)
by Jon Gillock. 440 pages Publisher: Indiana University Press English
ISBN-10: 0253353734 - ISBN-13: 978-0253353733
Olivier Messiaen (1908--1992) was the most influential composer for the organ in the 20th century. Shaped by French tradition as well as the innovations of Debussy, Stravinsky, and Bartók, Messiaen developed a unique style that would become his signature. Using Messiaen's own analytical and aesthetic notes as a point of departure, Jon Gillock offers detailed commentary on the performance of Messiaen's 66 organ works. Gillock provides background information on the composition and premiere of each piece, a translation of Messiaen's related writings, and a systematic explanation of performance considerations. Gillock also supplies details about the organ at La Trinité in Paris, the instrument for which most of Messiaen's pieces were imagined.


The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond (Hardcover)
by Sander van Maas.
Fordham University Press ISBN-13: 9780823230587
Present-day music studies conspicuously evade the question of religion in contemporary music. Although many composers address the issue in their work, as yet there have been few attempts to think through the structure of religious music as we hear it. On the basis of a careful analysis of Olivier Messiaen's work, this book argues for a renewal of our thinking about religious music. Addressing his notion of a “hyper-religious” music of sounds and colors, it aims to show that Messiaen has broken new ground. His reinvention of religious music makes us again aware of the fact that religious music, if taken in its proper radical sense, belongs to the foremost of musical adventures.The work of Olivier Messiaen is well known for its inclusion of religious themes and gestures. These alone, however, do not seem enough to account for the religious status of the work. Arguing for a “breakthrough toward the beyond” on the basis of the synaesthetic experience of music, Messiaen invites a confrontation with contemporary theologians and post-secular thinkers. How to account for a religious breakthrough that is produced by a work of art?Starting from an analysis of his 1960s oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, this book arranges a moderated dialogue between Messiaen and the music theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of religion and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-François Lyotard. Ultimately, this confrontation underscores the challenging yet deeply affirmative nature of Messiaen's music.


Italian musician and musicologist Chiara Bertoglio's book, "Per Sorella Musica" deals with the most important musical versions of St. Francis' "Canticle of the Creatures" in 20th century classical music. Sizeable chunks of the book are devoted to Messiaen's St. François d'Assise. ISBN: 8874025157. Publisher: Effatà, Italy.

 


Olivier Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise. Cammino verso la joie parfaite:
With musical examples
pp. 146 - cm. 17x24 - Euro 25,00 - www.zecchini.com - ISBN 13: 978-88-87203-76-9
IN ITALIAN


Musik des Unsichtbaren.
Der Komponist Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992) am Schnittpunkt von Theologie und Musik.
von Michaela Hastetter (Herausgeber)

 


Messiaen's Contemplations of Covenant and Incarnation:
Musical Symbols of Faith in the Two Great Piano Cycles of the 1940s by Siglind Bruhn
Pendragon Press ISBN-10: 1576471292
ISBN-13: 978-1576471296
The celebrated composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) characterized himself as a rhythmician, ornithologist, and theologian. All interpreters concur that his life and work are grounded in a profound faith. This book examines the translation of his faith into his musical language. It centers on a hermeutic analysis of two spiritually motiviated instrumental compositions, Visions de l'amen for two pianos (1943) and Vingt Regards sur l enfant-Jésus for piano solo (1944). Part I introduces the main aspects of the composer s religious environment (the catholic literary revival, his father Pierre and his mentor Charles Tournemire) as well as the components of his idiosyncratic musico-symbolic vocabulary. Parts II and III examine the twenty-seven movements comprised in the Visions< and the Regards, whose thematic material, structure, and musical as well as spiritual function within the whole cycle are interpreted in light of the literary source and imagery that inspired Messiaen.


LES VISIONS D'OLIVIER MESSIAEN by SIGLIND BRUHN.
Publisher: HARMATTAN ISBN: 9782296056657. Publication Date: 2008 in French
Ce livre examine l'influence profonde de la religion sur le langage musical d'Olivier Messiaen. Dans la première partie, il décrit la relation pratiquement invariable entre certains motifs, accords et autres composants musicaux et leur signification théologique. Dans les seconde et troisième parties, les intuitions développées autour de ce "vocabulaire musico-théologique" sont appliquées à une analyse détaillée et approfondie de deux cycles fondamentaux de ce compositeur, Visions de l'Amen pour deux pianos (1943) et Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus pour piano seul (1944).

 


Messiaen's Interpretations of Holiness and Trinity:
Echoes of Medieval Theology in the Oratorio, Organ Meditations, and Opera by Siglind Bruhn
(Dimension and Diversity: Studies in 20th-Century Music) Pendragon Pr (Nov 2008)
ISBN-10: 157647139X - ISBN-13: 978-1576471395
Three of Olivier Messiaen s later works, La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, Méditations sur le mystére de la Sainte Trinité, and Saint François d Assise, are linked by the fact that the composer refers to and quotes from Thomas Aquinas. The composer s reception of Thomistic texts is one of the principles guiding the interpretations in this study. On the one hand, Messiaen had been pondering Thomas s thoughts on the role of music in the life of a Christian and on music s possible spiritual content all through his professional life; on the other hand, the oratorio, the organ meditations, and the opera are the only works in which Messiaen quotes extensive Thomistic sentences addressing purely theological subject matter. The first aspect, Messiaen s appropriation of or felicitous congruence with the medieval theologian s views on music underlies all analyses as a kind of background fabric. The second aspect, Messiaen s quotations from the Summa theologica and their musical translation, determines segments of a larger discussion that, in the book s three main chapters, attempts to do justice to the compositions as a whole. While Thomas theological aesthetics appears as a thread woven through a texture in a way that brings it only periodically to the foreground, the statements from Thomas s writings provide essential foundations determining the works content and its musical rendering.


Messiaen's Explorations of Love and Death:
Musico-poetic Signification in the Tristan Trilogy and Three Related Song Cycles
(Dimension and Diversity: Studies in 20th-Century Music) Pendragon Pr (September 30, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1576471365 - ISBN-13: 978-1576471364
Olivier Messiaen's lifelong quest centered on the colors and rhythms of a music that would serve as a vehicle for his thoughts about time, his love of God, and his enthusiasm for birdsong. An additional topic about which he felt deeply is that of passionate, fated human love and its relationship to death on the one hand, the love of God on the other. During the years 1936-1948, he composed five cycles of vocal music to his own texts as well as the Turangalîla Symphony, the monumental centerpiece of his Tristan Trilogy.
The focus of this study is the in-depth analysis and interpretation of these six works on love, with particular regard for their unusual wealth of poetic, sonic, and visual colors and imagery. The wonder of rainbows, the magic of exotic sounds, the fantastic attractiveness of surrealist representations, and the majestic inexorability of fate in myths of various times and cultures define Messiaen s lyrics as much as his idiosyncratic, highly symbolic musical language, which never fails to build bridges between this and another world.


Messiaens ‘Summa theologica’ by Siglind Bruhn
Musikalische Spurensuche mit Thomas von Aquin in
La Transfiguration, Méditations und Saint François d’Assise
EDITION GORZ. ISBN 978-3-938095-09-6 in German



Olivier Messiaen, Troubadour by Siglind Bruhn
Liebesverständnis und musikalische Symbolik in Poèmes pour Mi, Chants de terre et de ciel,
Trois petites Liturgies de la présence divine, Harawi, Turangalîla-Sinfonie und Cinq Rechants
EDITION GORZ. ISBN 978-3-938095-07-2 in German


Messiaen ou la lumière by Philippe Olivier
Pub.Hermann
in French
ISBN-10: 2705667253 - ISBN-13: 978-2705667252


Messiaen, l'empreinte d'un géant by Catherine Lechner-Reydellet
ISBN-10: 2840495112 - ISBN-13: 978-2840495116 Pub. Editions Seguier in French
Présentation de l'éditeur
Il fut celui par qui tout arriva pour que demeure notre passion, celui pour qui le chant du rossignol en lisière des forêts, de la linotte dans les vignobles de Charente et de la fauvette à lunettes dans les garrigues du Roussillon, redonna le droit d'être musicien Catherine Lechner-Reydellet, écrivain et pianiste, professeur au Conservatoire de Musique et d'Art dramatique de Grenoble, nous présente Olivier Messiaen, revisité par ses anciens élèves, ses illustres interprètes, ses amis, journalistes, chefs d'orchestre et poètes, sous un éclairage inhabituel jamais dévoilé à ce jour.
Biographie de l'auteur
Pianiste, Catherine Lechner-Reydellet est en charge d'une classe au conservatoire national de Grenoble. Elle se produit en France et à l'étranger comme interprète soliste ou en formation de musique de chambre. Lauréate de la Fondation Blanchard (1996), prix spécial du Jury du Festival de littérature fantastique de Gérardmer (1987), elle est l'auteur de quatre romans dont Le profil de l'ombre paru chez Séguier en 2001.

 


Olivier Messiaen's System of Signs
Notes Towards Understanding His Music
Andrew Shenton
ISBN: 0754661687
Hardback
Ashgate Publishing Group
Andrew Shenton's groundbreaking cross-disciplinary approach to Messiaen's music presents a systematic and detailed examination of the compositional techniques of one of the most significant musicians of the twentieth century as they relate to his desire to express profound truths about Catholicism.It is widely accepted that music can have mystical and transformative powers, but because 'pure' music has no programme, Messiaen sought to refine his compositions to speak more clearly about the truths of the Catholic faith by developing a sophisticated semiotic system in which aspects of music become direct signs for words and concepts. Using interdisciplinary methodologies drawing on linguistics, cognition studies, theological studies and semiotics, Shenton traces the development of Messiaen's sign system using examples from many of Messiaen's works and concentrating in particular on the "Meditations sur le mystere de la Sainte Trinite" for organ, a suite which contains the most sophisticated and developed use of a sign system and represents a profound exegesis of Messiaen's understanding of the Catholic triune God.By working on issues of interpretation, Shenton endeavours to bridge the traditional gap between scholars and performers and to help people listen to Messiaen's music with spirit and understanding.

THE LIFE OF MESSIAEN
by CHRISTOPHER DINGLE (Cambridge University Press, March 2007, ISBN 052163220X / 0521635470).
The Life of Messiaen paints a more nuanced picture of the man and the musician, peering behind Messiaen's public persona to examine the private difficulties and creative struggles that were the true backdrop to many of his greatest achievements. Based upon the latest research, including previously overlooked sources, this book provides an excellent introduction to Messiaen's life and work, presenting a fascinating new perspective of a man whose story is more remarkable than the myths surrounding it.

• An accessible and lively overview of the life and works of this influential composer
• Brings together the latest research and includes previously unseen material
• Relates Messiaen's music to his life, providing context for understanding his music
Contents

1. The burgeoning artist: 1908-1931; 2. Le jeune français: 1931-1939; 3. Occupying time: 1939-1945; 4. Songs of love and death: 1945-1948; 5. For now we see through a glass darkly: 1949-1952; 6. A natural retreat: 1951-1959; 7. The statue remains on its pedestal: 1960-1969; 8. A passion for opera: 1970-1983; 9. Tous les oiseaux des étoiles: 1984-1992.


see reviews
Messiaen, a major biography by Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone, published by Yale University Press

This book includes extracts from the private diaries and papers of Olivier
Messiaen for the first time, along with several hundred photographs.
This project has been awarded very significant Research Grant funding
by the Arts and Humanities Research Board.


The French edition of the book
(Paris, Fayard, 2008) includes "Sigle" - a
short little piece for unaccompanied flute which has been published
for the first time as an illustration here. There is also a detailed catalogue
of works and an additional chapter on Messiaen's musical language that
are not in the English version.

Nigel Simeone is also working on further books and articles:
A Messiaen Reader (book, in progress, co-author: Peter Hill).



OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Benitez, Vincent P. Olivier Messiaen: A Research and Information Guide.
New York: Routledge Publishing, 2008.

 


MESSIAEN STUDIES. Edited by Robert Sholl

OLIVIER MESSIAEN- Christopher Dingle & Nigel Simeone (editors)
Music, Art and Literature (Ashgate, ISBN 0754606333).
Contents
Editors' note; Introduction, Christopher Dingle and Nigel Simeone; Messiaen and Cocteau, Stephen Broad; L'Harmonie de l'Univers: mystical and literary influences on the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, Edward R.B. Forman; Messiaen and Dutilleux, Caroline Potter; Les Noces and Trois Petites Liturgies: an assessment of Stravinsky's influence on Messiaen, Matthew Schellhorn; From Fête des Belles Eaux to Saint François d'Assise: the evolution of the writing for ondes Martenot in the music of Olivier Messiaen, Jacques Tchamkerten; The performance history of Messiaen's Quatre études de rythme, Peter Hill; Messiaen's chords, Allen Forte; The record of realism in Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques, Robert Fallon; Musical analysis according to Messiaen: a critical view of a most original approach, Jean Boivin; Messiaen the bibliophile, Gareth Healey; Observations on time in Olivier Messiaen's Traité, Andrew D.J. Shenton; L'Âme en bourgeon, Cécile Sauvage (translation and introduction by Philip Weller); Lurçat, Olivier Messiaen; Dancing Turangalîla – Messiaen and the ballet, Nigel Simeone; Frescoes and legends: the sources and background of Saint François d'Assise, Christopher Dingle; The music of Olivier Messiaen and Catholic liturgy, Père Jean-Rodolphe Kars.


OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Oiseaux exotiques

Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone
Series: Landmarks in Music Since 1950 Ashgate ISBN: 0 7546 5630 6

Publication Date: 07/2007
What makes Oiseaux exotiques so important is that it is arguably the first of Messiaen's major works to create a successful synthesis between his music and his passion for ornithology. The earliest composition to use birdsong to a significant extent was the Quatuor pour la fin du Temps (1940-41). A newspaper interview a few years later (France-Soir, 1948) demonstrates Messiaen's growing desire to move away from the stylisation that had characterized the Quatuor towards a much greater realism, based on a close observation of birds in their natural habitat. At the same time, Messiaen continued to regard birdsong as music - and divinely inspired music at that - a belief that led for a time to an obsession with truth-to-nature. Against this background, Oiseaux exotiques proves to be a landmark, the work in which Messiaen the musician began to regain the upper hand over Messiaen the ornithologist.
Contents
Introduction; Context; Birdsong and sketches; Commentary; First performance, reception and publication; Interpretations; Postscript; The birds in Oiseaux exotiques; Bibliography; Discography; Index.


Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jesus: Messiaen's means of conveying extra-musical subtext (Olivier Messiaen, France) (Paperback)
by Christopher S. Bowlby
ProQuest / UMI (March 22, 2006) ISBN: 0542177072
The purpose of this study is to answer the question: How does Messiaen's approach to musical architecture convey symbolic or programmatic meaning in his mammoth work for solo piano, Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus ? This document is organized in five sections, each delving into a particular facet of Messiaen's compositional technique: the first section briefly outlines many of the procedures that the composer discusses in his first treatise from 1944, Technique de mon langage musical. The second section focuses on aspects of pitch, including his approach to melody, harmony, and timbral imitation. A discussion of rhythm follows in the third section, while the fourth and fifth sections deal with Messiaen's multi-processes in simultaneity, numerological symbolism, and cohesion. Messiaen highlights many of his extra-musical messages in the preface of the score or in the inscriptions found below the titles of each of the twenty movements. The sole purpose of each section of this document is to bring to light the ways in which Messiaen's compositional elements contribute to the meaning of each individual movement or to the work as a whole with some key examples. Not every movement is described in detail. Each example is only discussed insomuch as is necessary to determine how applicable musical elements or compositional processes underline the intended message. Much of the conclusions identify the ways in which a basic technique, such as a melody and the mode with which it is constructed, implies a meaning, perhaps through Messiaen's own notes or indications in the score or through original or previously published analysis. Furthermore, the examination deals with these basic means and how they are combined and superimposed to produce proportions of interest or how they might serve to exemplify a numerological or theological significance.


Olivier Messiaen\'s composition techniques in Reveil des Oiseaux (France) -- Dissertation (Paperback)
ProQuest / UMI (December 18, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0542015919ISBN-13: 978-0542015915
In his first major composition in the so-called “le style oiseaux”, Olivier Messiaen uses thirty-eight bird calls as his main musical material. Despite Messiaen\'s claim that the piece is ‘merely a truthful translation’ of nature, this dissertation focuses on how the composition is organically produced; in terms of its form, its pitch material and its timbral treatment. In the section titled ‘Permutation techniques’, four different bird calls are analyzed in order to shed some light on how Messiaen permutates his pitch materials on the basis of a limited collection of pitches. It was especially exciting to follow his very personal and literal form of ‘com-po-sing’ (in the sense of ‘putting together’ or ‘combining’); a technique in which small units of previously heard music reappear later, meticulously re-shuffled or combined with seemingly different music. It was particularly thrilling to delve into his innovative ways of treating the original bird calls. The limited chords material used in this composition should sooner be approached as a method for translating a bird\'s original timbre than in any conventional or academic sense of harmony. In the last chapter, the idea of resonant harmony is introduced and I have given two specific examples of his execution of this unique technique. The Concerto for Piano, Percussion and Six Players is scored for solo piano, percussion and a small ensemble consisting of flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, horn, trombone, violin and cello. The piece is divided into two big sections, purely coincidental to the—similarly bi-partite form—of Réveil des Oiseaux. These two sections are connected by the use of a particular harmony, consisting of a Major second, a Major third and Perfect fifths. These intervals are used not only as the motor from which the piano writing is developed, but also as most of the main material from which the music for the other instruments is derived.


OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever is based on Paul Festa's award-winning and critically acclaimed film Apparition of the Eternal Church.
The book and movie capture the explosive responses of 31 mostly nonreligious artists to the apocalyptic music of the Christian visionary Olivier Messiaen.
Published by Bar Nothing Books


Music for the End of Time by Jen Bryant

(Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co)
ISBN: 0802852297 (Oct 2005)
This work is Jen Bryant's poetic biography of French composer Olivier Messiaen, coupled with Beth Peck's evocative pastel illustrations, captures both the desolation of a World War II prison camp and the transforming power of music. This book will stir readers of all ages to seek hope in the things that inspire them, and is a great introduction to Messiaen for children from 8 years upward.



Saint Francois D'Assise Premieres Loges Avant Scene Opera Arts Et Spectacle Revues
21/10/2004 ISBN:2843852021


French Masters of the Organ
Saint-Saëns, Franck, Widor, Vierne, Dupré, Langlais, Messiaen
Michael Murray. Yale University Press 2005


A major document focusing on the Quatour pour la Fin du Temps
FOR THE END OF TIME: THE STORY OF THE MESSIAEN QUARTET
by REBECCA RISCHIN
published by Cornell University Press




Read reviews

For the End of Time
The Story of the Messiaen Quartet
Rebecca Rischin

The premiere of Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time on 15
January 1941 at -4 degrees Fahrenheit in Stalag VIIIA, a Nazi prison camp
near Görlitz, in Silesia, has been called one of the great stories of
twentieth century music. "We were 30,000 prisoners (French for the most
part, with a few Poles and Belgians)," recalled Messiaen. "The four
musicians played on broken instruments: Etienne Pasquier's cello had only
3 strings; the keys of my upright piano remained lowered when
depressed...It's on this piano...that I played my Quartet for the End of
Time, before an audience of 5000 people...Never before have I been listened
to with such attention and understanding."
This book is the first comprehensive history of the composition and
premiere of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. Based on testimonies
by the musicians and their families, witnesses to the premiere, former
prisoners, and documents from Stalag VIIIA, For the End of Time examines
the events that led to the Quartet's composition, the experiences of the
musicians in the camp, the contradictory accounts, the composer's
interpretive preferences, and the musicians' problems in execution and how
they affected the premiere and subsequent performances. Rebecca Rischin
explores the musicians' life in the prison camp, their relationship with
each other and with the German camp officials, and their intriguing
fortunes before and after the momentous premiere.
For the End of Time is distinguished by Rebecca Rischin's extensive
interviews and intimate correspondence with survivors of the Quartet's
premiere and members of the Messiaen circle, many of whom had never before
been approached and most of whom are no more. Among them are the cellist
Etienne Pasquier and the violinist Jean Le Boulaire, relatives of the
clarinetist Henri Akoka, and Messiaen's widow, Yvonne Loriod. Told through
the reminiscences of the participants and their families, this dramatic
story is directed at the general reader no less than the learned musician.
The book is generously illustrated with photographs of the musicians, press
releases from the 1941 premiere, autographs, letters, and pen-and-ink
drawings of the camp's layout. Included are wartime photos of the camp and
its prisoners along with present-day photos of the camp site, which Rischin
visited in 1995.
Rebecca Rischin is Associate Professor of Music at Ohio University in
Athens. Her research for this book was aided by a Harriet Hale Woolley
Scholarship for study in Paris, awarded in 1993 to only two other American
artists and musicians. Rischin is an award-winning clarinetist who
performs throughout the United States and Europe.

 

Since his death Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen has been compiling all of Messiaens' writings which are now published in 7 volumes entitled
'Traité de Rythme, de Couleur, et d'Ornithologie' (Paris, Leduc)


The 22 Piano Concertos by Mozart.
Introduced and analyzed by Messiaen
Paris. Librairie Seguier. 1990. in-12° (11,5x18,5 cm). 121 p.



The Messiaen Companion: edited by Peter Hill (London, Faber and Faber 1995)

Olivier Messiaen a Bibliographical Catalogue: Nigel Simeone (Hans Schneider Verlag)
(see review by Dr David Morris of University of Ulster)


MESSIAEN ON MESSIAEN
The composer writes about his works. Text by Messiaen translated by Irene Feddern
Frangipani Press. 1986


LE GROUPE JEUNE FRANCE by SERGE GUT
Yves Baudrier - Daniel Lesur - André Jolivet - Olivier Messiaen
Editions Honoré Champion, Collection Musique - Musicologie, 1977


Les Oiseaux de Messiaen: Nicole Malinconi, Melanie Berger (Esperluete Eds 2005) ISBN:2930223561


Olivier Messiaen: L'homme et son oeuvre. Pierrette Mari (Paris, Segheres, 1965)

Das orgelwerk Messiaens:Sieglinde Ahrens ,Hans-Dieter Möller, and Almut Rössler, (Duisburg, Gilles and Francke, 1976)


Contributions to the Spiritual World of Olivier Messiaen: Almut Rössler (Gilles & Francke 1986)


Olivier Messiaen: Claude Rostand (Ed. Ventadour,1952/57)

Olivier Messiaen: Carla Bell (Boston, Twayne 1984)

Messiaen: en handbog: Paul Borum & Erik Christiansen (Copenhagen, Egtved,1977)


Recontres avec Olivier Messiaen: Antoine Goléa (Paris, Julliard 1960-reprinted Slatkine Genéve-Paris 1984))


Olivier Messiaen and the Music of Time:
Paul Griffiths (London/Boston, Faber and Faber 1985)


Olivier Messiaen: Harry Halbreich (Paris, Fayard/SACEM 1980)


Olivier Messiaen: Leben und Werk: Theo Hirsbrunner (Laaber-Verlag 1988)


Thomas Daniel Schlee / Dietrich Kämper (Hg.): Olivier Messiaen. La Cite celeste - das himmlische Jerusalem. Über das Leben und Werk des französischen Komponisten. Köln Wienand Verlag 1998. 24 x 17 cm, 239 Seiten, Orig.-Karton - Erste Ausgabe


Messiaen:
Robert Sherlaw Johnson (London. Dent 1976. R/1989)


Olivier Messiaen: une poetique de merveilleux: Brigitte Massin (Aix-en-Provence, Alinéa, 1989)


Portrait(s) d'Olivier Messiaen: Catherine Massip (Bibliothèque Nationale de France)


Messiaen: Roger Nichols (London Oxford University Press 1975 2/1986)


Bien Cher Félix..Letters from Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod to Felix Aprahamian (Cambridge, Mirage 1998)

L'œuvre pour piano d'Olivier Messiaen: Michéle Reverdy (Paris, Leduc 1978)

L'œuvre pour orchestre d'Olivier Messiaen: Michéle Reverdy (Paris, Leduc 1988)


Messiaen: Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps: Anthony Pople (Cambridge University Press 1998 ISBN 0521585384)


Entretiens avec Olivier Messiaen: Claude Samuel (Paris, Belfond 1967 Eng. translation 1976)

Music and Colour: New Interviews: Claude Samuel (Paris, Belfond 1986)

The Organ Music of Olivier Messiaen:
Stuart Waumsley (Paris, Leduc 1968)

Olivier Messiaen, the Musical Mediator. A study of the influence of Liszt, Debussy and Bartok: Madeleine Hsu (Fairleigh Dickinson UP1996)

Vingt lecons d'harmonie: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1944 Eng. translation 1956)

Technique de non langage musical: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1944 Eng. translation 1956)


Conférence de Bruxelles: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1958)

Conférence de Notre Dame: Messiaen (Paris, Leduc 1978)

Conférence de Kyoto: (Paris, Leduc 1985)

Olivier Messiaen: Heinz-Klaus Metzger and Rainer Riehn. text + kritic (Munich 1982)


Messiaens"Saint Francois d'Assise" von Aloyse Michaely, Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Rainer Riehn (2006)
ISBN 10: 3878779763-ISBN 13: 9783878779766, Querstand, Musikalische Konzepte Bd.1+2. Stroemfeld - Kartoniert/Broschiert


Siglind Bruhn, Images and Ideas in Modern French Piano Music:
The Extra Musical Subtext in Piano Works by Ravel, Debussy and Messiaen (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1997)


Siglind Bruhn, Musikalische Symbolik in Olivier Messiaens Weihnachtsvignetten.
Hermeneutisch-analytische Untersuchungen zu den “Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus” (Frankfurt: Peter Lang,1997)


Siglind Bruhn (ed.), Messiaen’s Language of Mystical Love. Volume 1 in the series “Twentieth-Century Studies in Music” (New York
: Garland, 1998).

Jean Boivin: La classe de Messiaen. Paris, Christian Bourgois éditeur, collection " Musique/Passé/Présent ", 483 pages, 1995.


Olivier Messiaen and the Tristan Myth by Audrey Ekdahl Davidson 160 pages (Praeger Pub Text; ISBN: 0275973409)


Meisterwerke der Musik:Olivier Messiaen Turangalîla Symphonie by Klaus Schweizer (Wilhem Fink Verlag)


Messiaen by Alain Périer (Paris, Seuil 1979)

Olivier Messiaen:Eclairs Sur L'Au-Dela: Die Christlich-Eschatologische Dimension Des Opus Ultimum
ISBN: 3631348460 Author: Tolle, Julian Christopher
Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated Edition/Year: 1999

Olivier Messiaen's Orchesterwerk: Des Canyons aux Etoile. Studen, zu Struktur und Konnex. Diss Kassel
Carl Beate Bärenreiter 1994


STEFAN KEYM: Farbe und Zeit - Untersuchungen zur musiktheatralen Struktur und Semantik von
Olivier Messiaens Saint Francois d'Assise.

Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag 2002. - X/557 S. mit zahlreichen Notenbeispielen und Register. ISBN: 3-487-11661-8


Messiaen Les sons impalpables du rêve
Pascal Arnault, Nicolas Darbon. Editeur : Millenaire III
Collection : Compositeurs De Notre Temps ISBN : 2911906055

Rosemary Walker, Modes and Pitch Class Sets In Messiaen. (Music Analysis 8:1/2 Basil Blackwell 1989)

David Morris, A Semiotic Investigation of Messiaen's 'Abîme des Oiseaux'. (Music Analysis 8:1/2 Basil Blackwell 1989)

Messiaen, Gooeyvaerts, Fano, Stockhausen, Boulez. Perspectives of New Music XIII 1974 pp141-16 An in-depth (29 A5 pages) analysis of the musical ideas of the 1940's and 50's. Many technical terms, graphs, note charts etc make this indispensable for all students of composition and interest in Messiaen.


Olivier Messiaen homme de foi (Trinite Media Communication 1995)

I have included this VHS SECAM video here as I believe it to be an invaluable archive to those of us who
were not lucky enough to experience first hand lectures by the Maitre during his lifetime.
Olivier Milles' film covers a masterclass/lecture given by Messiaen during the 1987 Festival d'Avignon at the Chartreuse de Villeneuve lés-Avignon.


"Les couleurs du temps: Trente ans d'entretiens avec Claude Samuel". INA/Radio France 211848, 2CDs
Claude Samuel met Messiaen in the late fifties and from then grew a most fertile professional relationship that
produced many landmark interviews and discussion throughout the composer's life. Thirty years of interviews
are represented here on 2CDs in French.

 


e-mail rechants1@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Partch ~ Steve Reich ~ Early electronic Instruments ~ Pierre Boulez ~ Markus Stockhausen ~ Karlheinz Stockhausen