"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".
© 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.
15th January 1941
It is 80 years since the premiere of
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
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.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Claude Samuel, who passed away on June 14 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).
see NEWS page
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: email@example.com