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
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:
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:
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
by providing your email address on the back of the cheque.
Thank you for your generosity.
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