Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen!

Posted by: argerichfan

Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/09/12 09:50 PM

Olivier Messiaen, December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992.

Visiting his church, Église de la Sainte-Trinité, in Paris last May was nothing short of overwhelming for me. Yes, there were tears.

What an incredible composer, his organ works never fail to speak profoundly to me, even if I am not RC. I heard countless performances of Messiaen by the greatest British organists, and I studied several of his organ works. They are horribly difficult, but ultimately so rewarding. Messiaen's writing for the organ is expert, gloriously natural, a sensual pleasure under the fingers.

I never studied any of the piano works, but my life would be so much poorer without Trios petites liturgies de la Présence, Visions de l'Amen, Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Seattle Symphony will do Turangalîla-symphonie in January.

Messiaen -strictly IMO- was not immune to occasionally overstepping himself. The sprawling oratorio La transfiguration de Notre Seigneur from 1965 is bloated, pompous, an often naive religious take-no-prisoners study in excess.

Posted by: btb

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 02:02 AM

Is the old geezer the same wot gave the movie 2001
such a lift off?
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 02:35 AM

That was Ligeti.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 04:42 AM

I saw his grave in Paris a few years ago. Impressive.
Posted by: Gerard12

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 08:25 AM

Turangalîla-symphonie blew me away when I first heard it. It still does blow me away, but only on recordings. I would love to hear it live, but a trek to Seattle is beyond my financial reach......
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 10:21 AM

Yay, Messiaen!

In other (sad) news, RIP Charles Rosen.
Posted by: Verbum mirabilis

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 10:58 AM

I have used the quartour pour la fin du temps in order to irritate my brother grin. He thought it was random noises...
Posted by: Janus K. Sachs

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 11:00 AM

Rosen -- now there's a dreadful loss! Scholar, pianist, champion of Carter, he was one of the most complete of musicians.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 11:07 AM

Sorry for my previous post. It was not Messiaen's grave I saw in Paris, it was Saint-Saëns.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Happy Birthday Olivier Messiaen! - 12/10/12 11:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Brendan

In other (sad) news, RIP Charles Rosen.

Very sad, indeed. I read a number of his books -'The Romantic Generation' is particularly recommended- and found them all very stimulating if occasionally a bit opaque and slightly over my head.

One wonders where he found the time to get through as much music as he did... and in such depth!