Olivier Messiaen

(redirected from Messaien)

Messiaen, Olivier

(ôlēvyā` mĕsyäN`), 1908–92, French composer and organist, b. Avignon. Messiaen was a pupil of Paul DukasDukas, Paul
, 1865–1935, French composer and critic. He was influenced by both the romanticism of Wagner and the impressionism of Debussy. His compositions are few, the best known being a symphonic poem, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1897), and an opera,
..... Click the link for more information.
 at the Paris Conservatory. He became organist of La Trinité, Paris, in 1931 and taught at the Schola Cantorum and the École Normale de Musique (1936–39). In 1942 he was appointed professor of harmony at the Paris Conservatory, where he taught such 20th-century figures as Pierre BoulezBoulez, Pierre
, 1925–2016, French conductor and composer of modernist classical music. He studied at the Paris Conservatory with Olivier Messiaen (1944–45) and studied twelve-tone technique with René Leibowitz (1946).
..... Click the link for more information.
 and Karlheinz StockhausenStockhausen, Karlheinz
, 1928–2007, German composer, music theorist, and teacher; his first name also appears as Karl Heinz. He studied composition with Frank Martin in Cologne (1950–51) and with Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud in Paris (1951–53).
..... Click the link for more information.
. Messiaen's music is remarkably original and personal, rich in color and texture. It draws from many schools and styles, including electronic and serial musicserial music,
the body of compositions whose fundamental syntactical reference is a particular ordering (called series or row) of the twelve pitch classes—C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B—that constitute the equal-tempered scale.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and is often based on scale formulas of his own invention or on his studies of Asian music and birdsong. His compositions also reflect his profound religious mysticism, which is also expounded in his didactic prose works.

Messiaen's major works include L'Ascension (1933), for orchestra; Apparition de l'Église Éternelle (1932), La Nativité du Seigneur (1935), Le Banquet Céleste (1936), and Les Corps Glorieux (1939), for organ; Quartet for the End of Time (1941), his best-known piece, composed while he was a prisoner of war in Germany (1940–42); Visions de l'Amen (1943), for two pianos; the orchestral Oiseaux Exotiques (1956), Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum (1965), and Des Canyons aux Étoiles (1974); and The Transfiguration (1969), an oratorio. He also wrote masses, songs, and much chamber music. His symphony in 10 movements, Turangalila Symphony (1948), is considered the most grandiose expression of his theories. Messiaen's only opera is the five-hour St. Francis of Assisi (1983). His last major composition, Éclairs sur l'Au-Delà (1992), was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, to celebrate its 150th anniversary.


See his Technique of My Mystical Language (tr. 1957); biography by R. S. Johnson (1975, rev. 1989); studies by C. H. Bell (1984), P. Griffiths (1985), and R. Nichols (1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
The works of Olivier Messaien, Pierre Boulez, and Edgar Varese are included, as well as those by contemporary composers such as Michel Decoust (b.
Her repertoire is unusually broad for someone so young, embracing Handel, Mozart, bel canto and more contemporary fared adore Messaien, whose Poetries pour Mi I sang recently." On the opera stage, her dream roles include Sesto, Idamante "and anything by Handel!" She gets her wish next season, covering a role in Ariodante for the COC.
But her scholarly interests have ranged widely over the history of French music, extending to Berlioz, Jolivet, Messaien, and many others.
Immediately afterwards, visitors can come for free to listen to Kerry Beaumont playing Olivier Messaien's 'La Nativite du Seigneur' on Coventry's world-famous organ.
Messiaen took a further unprecedented step and asked her to prepare the fair copy of the full score for the opera's fifth scene, "L'ange musicien." An indication of how difficult these steps were comes from the fact that, once the first production was out of the way, Messaien made his own fair corn of the scene.
Aventura, FL, February 28, 2013 --(PR.com)-- In a bold programming move, the Piano Festival presents three consecutive days in homage to the music of Claude Debussy - celebrating of the 150th anniversary of his birth - and the composers who are frequently associated with the French Impressionist movement - Ravel, Faure and Messaien. From Sunday through Tuesday, March 3 - 5, four unique programs will be presented at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale by some of the world's most impressive masters of the keyboard.
David Drew's first interests were in modern French music, and in his 20s he published a study of Olivier Messaien that was a classic of its time.
The Da Capo Chamber Players will lead off the Music Today Festival on Sunday with a program titled "Messaien and Music for New Beginnings." The concert begins at 8 p.m.
Inspired in Japan, the Sept Haikai seen through Messaien's imagination are intriguing, from the cacophony of birdsong - a favourite subject - to a not-so-calm boat trip in a beautiful landscape.
I am thinking here of such poles as the polyphonic Bach and Messaien with his colour.
Though he praises others like Britten, Shnitke and Messaien, he reserves his greatest admiration for the "simplicity" of J.S.