Olivier Messiaen

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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,
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 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).
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 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).
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. 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.
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, 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).

References in periodicals archive ?
07590 471888 MUSIC BBC National Orchestra of Wales: The Music of Qigang Chen One of China's leading composers, Qigang Chen now divides his life between Beijing and France where he studied as a postgraduate student with Oliver Messiaen. His music draws together the musical influences of both nations, combining Chinese folk and Western classical traditions.
From 1951 until their disbanding in 1957, they produced and presented experimental stage performances and concerts of avant-garde music, playing pieces composed by the members and also presenting works by Bela Bartok, Norman Dello Joio, and Oliver Messiaen, among others, for the first time in Japan.
Scholars of theology, literature and other arts, and history consider such matters as four Kierkegaardian models of sensibility and transcendence, music dramatic extroversion and contemplative introspection in Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, liturgical aspects in Johann Rasser's Comoedia, Odysseus' powerlessness and Orpheus' courage, and Oliver Messiaen as a composer in the Catholic tradition.
"The Reinvention of Religious Music: Oliver Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond" is a scholarly study of religious music with a close focus on the work of Oliver Messiaen, and what it has meant to religious music as a whole.
He will be joined by German pianist Markus Bellheim, whose talent has brought him much acclaim and many awards including the Grand Prize at the Oliver Messiaen
The ensemble made recordings of the works of composers such as: Oliver Messiaen, Galina Ustvolskaja, Klaas de Vries, Gyorgy Ligeti and Claude Vivier.
Con estudios en electroacustica, fonetica y teoria de la informacion en la Universidad de Bonn, otros dos pilares de lo que es la muscia contemporanea de concierto fueron sus maestros, cuyos conocimientos y experiencia tuvieron en el compositor aleman raices profundas: los franceses Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) y Oliver Messiaen (1908-1992).
Although her preferred choice of music covers 20th century and contemporary classical giants Oliver Messiaen, Gyorgy Ligerti and Mark Anthony Turnage, she is not averse to some modern bands.
Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, Louis Vierne and Oliver Messiaen at 4 p.m.
Some twenty-one additional pieces, many of them juvenilia, appear in worklists (see, for example, Nigel Simeone, Oliver Messiaen: A Bibliographical Catalogue of Messiaen's Works, Musikbibliographische Arbeiten, 14 [Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1998], 187-97; and Paul Griffiths, "Messiaen, Oliver," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed.
It featured music by one of the greatest composers of organ music in the 20th century Oliver Messiaen and a virtuoso organist, your own director of music Rupert Jeffcoat, playing the great cathedral organ.
1908 El compositor Oliver Messiaen conoce a la poeta Cecile Sauvage en Avignon, Francia.