- Messiaen, Olivier
- (1908-1992)composerBorn in Avignon, Olivier Messiaen trained at the Paris Conservatoire. organist at the church of La Trinité in Paris, he was professor at the École normale de musique, at the schola Cantorum, then at the Paris Conservatoire (1942). Influenced by césar franck and claude debussy, the music of Messiaen was frequently inspired by religious and mystical symbols. His work is also often characterized by the use of different rhythms of Oriental origin (Bali) or by medieval modes (Gregorian plainsong). An ornithologist, he interspersed his musical notation with the songs of birds and assimilated these into his composition. His orchestration (often including exotic percussion instruments) is considered rich, as is his sonority and use of harmonies and harmonics. All these elements come together in a highly experimental and personal manner. Messiaen's works include pieces for organ (La Nativité du Seigneur, 1935; Les Corps glorieux, 1939; Messe de la Pentacoste, 1950; Livre d'orgue, 1952), vocal works (Poèmespour mi, 1936; Trois Petites Liturgies de la présence divine, 1943-44); works for piano (Préludes, 1929; Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus, 1944), chamber music (Quartuor pour la fin des temps, 1941), works for orchestra (Les Offrandes oubliées, 1930; Turangalîlâ-Symphonie, in 10 parts, 1960; Chronochromie, 1960; Couleurs de la cité céleste, 1963), and works for choir and orchestra, motets, and melodies. Among these is the opera Saint François d'Assise (1983) and Éclairs sur l'au-délà, for orchestra (performed in New York City, 1992). Messiaen also wrote a number of texts on musicology. one of the founders of the Jeune France group (1936), Messiaen had a number of notable students, including pierre boulez.
France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.