Olivier Messiaen

Real Name:
Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen
Profile:
Born: December 10, 1908 (Avignon, France).
Died: April 27, 1992.

Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century.

He studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1919-1930) taught by Paul Dukas, Maurice Emmanuel and Marcel Dupré among others. He was eventually appointed as a professor at the Paris Conservatoire (1941-1978) while also serving as organist at Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris. It is apparent from his first published work of the eight Preludes for piano (1929), that he was using his own modal system, with its strong flavouring of tritones, diminished 7ths and augmented triads. During the 1930's he added a taste for rhythmic irregularity and for the rapid changing of intense colours, in both orchestral and organ works. Most of his compositions were explicitly religious and divided between characteristic styles of extremely slow meditation, bounding dance and the objective unfolding of arithmetical systems. They include the orchestral L'ascension (1933), the organ cycles La nativité du Seigneur (1935) and Les corps glorieux (1939), the song cycles Poèmes pour Mi (1936) and Chants de terre et de ciel (1938), and the culminating work of this period, the Quatuor pour la fin du temps for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1941). During the war he found himself surrounded by an eager group of students, including Pierre Boulez and Yvonne Loriod, who eventually became his second wife. For her pianistic brilliance he conceived the Visions de l'amen (1943, with a second piano part for himself) and the Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jésus (1944), followed by an exuberant triptych on the theme of erotic love: the song cycle Harawi (1945), the Turangalîla, symphonie with solo piano and ondes martenot (1948) and the Cinq rechants for small chorus (1949). Meanwhile the serial adventures of Boulez and others were also making a mark, and Messiaen produced his most abstract, atonal and irregular music in the Quatre études de rythme for piano (1949) and the Livre d'orgue (1951). His next works were based largely on his own adaptations of birdsongs: they include Réveil des oiseaux for piano and orchestra (1953), Oiseaux exotiques for piano, wind and percussion (1956), the immense Catalogue d'oiseaux for solo piano (1958) and the orchestral Chronochromie (1960). In these, and in his Japanese postcards Sept haïkaï for piano and small orchestra (1962), he continued to follow his junior contemporaries, but then returned to religious subjects in works that bring together all aspects of his music. These include another small-scale piano concerto, Couleurs de la cité céleste (1963), and the monumental Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum for wind and percussion (1964). Thereafter he devoted himself to a sequence of works on the largest scale: the choral-orchestral La Transfiguration (1969), the organ volumes Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité (1969), the 12-movement piano concerto Des canyons aux étoiles (1974) and the opera Saint François d'Assise (1983).
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Artist

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Albums

ML 4214 Symphony No. 6 in E Minor / L'Ascension (Four Symphonic Meditations For Orchestra) — Olivier Messiaen Vaughan Williams* / Messiaen* - Leopold Stokowski, Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra Of New York* Vaughan Williams* / Messiaen* - Leopold Stokowski, Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra Of New York* - Symphony No. 6 in E Minor / L'Ascension (Four Symphonic Meditations For Orchestra) Columbia Masterworks ML 4214 US 1949 Sell This Version
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LDA-D 195 La Nativité Du Seigneur — Olivier Messiaen Messiaen*, Robert Noehren Messiaen*, Robert Noehren - La Nativité Du Seigneur Pacific (5), Allegro Elite LDA-D 195 France 1952 Sell This Version
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MG 10069 La Nativité Du Seigneur = Messiaen*, Ernest White Messiaen*, Ernest White - La Nativité Du Seigneur = "The Nativity Of Our Lord"(LP) Mercury Classics (3) MG 10069 1952 Sell This Version
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CE 1004 Clarence Watters at the Trinity College Chapel Organ — Olivier Messiaen Clarence Watters, Arnold Schoenberg - Olivier Messiaen Clarence Watters, Arnold Schoenberg - Olivier Messiaen - Clarence Watters at the Trinity College Chapel Organ(LP, Mono) Classic Editions CE 1004 US 1952 Sell This Version
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270 C 075 Trois Petites Liturgies De La Présence Divine — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Trois Petites Liturgies De La Présence Divine (Album) Ducretet Thomson 270 C 075 France 1955 Sell This Version
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W-167 Jesień Warszawska, Kronika Dźwiękowa Nr. 1, 1956 — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen - Bohdan Wodiczko, Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Narodowej Olivier Messiaen - Bohdan Wodiczko, Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Narodowej - Jesień Warszawska, Kronika Dźwiękowa Nr. 1, 1956(10", S/Sided) Polskie Nagrania W-167 Poland 1956 Sell This Version
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C 30 A 62 Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus XVI-XX — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus XVI-XX Vega C 30 A 62 France 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 075 Œuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 2 - La Nativité (1) — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Œuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 2 - La Nativité (1) (Album) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 075 France 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 079 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 6 : Messe De La Pentecôte — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 6 : Messe De La Pentecôte (Album) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 079 France 1957 Sell This Version
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C 30 A 65 Les Concerts Du Domaine Musical (III Concert - Saison 1956) — Olivier Messiaen Gabrieli* / Strawinsky* / Henze* / Messiaen* / Domaine Musical* - Yvonne Loriod, Rudolf Albert Gabrieli* / Strawinsky* / Henze* / Messiaen* / Domaine Musical* - Yvonne Loriod, Rudolf Albert - Les Concerts Du Domaine Musical (III Concert - Saison 1956) (Album) Vega C 30 A 65 France 1957 Sell This Version
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C 30 A 60 Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus I-IX — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus I-IX (Album) Vega C 30 A 60 France 1957 Sell This Version
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77 Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps (Album) Le Club Français Du Disque 77 France 1957 Sell This Version
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C 30 A 61 Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus X-XV — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus X-XV Vega C 30 A 61 France 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 078 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 5 : Les Corps Glorieux (2) — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 5 : Les Corps Glorieux (2)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 078 France 1957 Sell This Version
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XWN 18469 Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus Nos. I-XII — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus Nos. I-XII(LP, Mono) Westminster XWN 18469 US 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 080 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 7 : Livre D'Orgue (1) — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 7 : Livre D'Orgue (1)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 080 France 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 077 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 4 : Les Corps Glorieux (1) — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 4 : Les Corps Glorieux (1)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 077 France 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 076 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 3 - La Nativité (2) — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 3 - La Nativité (2)(10", Album) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 076 France 1957 Sell This Version
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XWN 18470 Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus Nos. XIII-XX — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant-Jésus Nos. XIII-XX(LP, Mono) Westminster XWN 18470 US 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 081 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 8 : Livre D'Orgue (2) — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 8 : Livre D'Orgue (2)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 081 France 1957 Sell This Version
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260 C 074 Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 1 : L'Ascension — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 1 : L'Ascension(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 074 France 1957 Sell This Version
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C 30 A 139 Serenata I / Sonatine / Cantéyodjayâ / Zeitmasze — Olivier Messiaen Luciano Berio - Pierre Boulez - Olivier Messiaen - Karlheinz Stockhausen Luciano Berio - Pierre Boulez - Olivier Messiaen - Karlheinz Stockhausen - Serenata I / Sonatine / Cantéyodjayâ / Zeitmasze (Album) Vega C 30 A 139 France 1958 Sell This Version
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VAL 11, C 30 A 257 / 258 / 259 Catalogue D'Oiseaux — Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod - Catalogue D'Oiseaux (Album, Comp) Vega, Vega VAL 11, C 30 A 257 / 258 / 259 France 1959 Sell This Version
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MG 50231 Marcel Dupré At Saint-Sulpice Vol. 5 — Olivier Messiaen Dupré* And Messiaen* Dupré* And Messiaen* - Marcel Dupré At Saint-Sulpice Vol. 5 Mercury MG 50231 US 1959 Sell This Version
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A 00579 L Cinq Rechants / Le Cantique Des Cantiques — Olivier Messiaen Messiaen* / Daniel-Lesur* - Le Madrigal* Messiaen* / Daniel-Lesur* - Le Madrigal* - Cinq Rechants / Le Cantique Des Cantiques (Album) Philips A 00579 L Netherlands 1961 Sell This Version