Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen

Real Name:
Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen
Profile:
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer (b. Dec. 10, 1908, Avignon, France; d. April 27, 1992, Clichy, near Paris).

He studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1919-30) with Paul Dukas, Emmanuel and Dupré, and taught there (1941-78) while also serving as organist of La Trinité in Paris.
Right from his first published work, the eight Preludes for piano (1929), he was using his own modal system, with its strong flavouring of tritones, diminished 7ths and augmented triads.
During the 1930s 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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Olivier Messiaen Discography

Albums

ML 4214 Ralph Vaughan Williams, Olivier Messiaen, Leopold Stokowski Ralph Vaughan Williams, Olivier Messiaen, Leopold Stokowski - Leopold Stokowski Conducts Messiaen and Vaughan Williams(LP, Mono) Columbia Masterworks ML 4214 US 1949 Sell This Version
Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus I-IX (Album) Vega France 1956 Sell This Version
C 30 A 62 Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus XVI-XX(LP, Mono) Vega C 30 A 62 France 1956 Sell This Version
2C153-12593/4 Olivier Messiaen La Nativite du Seigneur(2xLP, Album) EMI 2C153-12593/4 France 1956 Sell This Version
C 30 A 61 Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus X-XV(LP, Mono) Vega C 30 A 61 France 1956 Sell This Version
260 C 078 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 5 : Les Corps Glorieux (2)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 078 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 080 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 7 : Livre D'Orgue (1)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 080 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 077 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 4 : Les Corps Glorieux (1)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 077 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 076 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 3 - La Nativité (2)(10", Album) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 076 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 079 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 6 : Messe De La Pentecôte(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 079 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 075 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 2 - La Nativité (1)(10", Album) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 075 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 081 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 8 : Livre D'Orgue (2)(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 081 France 1957 Sell This Version
260 C 074 Olivier Messiaen Oeuvres Complètes Pour Orgue 1 : L'Ascension(10", Album, Mono) Ducretet Thomson 260 C 074 France 1957 Sell This Version
Luciano Berio - Pierre Boulez - Olivier Messiaen - Karlheinz Stockhausen Luciano Berio - Pierre Boulez - Olivier Messiaen - Karlheinz Stockhausen - Serenata I / Sonatine / Cantéyodjayâ / Zeitmasze (Album) Vega France 1958 Sell This Version
XWN 18469 Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus Nos. I-XII(LP, Mono) Westminster XWN 18469 US 1958 Sell This Version
XWN 18470 Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen - Yvonne Loriod - Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jésus Nos. XIII-XX(LP, Mono) Westminster XWN 18470 US 1958 Sell This Version
VAL 11, C 30 A 357 / 358 / 359 Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod - Catalogue D'Oiseaux(3xLP + Box) Vega, Vega VAL 11, C 30 A 357 / 358 / 359 France 1959 Sell This Version
Olivier Messiaen / Darius Milhaud / Jacques Charpentier Olivier Messiaen / Darius Milhaud / Jacques Charpentier - Fête Des Belles Eaux / Suite / Lalita (Album) Erato France 1962 Sell This Version
Olivier Messiaen Turangalila Symphonie Vega, Vega, Vega France 1962 Sell This Version
Messiaen* Visions De L'Amen (Album) Vega France 1962 Sell This Version
Olivier Messiaen Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps (Album) Erato France 1963 Sell This Version
Cesar Franck*, Olivier Messiaen Played By Simon Preston Cesar Franck*, Olivier Messiaen Played By Simon Preston - Choral No. 2 - Pièce Héroïque / L'Ascension Argo (2) UK 1963 Sell This Version
CC 11018 SD Virgil Fox, Johann Sebastian Bach, Olivier Messiaen, Cesar Franck* Virgil Fox, Johann Sebastian Bach, Olivier Messiaen, Cesar Franck* - Virgil Fox Plays The Philharmonic Hall Organ At Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts(LP, Gat) Command CC 11018 SD US 1963 Sell This Version
Leonard Bernstein, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Olivier Messiaen, Albert Roussel Leonard Bernstein, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Olivier Messiaen, Albert Roussel - Two Modern French Masterpieces Columbia Masterworks US 1964 Sell This Version
Messiaen*, Schoenberg* - Yvonne Loriod, Pierre Boulez Messiaen*, Schoenberg* - Yvonne Loriod, Pierre Boulez - Sept Haïkaï / Kammersymphonie / 3 Orchesterstücke (Album) Disques Adès France 1964 Sell This Version