The Life of Messiaen

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 22, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 261 pages
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Olivier Messiaen stands as one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century and among the foremost religious artists of any era. When he died in 1992, the prevailing image was of a deeply religious man whose only sources of inspiration were God and Nature, and of a composer whose music progressed along an entirely individual path, impervious to contemporaneous events and the whims both of his fellow artists and the critics. The Life of Messiaen paints a more nuanced picture of the man and the musician, peering behind Messiaen's public persona to examine the private difficulties and creative struggles that were the true backdrop to many of his greatest achievements. Based upon the latest research, including previously overlooked sources, this book provides an excellent introduction to Messiaen's life and work, presenting a fascinating new perspective of a man whose story is more remarkable than the myths surrounding it.
  

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Contents

2 Le jeune fran ais 19319
31
5 The Trinit
41
3 Occupying time 193945
67
4 Songs of love and death 19458
94
11 Roland Penrose Seeing is believing LIˆle invisible
105
5 For now we see through a glass darkly 194952
114
6 A natural retreat 19519
137
7 The statue remains on its pedestal 19609
156
8 A Passion for opera 197083
188
9 Tous les oiseaux des toiles1 198492
220

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Page 2 - Echo and Source, Selected Correspondence 1915-1963 (London: Victor Gollancz, 1991).

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About the author (2007)

Christopher Dingle is Assistant Course Director (BMus) at Birmingham Conservatoire. In addition to the acclaimed biography The Life of Messiaen (CUP), he is author of Messiaen's Final Works (Ashgate, forthcoming), and co-editor with Nigel Simeone of Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art & Literature (Ashgate, 2007). He is the organiser of the Messiaen 2008 International Centenary Conference at Birmingham Conservatoire, having conceived and organised the watershed Messiaen 2002 Conference at Sheffield University. His research interests also include the history and function of Music Criticism and Twentieth Century performance practice. He is on the review panel for BBC Music Magazine and contributes regularly to Tempo.

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