Olivier Messiaen
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1908-12-10
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/c6e5c5f4-984e-432a-87b8-b6afa288bca1
Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen Olivier Messiaen

Biography

Messiaen was born in Avignon; his father taught English, his mother was a poet. During the First World War the family moved to Grenoble in the French Alps – a landscape to which Messiaen would constantly return throughout his life ...

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Clips (8)


Tracks

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Olivier Messiaen, Marja Bon (piano), Hans Dullaert (french horn), Ger de Zeeuw (xylorimba), Wim Vos (glockenspiel), & Den Haag Percussion Group, Asko Ensemble, Schoenberg Ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw (conductor)
Le désert (from Des canyons aux étoiles)
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Le désert (from Des canyons aux étoiles) Le désert (from Des canyons aux étoiles) Le désert (from Des canyons aux étoiles) Le désert (from Des canyons aux étoiles)

Le désert (from Des canyons aux étoiles)

Performer
Marja Bon (piano), Hans Dullaert (french horn), Ger de Zeeuw (xylorimba), Wim Vos (glockenspiel),
Den Haag Percussion Group, Asko Ensemble, Schoenberg Ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw (conductor)
Olivier Messiaen & Erik Bostrom
: La source de Vie (from Livre de Sainte Sacrement)
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: La source de Vie (from Livre de Sainte Sacrement) : La source de Vie (from Livre de Sainte Sacrement) : La source de Vie (from Livre de Sainte Sacrement) : La source de Vie (from Livre de Sainte Sacrement)
Olivier Messiaen & Olivier Latry
Dieux parmi nous (La nativité du Seigneur)
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Dieux parmi nous (La nativité du Seigneur) Dieux parmi nous (La nativité du Seigneur) Dieux parmi nous (La nativité du Seigneur) Dieux parmi nous (La nativité du Seigneur)
Elena Urioste, Simpson, Mark, Olivier Messiaen, Zhang Zuo & Leonard Elschenbroich
Quartet for the End of Time for clarinet, piano, violin and cello
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Quartet for the End of Time for clarinet, piano, violin and cello Quartet for the End of Time for clarinet, piano, violin and cello Quartet for the End of Time for clarinet, piano, violin and cello Quartet for the End of Time for clarinet, piano, violin and cello
Bernard Wisson, Olivier Messiaen & Thomas Bloch
Feuillet inédit No. 4
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Feuillet inédit No. 4 Feuillet inédit No. 4 Feuillet inédit No. 4 Feuillet inédit No. 4
Olivier Messiaen, Peter Oundjian & William Tritt
Theme and Variations for violin and piano
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Theme and Variations for violin and piano Theme and Variations for violin and piano Theme and Variations for violin and piano Theme and Variations for violin and piano
Olivier Messiaen & Cordelia Williams
20 Regards sur l'enfant Jesus for piano
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20 Regards sur l'enfant Jesus for piano 20 Regards sur l'enfant Jesus for piano 20 Regards sur l'enfant Jesus for piano 20 Regards sur l'enfant Jesus for piano
Olivier Messiaen & Yvonne Loriod (piano), Jeanne Loriod (onde Martenot), Maîtrise et orchestra de chamber de la R. T. F, Marcel Couraud (director)
Antienne de la Conversation Intérieure
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Antienne de la Conversation Intérieure Antienne de la Conversation Intérieure Antienne de la Conversation Intérieure Antienne de la Conversation Intérieure

Antienne de la Conversation Intérieure

Performer
Yvonne Loriod (piano), Jeanne Loriod (onde Martenot), Maîtrise et orchestra de chamber de la R. T. F, Marcel Couraud (director)
Myung-Whun Chung, Olivier Messiaen & Orchestre de l'Opéra Bastille
L'Ascension - Majeste du Christ demandant sa gloire e son Pere
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L'Ascension - Majeste du Christ demandant sa gloire e son Pere L'Ascension - Majeste du Christ demandant sa gloire e son Pere L'Ascension - Majeste du Christ demandant sa gloire e son Pere L'Ascension - Majeste du Christ demandant sa gloire e son Pere
Olivier Messiaen, Daniel Reuss & RIAS Chamber Choir
O sacrum convivium
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O sacrum convivium O sacrum convivium O sacrum convivium O sacrum convivium
Olivier Messiaen
Le Banquet Céleste (Église de la Sainte-Trinité)
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Le Banquet Céleste (Église de la Sainte-Trinité) Le Banquet Céleste (Église de la Sainte-Trinité) Le Banquet Céleste (Église de la Sainte-Trinité) Le Banquet Céleste (Église de la Sainte-Trinité)
Olivier Messiaen, Will Gregory & Ross Hughes
Oraison, from Fete des belles eaux (orginally for six ondes martenots)
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Oraison, from Fete des belles eaux (orginally for six ondes martenots) Oraison, from Fete des belles eaux (orginally for six ondes martenots) Oraison, from Fete des belles eaux (orginally for six ondes martenots) Oraison, from Fete des belles eaux (orginally for six ondes martenots)
Olivier Messiaen & Olivier Latry (organ)
Monodie
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Monodie Monodie Monodie Monodie
Olivier Messiaen & Olivier Latry (organ)
Prelude
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Prelude Prelude Prelude Prelude
Olivier Messiaen, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Takashi Harada, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra & Riccardo Chailly
Turangalila-Symphonie - VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour
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Turangalila-Symphonie - VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour Turangalila-Symphonie - VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour Turangalila-Symphonie - VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour Turangalila-Symphonie - VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour
Olivier Messiaen & Fibonacci Sequence
Quartet for the End of Time: Praise to the immortality of Jesus
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Quartet for the End of Time: Praise to the immortality of Jesus Quartet for the End of Time: Praise to the immortality of Jesus Quartet for the End of Time: Praise to the immortality of Jesus Quartet for the End of Time: Praise to the immortality of Jesus
Olivier Messiaen, DR Vokalensemblet, Marcus Creed & Danish National Concert Choir
O sacrum convivium
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O sacrum convivium O sacrum convivium O sacrum convivium O sacrum convivium
Olivier Messiaen, DR Vokalensemblet, DR UnderholdningsOrkestret, Marcus Creed & Danish National Concert Chorus
Sequence du Verbe, cantique divin (Trois petites liturgies de la Presence divine)
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Sequence du Verbe, cantique divin (Trois petites liturgies de la Presence divine) Sequence du Verbe, cantique divin (Trois petites liturgies de la Presence divine) Sequence du Verbe, cantique divin (Trois petites liturgies de la Presence divine) Sequence du Verbe, cantique divin (Trois petites liturgies de la Presence divine)
Olivier Messiaen, Myung-Whun Chung & Bastille Opera Orchestra
L’Oiseau Lyre
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L’Oiseau Lyre L’Oiseau Lyre L’Oiseau Lyre L’Oiseau Lyre
Olivier Messiaen
Canteyodjaya
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Canteyodjaya Canteyodjaya Canteyodjaya Canteyodjaya
Michel Lethiec, Olivier Messiaen, Edgar Moreau, Kaja Danczowska & Yeol Eum Son
Quatuor pour la fin du temps for clarinet, piano, violin and cello
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps for clarinet, piano, violin and cello Quatuor pour la fin du temps for clarinet, piano, violin and cello Quatuor pour la fin du temps for clarinet, piano, violin and cello Quatuor pour la fin du temps for clarinet, piano, violin and cello
Olivier Messiaen
Joie et Clarté (from Les Corps Glorieux)
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Joie et Clarté (from Les Corps Glorieux) Joie et Clarté (from Les Corps Glorieux) Joie et Clarté (from Les Corps Glorieux) Joie et Clarté (from Les Corps Glorieux)
Olivier Messiaen & Peter Hill
La fauvette passerinette for piano
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La fauvette passerinette for piano La fauvette passerinette for piano La fauvette passerinette for piano La fauvette passerinette for piano
Olivier Messiaen, Donal Doherty & Codetta
O sacrum convivium! for chorus SATB (or soprano & organ)
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O sacrum convivium! for chorus SATB (or soprano & organ) O sacrum convivium! for chorus SATB (or soprano & organ) O sacrum convivium! for chorus SATB (or soprano & organ) O sacrum convivium! for chorus SATB (or soprano & organ)
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Dominique Kim, Olivier Messiaen, Kent Nagano & Berliner Philharmoniker
Turangalila Symphony- Final movement
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Turangalila Symphony- Final movement Turangalila Symphony- Final movement Turangalila Symphony- Final movement Turangalila Symphony- Final movement
Olivier Messiaen, The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge & Andrew Nethsingha
O Sacrum Convivium
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O Sacrum Convivium O Sacrum Convivium O Sacrum Convivium O Sacrum Convivium
Olli Mustonen, Steven Isserlis & Olivier Messiaen
Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Louange a l'Eternite ...
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Louange a l'Eternite ... Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Louange a l'Eternite ... Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Louange a l'Eternite ... Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Louange a l'Eternite ...
Olivier Messiaen, Tzimon Barto, Christoph Eschenbach & London Philharmonic Orchestra
Des Canyons Aux Etoiles For Piano, Horn And Orchestra: Part 3; Les Ressuscites et le chant de l'etoile Aldebaran
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Des Canyons Aux Etoiles For Piano, Horn And Orchestra: Part 3; Les Ressuscites et le chant de l'etoile Aldebaran Des Canyons Aux Etoiles For Piano, Horn And Orchestra: Part 3; Les Ressuscites et le chant de l'etoile Aldebaran Des Canyons Aux Etoiles For Piano, Horn And Orchestra: Part 3; Les Ressuscites et le chant de l'etoile Aldebaran Des Canyons Aux Etoiles For Piano, Horn And Orchestra: Part 3; Les Ressuscites et le chant de l'etoile Aldebaran
Yvonne Loriod & Olivier Messiaen
Le Rousserolle Effarvatte (Catalogue d'Oiseux)
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Le Rousserolle Effarvatte (Catalogue d'Oiseux) Le Rousserolle Effarvatte (Catalogue d'Oiseux) Le Rousserolle Effarvatte (Catalogue d'Oiseux) Le Rousserolle Effarvatte (Catalogue d'Oiseux)
Olivier Messiaen & Pierre-Laurent Aimard
8 Preludes for piano
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8 Preludes for piano 8 Preludes for piano 8 Preludes for piano 8 Preludes for piano
Peter Hill & Olivier Messiaen
Morceau de lecture à vue
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Morceau de lecture à vue Morceau de lecture à vue Morceau de lecture à vue Morceau de lecture à vue
Peter Hill & Olivier Messiaen
La Fauvette Passerinette
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La Fauvette Passerinette La Fauvette Passerinette La Fauvette Passerinette La Fauvette Passerinette
Olivier Messiaen, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Sakari Oramo
Un Sourire
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Un Sourire Un Sourire Un Sourire Un Sourire
Olivier Messiaen & Peter Hill
8 Preludes for piano: no.1; La Colombe
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8 Preludes for piano: no.1; La Colombe 8 Preludes for piano: no.1; La Colombe 8 Preludes for piano: no.1; La Colombe 8 Preludes for piano: no.1; La Colombe
Peter Hill & Olivier Messiaen
Piece pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas for piano
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Piece pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas for piano Piece pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas for piano Piece pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas for piano Piece pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas for piano
Olivier Messiaen & Members of Royal Northern Sinfonia
Fouillis d’arc-en-ciel (Quartet for the End of Time)
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Fouillis d’arc-en-ciel (Quartet for the End of Time) Fouillis d’arc-en-ciel (Quartet for the End of Time) Fouillis d’arc-en-ciel (Quartet for the End of Time) Fouillis d’arc-en-ciel (Quartet for the End of Time)
Olivier Messiaen, Kent Nagano & Berlin Philharmonic
The Turangalila Symphony - final
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The Turangalila Symphony - final The Turangalila Symphony - final The Turangalila Symphony - final The Turangalila Symphony - final
Olivier Messiaen, Olli Mustonen, Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis & Michael Collins
Quatuor pour la fin du temps: VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus
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Quatuor pour la fin du temps: VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus Quatuor pour la fin du temps: VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus Quatuor pour la fin du temps: VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus Quatuor pour la fin du temps: VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus
Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod, Maurice Le Roux, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française & Jeanne Loriod
Turangalila Symphony (5th mvt "Joie du sang des étoiles")
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Turangalila Symphony (5th mvt "Joie du sang des étoiles") Turangalila Symphony (5th mvt "Joie du sang des étoiles") Turangalila Symphony (5th mvt "Joie du sang des étoiles") Turangalila Symphony (5th mvt "Joie du sang des étoiles")
Olivier Messiaen, Myung-Whun Chung & Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France
L'Ascension: Quatre Meditations symphoniques pour orchestre
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L'Ascension: Quatre Meditations symphoniques pour orchestre L'Ascension: Quatre Meditations symphoniques pour orchestre L'Ascension: Quatre Meditations symphoniques pour orchestre L'Ascension: Quatre Meditations symphoniques pour orchestre
Olivier Messiaen, Leonard Elschenbroich & Zhang Zuo
Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus (Quatuor pour la fin du temps)
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Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus (Quatuor pour la fin du temps) Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus (Quatuor pour la fin du temps) Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus (Quatuor pour la fin du temps) Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus (Quatuor pour la fin du temps)
Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod, Václav Neumann & Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Reveil des oiseaux for piano and orchestra
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Reveil des oiseaux for piano and orchestra Reveil des oiseaux for piano and orchestra Reveil des oiseaux for piano and orchestra Reveil des oiseaux for piano and orchestra
Olivier Messiaen & Håkon Austbø
Petites Esquisses D'Oiseaux - 2. Le Merle-Noir
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Petites Esquisses D'Oiseaux - 2. Le Merle-Noir Petites Esquisses D'Oiseaux - 2. Le Merle-Noir Petites Esquisses D'Oiseaux - 2. Le Merle-Noir Petites Esquisses D'Oiseaux - 2. Le Merle-Noir
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Biography

Messiaen was born in Avignon; his father taught English, his mother was a poet. During the First World War the family moved to Grenoble in the French Alps – a landscape to which Messiaen would constantly return throughout his life in order to compose. The other constant in his life was a deep Catholic faith, which he found early and which never left him.

In 1919 Messiaen entered the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Marcel Dupré (organ and improvisation) and Paul Dukas (composition). There he discovered the key elements of his composing technique: Indian rhythmic cycles, and ‘modes of limited transposition’ (exotic scales constructed differently from the traditional Western major and minor ones). Le banquet céleste (1928) for organ, a set of piano Préludes (1928–9) and the orchestral Les offrandes oubliées (1930) already show the trademark features of Messiaen’s mature style: slow meditation in richly refracted chord-sequences (as an image of eternity); bounding dances of despair or joy; and irregular, objectively unfolding rhythmic sequences (another image of timelessness in musical time).

In 1931 Messiaen was appointed organist at the church of La Trinité in Paris, a post he held until his death. Major statements from this period were La Nativité du Seigneur (1935) and Les corps glorieux (1939) for organ, and the song-cycles Poèmes pour Mi (1936) and Chants de terre et de ciel (1938). When the Second World War broke out, Messiaen was called up as a medical orderly, captured, and sent to a prison camp in Germany. There he met up with a violinist, a cellist and a clarinettist, for whom he wrote the Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1940–41). The premiere took place, in freezing conditions and with the composer playing a decrepit upright piano, before an audience of fellow-prisoners in Stalag VIIIA.

Repatriated to France, Messiaen taught at the Paris Conservatoire, where his pupils included Yvonne Loriod, his future second wife. Her dazzling pianism helped to inspire the cascade of works that followed – among them Visions de l’Amen (1943) for two pianos, the solo piano cycle Vingt regards sur l’Enfant- Jésus (1944) and the Turangalîla-Symphonie (1946–8) for large orchestra, piano and ondes martenot. Stimulating contact with the European avant-garde engendered more piano and organ music (notably Livre d’orgue, 1951) and the orchestral Chronochromie (1959–60). And Messiaen’s love of birdsong – for him, a symbol of the resurrected soul in flight – flowered in the piano cycle Catalogue d’oiseaux (1956–8).

Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum (1964) for wind and percussion introduced a monumental, apocalyptic element that pointed towards Messiaen’s later works. These included huge, multi-faceted proclamations of his faith that drew together every aspect of his style: the choral and orchestral La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (1965–9); Des canyons aux étoiles … (1971–4) for piano, horn, xylorimba, glockenspiel and chamber orchestra; an immense opera-as-fresco, Saint Francis of Assisi (1975–83); and the orchestral cycle Éclairs sur l’Au-delà … (1988–92).

Profile © Malcolm Hayes

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