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Charm and Simplicity: Messiaen's final works

  • Christopher Dingle

Extract

Oliver Messiaen is a classically–minded composer with a strong affinity to Mozart, Rameau and Scarlatti. His often intimate music is full of irrepressible charm and frequently betrays a whimsical sense of humour. Simplicity of expression is Messiaen's overwhelming trait and while he has composed on a large scale, he has a penchant for miniatures …

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1 In conversation with Hill, Peter – ed. Hill, Peter: The Messiaen Companion, (London: Faber, 1995), p. 301 .

2 ibid..

3 ‘Illuminations of the Beyond’ – Éclairs literally means lightning flashes.

4 ‘A smile’.

5 He also composed a three minute miniature called Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes for the ninetieth birthday of Alfred Schlee (head of Universal Edition).

6 ‘Abide in Love…’.

7 ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes…’.

8 In the programme booklet for the world première.

9 See Revelation, 21:2.

Charm and Simplicity: Messiaen's final works

  • Christopher Dingle

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