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Messiaen’s relationship with the press and, to some extent, with the wider musical culture within which he lived and worked, can be divided into the period before, and after, ‘Le Cas Messiaen’ in 1945#–6, in which critical responses to his Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine and Vingt Regards sur L’enfant-Jésus sharply divided critical and popular opinion. In this chapter, I explore Messiaen’s early reception in the French press of the 1930s an‘ early ’40s, up to and including ‘Le Cas’, paying particular attention to two particular concerns: the way the critics of the time chose to understand his music as a feature in the landscape of the French music of the time, and the way his public persona, including his own journalism, intersected with that understanding.