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French music

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Author Topic: French music  (Read 11053 times)
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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2013, 01:35:55 am »

Thank you, Colin. I adore Messiaen's music on the whole, though I do find some of his works from the 1950s somewhat tough going. I share your appreciation for the early works, and I think his last works are really quite easy to digest. As for the organ music -- as an organist myself, I consider them magnificent. Right now I'm learning "Le banquet celeste" for a performance sometime this spring. And yes, "Dieu parmi nous" from "Nativite" is indeed one of the most impressive things anyone can ever hope to hear from an organ. In a cathedral it will transport you! Again, though, some of the organ music from the 1960s and 1970s is not immediately comprehensible to the ear.

Personally, in addition to the works mentioned, probably my favorite piece of Messiaen's is "Visions de l'Amen," for 2 pianos. Also, I love his "Des canyons aux etoiles." I don't list to it so much for structure or comprehension, rather for the color, imagination and sheer beauty of sounds he evokes in it. Impressionistic in a way.

Finally, I should mention that one of the most memorable musical moments in my life was meeting Messiaen backstage at Tanglewood, along with his wife, after they performed together in a concert of his works. A lovely, gracious couple.
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