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Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen

Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen (1908-92)


A French composer with a vivid, colourful compositional style that drew on a huge number of influences - Western serialism, traditional Japanese and Indonesian music, birdsong and his own profound Roman Catholic faith, just for starters. His music often includes additive rhythms, giving it a free, un-metered feeling, and non-diatonic harmonic modes. Much of his output is deeply spiritual - though his experience as a professional organist led him to express his faith mostly through this instrument rather than through choral music.

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Further Reading: Messiaen

 Interview, Pierre-Laurent Aimard on Messiaen's birds

The French pianist talks to Katherine about his relationship with Catalogue d'oiseaux, which he recently recorded for Pentatone.

 Favourites, Olivier Messiaen

David casts his ear over recordings of Messiaen, and picks out some particular gems.

Popular Works: Messiaen

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Recent Best Sellers: Messiaen

A Simple Song
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Debussy: Études
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Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus
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