Friday, November 04, 2005

Sacred Gift

My review last month of the autumn festival at the Norwich, King of Hearts venue mentioned pianist Peter Hill's new co-authored book on Olivier Messiaen (right). Today's Guardian has an interesting article from Peter Hill which gives some fascinating background to the book, and some interesting tasters from Messiaen's previously unpublished notebooks, including this graphic analysis of the hoot of a tawny owl:

'The overall effect is astoundingly bright and wild. It suggests the voice of a woman or child calling for help, or super-amplified double-bass harmonics. The wail and final glissando are like the siren of a boat drawing away into darkness .....'

Appropriately Soleil des eaux composed by Messiaen's pupil Pierre Boulez plays live on BBC Radio 3 as I write, with the composer conducting his own 80th birthday concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Messiaen by Peter Hill and Nigel Simeone is published by Yale University Press
ISBN 0-300-10907-5
Picture credit -
Messiaen in five minutes
Report broken links, missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

If you enjoyed this post take an overgrown path to Ligeti's Etudes fit the Bill

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting us know about the book. I've been on the look-out for it for a while, along with other Peter Hill and Messiaen fans, I'm sure. Love your blog, btw.

Xenia

Jack Reilly said...

I have the first of 4 cds of the complete piano works of Messiaen by pianist, Paul Kim. It is exquisite playing, full of charm, wit and tonal beauty. This cd contains the early works for piano and reveals Messiaen's love for Debussey. I dedect some outright quotes from the Etudes and Preludes; barely a half a measure or two!!

BTW, In my previous comment, I mistakenly gave Jon Fowles credit for listening to a Bach Fugue every day!! But it's you, Pliable, who listens to a Fugue a day!!!. Now I know why "An Overgrown Path" is never weary and dull; NEVER!!! And that your I.Q. probably hovers around 180!!!

Cheers,

Jack.