Biography of Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

 Olivier Messiaen in the 1930s
©Malcolm Ball www.oliviermessiaen.org
Portrait of Olivier Messiaen
©Malcolm Ball - www.oliviermessiaen.org
Messiaen in 1986
©Malcolm Ball - www.oliviermessiaen.org
10.12.1908
Born in Avignon
1914
First piano lessons
1919
Student of conservatory in Paris (with Dukas, Widor, Emmanuel and Dupre)
1933
Organist at La Sainte Trinite for more than 40 years
1936
Member of the groups of composers Jeune France together with Jolivet. Teacher at the Ecole Normale de Musiqze and at the Schola Cantorum.
1939
Enlistment for military service.
1940
Until 1941 in German war captivity in Görlitz, where is composing, too.
1941
Tutor for theory of harmony at Paris conservatory. Among his students were Boulez, Stockhausen and Xenakis
1951
composition of Le Merle Noir for flute and piano for the concours at the conservatory in a time of private crisis (heavy illness of his wife and a dullness in composing).
1966
Lectorship for composition at Paris conservatory
1967
Appointment as member of the Institut de France.
27.04.1992
Messiaen dies in Paris
1994
Posthumous publication of his writings Traité de rythme, de couleur, et d´ornithologie
Among his students were Boulez and Stockhausen

Sheet music for flute:

Le Merle Noir
CD-Aufnahmen bei jpc.deMP3-Download bei amazon.de
(flute, piano)
Rating: very difficult
  1. Modere
Just difficult in any sense
Composed in 1951 for the competition of the conservatory. In English the title means "The blackbird". It is one of the works made on birdcall motives.


CDs with/from Olivier Messiaen

Patrick Gallois, Lydia Wong
French Flute Music (2005)
Poulenc - Messiaen - Dutilleux - Jolivet
jpc
    Francis Poulenc: Sonata for Flute and Piano:
  1. Allegro malinconico (04:30:00)
  2. Cantilena (03:56:00)
  3. Presto giocoso (03:26:00)
  4. Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle Noir (05:42:00)
  5. Pierre Sancan: Sonatine (09:08:00)
  6. André Jolivet: Chant de Linos (10:25:00)
  7. Henri Dutilleux: Sonatine (09:30:00)
  8. Eugène Bozza: Sonatine (12:58:00)
Peter-Lukas Graf, Michio Kobayashi
  1. Cecil Chaminade: Concertino (08:02:00)
  2. Georges Hüe: Fantaisie (07:50:00)
  3. Georges Enescu: Cantabile et Presto (05:48:00)
  4. Philippe Gaubert: Nocturne et Allegro scherzando (05:58:00)
  5. Albert Roussel: Joueurs de Flûte:
  6. Pan (02:59:00)
  7. Tityre (01:08:00)
  8. Krishna (03:36:00)
  9. Mr. de la Péjaudie (01:47:00)
  10. Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle noir (05:26:00)
  11. Claude Debussy: Syrinx (03:12:00)
  12. Arthur Honegger: Danse de la chèvre (03:04:00)
  13. Jacques Ibert: Pièce (05:54:00)
Philippe Bernold, Alexandre Tharaud
La Flûte Soliste au XXe Siècle (2000)
Boulez, Messiaen, Jolivet, Dutilleux & Varèse
jpc
  1. Pierre Boulez: Sonatine pour flûte et piano (12:19:00)
  2. Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle noir (05:51:00)
  3. André Jolivet: Cinq Incantations:
  4. pour accueillir le négociateurs - et que l´entrevue soit pacifique (02:19:00)
  5. pour que l´enfant qui va naître soit un fils (03:42:00)
  6. pour que la moisson soit richte qui naîtra des sillons que le laboureur trace (03:25:00)
  7. pour une communon sereine de l´être avec le monde (04:28:00)
  8. aux funérailles du chef - pour obtenir la protection de son âme (05:13:00)
  9. Henri Dutilleux: Sonatine (08:56:00)
  10. Edgar Varèse: Density 21.5 (04:00:00)
Bei vielen Aufnahmen von Flöte solo stört mich der zu kirchenartige Raumhall. Hier ist das glücklicherweise nicht. Die Flatterzunge von Bernold ist absolut frappierend (wo nimmt er die Luft her?). Die Incantations von Jolivet leben von klarer Zweistimmigkeit und den klanglichen Schattierungen zwischen satter tiefer Lage, Flatterzunge und anderen Effekten. Ziemlich eindrucksvoll.
Péter Csaba, Musica Vitae, Ulf Söderberg, Wieslawa Szymczynska, Mats Widlund, Manuela Wiesler
jpc
  1. Jean Rivier: Oiseaux tendres (03:53:00)
  2. Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for Flute, Strigs and Continuo in D major, op. 10, No. 3 "Il Gardelino":
  3. Allegro (03:47:00)
  4. Cantabile (02:36:00)
  5. Allegro (02:45:00)
  6. Kaija Saariaho: Laconisme de l'aile (10:14:00)
  7. Wilhelm Popp: Nightingale Serenade, op. 447 (03:27:00)
  8. Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle Noir (06:09:00)
  9. Adina Izarra: Concerto for flute and string, "Pitangus Sulphuratus" (17:17:00)
Eric Le Sage, Emmanuel Pahud
Paris (1997)
jpc
    Francis Poulenc: Sonate:
  1. I. Allegro malinconico (04:38:00)
  2. II. Cantilena (04:16:00)
  3. III. Presto giocoso (03:38:00)
  4. Henri Dutilleux: Sonatine:
  5. Allegro (03:58:00)
  6. Andante (01:18:00)
  7. Anime (03:56:00)
  8. Moderato (04:03:00)
  9. Andante espressivo (03:19:00)
  10. Anime (02:02:00)
  11. Anime (02:41:00)
  12. Tendre (02:33:00)
  13. Darius Milhaud: Sonatine:
  14. Tendre (03:43:00)
  15. Souple (02:28:00)
  16. Clair (02:25:00)
  17. Jacques Ibert: Aria (03:44:00)
  18. Olivier Messiaen: Le merle noir (05:57:00)
  19. André Jolivet: Chant de Linos (11:19:00)

Literature von/über Olivier Messiaen

Last edit 02.05.2013