Focusing on Messiaen’s relation to history - both his own and the history he engendered - the Messiaen Perspectives volumes convey the growing understanding of his deep and varied interconnections with his cultural milieux. Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences examines the genesis, sources and cultural pressures that shaped Messiaen’s music. Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception analyses Messiaen’s compositional approach and the repercussions of his music. While each book offers a coherent collection in itself, together these complementary volumes elucidate how powerfully Messiaen was embedded in his time and place, and how his music resonates ever more today. Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences presents many new primary sources, including discussion of Messiaen’s birdsong cahiers, sketch and archival materials for his Prix de Rome entries and war-time Portique, along with performance practice insights and theological inspiration in works as diverse as Visions de l’Amen, Harawi, Timbres-durées and the organ Méditations. The volume places the composer within a broader historical and cultural framework than has previously been attempted, ranging from specific influences to more general contexts. As a centrepiece, the book includes an examination of the impact of one of the greatest influences upon Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod.
Christopher Dingle is Reader in Music at Birmingham Conservatoire, UK. He is the author of Messiaen’s Final Works (2013), the acclaimed biography, The Life of Messiaen (2007), and co-editor of Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art & Literature (2007). He is also editor of The Cambridge History of Music Criticism (forthcoming). Robert Fallon is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He writes on contemporary classical music and relationships between music and nature, with a special focus on the work and thought of Olivier Messiaen.
'Both Dingle (Birmingham Conservatoire, UK) and Fallon (Carnegie Mellon Univ.) are lifelong devotees of Messiaen, having researched him extensively and published on his life and work. This is a comprehensive, up-to-date, and invaluable source of information for anyone interested in the composer. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty/professionals.' Choice 'These twenty-nine essays, over two volumes, make a valuable contribution to our understanding of Messiaen the composer. From mechanized composition to music inspired by mountains and bird songs, from questions of influence in Canada, Italy, and Spain to aesthetic convergence with the likes of Ohana, Xenakis, and the spectralists, the authors explore new terrain that compels us to rethink Messiaen’s musical legacy.’ Jann Pasler, University of California, USA ’An erudite and fascinating collection of essays which offer bold new perspectives on one of the towering, and enigmatic, figures of European musical modernism.’ Mark Carroll, University of Adelaide, Australia ’This pair of volumes ... raises the level of insightful scholarship to new heights. The editors and publishers must be congratulated on the production of these handsome volumes, replete with extensive musical illustrations of high quality, surely a compliment to the perfectionist philosophy of their extraordinary subject’. The Musical Times ’Dingle and Fallon have done a masterful job in compiling and editing twenty-nine chapters that present interesting new views on Messiaen’s music and its sociocultural contexts.’ Music Theory Spectr