Bird songs of Messiaen
March 8, 2011 11:22 AM   Subscribe

This is excellent, thanks!
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:35 AM on March 8, 2011

Can't wait to delve into this later. The Quartet, IMHO, is one of the most wonderful, miraculous musical works to emerge from the 20th century.
posted by vverse23 at 11:59 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

The bird songs of CĂ©leste Boursier-Mougenot
posted by Decani at 12:02 PM on March 8, 2011

The Quartet for the End of Times is one of my favourite pieces of music of all time and the linked performance of the Abyss of Birds is well worth a listen. Who knew classical clarinet could be so lovely?

Between his synesthesia, his Catholic mysticism, and this thing for birds Messiaen was a fascinating composer.
posted by Nelson at 4:03 PM on March 8, 2011

One of the only plays The Nation ever published, by Tony Kushner, centered around Laura Bush's love for her favorite author, Dostoevsky(!!), and features the birdiness of Messiaen's music...
posted by kozad at 4:25 PM on March 8, 2011

Messiaen! Inspired by Messiaen!
posted by mendel at 5:30 PM on March 8, 2011

He taught several of the most pitiless musical revolutionaries that that unfortunate movement produced

I couldn't get past this. Sorry, the blogger's writing style and regressive musical politics rub me like a cheese grater.

That said, I'm really looking forward to exploring the second link, and it's great to see a post about Messiaen's bird songs on the blue.
posted by treepour at 5:35 PM on March 8, 2011

I'm not sure it's "regressive" to call Pierre Boulez (and surely he's the main person being referenced in that comment) pitiliess. Seems pretty accurate to me, at least in those early years after WWII. I love a lot of 20th-century avant-garde music but the rigid, aggressively doctrinaire way in which some of its composers approached music and other musicians could certainly be called "unfortunate" with justification.

*That* said, I wouldn't have made it through the last leg of a 6-hour drive this weekend without the spiky beauty of Book 7 of the Catalogue D'Oiseaux to keep me awake. Thanks for this,; it's a very neat little music post.
posted by mediareport at 6:44 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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