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Messiaen s Explorations of Love and Death: Musico-poetic Signification in the Tristan Trilogy and Three Related Song Cycles (Dimension and Diversity: Studies in 20th-Century Music)
Olivier Messiaen's lifelong quest centered on the colors and rhythms of a music that would serve as a vehicle for his thoughts about time, his love of God, and his enthusiasm for birdsong. An additional topic about which he felt deeply is that of passionate, fated human love and its relationship to death on the one hand, the love of God on the other....
Olivier Messiaen's lifelong quest centered on the colors and rhythms of a music that would serve as a vehicle for his thoughts about time, his love of God, and his enthusiasm for birdsong. An additional topic about which he felt deeply is that of passionate, fated human love and its relationship to death on the one hand, the love of God on the other. During the years 1936-1948, he composed five cycles of vocal music to his own texts as well as the Turangalîla Symphony, the monumental centerpiece of his Tristan Trilogy. The focus of this study is the in-depth analysis and interpretation of these six works on love, with particular regard for their unusual wealth of poetic, sonic, and visual colors and imagery. The wonder of rainbows, the magic of exotic sounds, the fantastic attractiveness of surrealist representations, and the majestic inexorability of fate in myths of various times and cultures define Messiaen s lyrics as much as his idiosyncratic, highly symbolic musical language, which never fails to build bridges between this and another world.
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