Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex (he was interested in rhythms from ancient Greek and from Hindu sources); harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations.

Many of his compositions depict what he termed "the marvellous aspects of the faith", and drew on his deeply held Roman Catholicism.

He travelled widely and wrote works inspired by diverse influences such as Japanese music, the landscape of Bryce Canyon in Utah and the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He said he perceived colours when he heard certain musical chords, particularly those built from his modes (a phenomenon known as synaesthesia); combinations of these colours, he said, were important in his compositional process.

Olivier Messiaen is featured on the following titles

Catalogue d'oiseaux

Composer

Virtuoso pianist Michael Kieran Harvey's dazzling pianistic pyrotechnics are displayed to the full in this amazing live performance recorded in Hobart in April 2005. Each of the 13 pieces in the Catalogue d'oiseaux (Catalogue of birds) explores the calls and environment of a single bird species.


Compositions by Olivier Messiaen also appear on

The Messiaen Nexus

Composer

This unique disc presents an extraordinary insight into the intellectual and creative talent that arose from a particularly fertile period in the history of the Paris Conservatoire. Centred around legendary composer Oliver Messiaen, this eclectic mix of works for violin and piano highlights the influence of Messiaen on his students György Kurtág, George Benjamin and Pierre Boulez and also considers the influence on Messiaen by his teacher, Paul Dukas.

North of the Yarra - Organs of Melbourne

Composer

Gordon Atkinson plays seven of Melbourne's finest organs, including the giant organ in the Melbourne Town Hall, the organs of St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Scots' Church, St. Paul's Cathedral and St. Mary's Star of the Sea church, West Melbourne.

Preludes and Sonata of Messiaen and Shostakovich

Composer

Michael Kieran Harvey, piano. Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) were two of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. Both were remarkable in that they discovered their own unique and distinctive creative voice when they were in their teens.

The Star of the Sea

Composer

A superb programme of Italian and French organ favourites designed to exploit all the resources of this justly famous Grandfather Fincham organ in St. Mary's Star-of-the-Sea, West Melbourne.

Mistika

Composer

Composer and keyboardist Linda Ceff presents an album of past and present inspirations juxtaposed against her own fascinating contemporary compositions.