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Visions de l'Amen by Olivier Messiaen


Teniswood-Harvey, A and Harvey, MK, Visions de l'Amen by Olivier Messiaen, University of Tasmania, Ian Potter Recital Hall, the Hedberg, pp. 50 minutes (2022) [Performance Practice]

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Visions de l’Amen by French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) is a suite of seven movements or ‘musical visions’ composed in Paris in 1943, two years after Messiaen’s release from the Nazi prisoner of war camp, Stalag VIII-A. Dedicated to the outstanding pianist Yvonne Loriod, with whom Messiaen gave the first performance in German-occupied Paris, this masterpiece is testament to the composer’s ability to transcend the horrors and atrocities of war and to remind us of the good in humankind. Today, as we witness the most appalling and barbaric war crimes unfolding in Ukraine, the beauty of Messiaen’s music and the magnitude of his musical vision resonates deeply.

The work is in seven related movements. Traversing dissonance, birdsong, exotic modes and percussive effects, moments of delicate sensual beauty and climactic devastation, the work is united by reappearing themes. Keep note of the Creation theme which is introduced so ominously at the beginning in the bass, and then tranformed with such vigour and joy in the final movement to bring the work to a rousing end.

The titles of the movements are:
  1. Amen de la Création
  2. Amen des étoiles, de la planète à l’anneau
  3. Amen de l’Agonie de Jésus
  4. Amen du Désir
  5. Amen des Anges, des Saints, du chant des oiseaux
  6. Amen du Jugement
  7. Amen de la Consommation

Item Details

Item Type:Performance Practice
Keywords:Messiaen, duo piano
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Music
Research Field:Music performance
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Music
UTAS Author:Teniswood-Harvey, A (Dr Arabella Teniswood-Harvey)
UTAS Author:Harvey, MK (Dr Michael Harvey)
ID Code:149899
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2022-04-26
Last Modified:2022-04-27

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