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Olivier Messiaen's <I>Catalogue d'oiseaux</I>
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Target online publication date: December 2017
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online ISBN: 9780511843679
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    • Online ISBN: 9780511843679
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Book description

Roderick Chadwick and Peter Hill give a detailed account of the evolution of Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux for piano solo, from its initial conception in the Black Forest in 1953 to its completion and premiere in the Parisian 'Concerts du Domaine Musical' at the end of the decade. Through close examination of the composer's birdsong cahiers they demonstrate how Messiaen translated nature into music in a way that had a major impact on his later work. They also consider issues of performance, and Messiaen's artistic relationship with his dedicatee and wife-to-be, Yvonne Loriod, including the significance of her two recordings of the cycle. This book illuminates the Catalogue from a variety of angles: its historical significance, as a study of how mimicry of nature can be transformed into music of mesmeric originality, and as a guide that offers a wealth of fresh insights to listeners and performers.

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