The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond

Present-day song reviews conspicuously keep away from the query of faith in modern tune. even though many composers deal with the difficulty of their paintings, as but there were few makes an attempt to imagine in the course of the constitution of non secular tune as we listen it.

On the foundation of a cautious research of Olivier Messiaen's paintings, this publication argues for a renewal of our considering non secular track. Addressing his inspiration of a "hyper-religious" tune of sounds and colours, it goals to teach that Messiaen has damaged new flooring. His reinvention of non secular song makes us back conscious of the truth that non secular track, if taken in its right radical feel, belongs to the major of musical adventures.

The paintings of Olivier Messiaen is widely known for its inclusion of spiritual topics and gestures. those on my own, even though, don't look sufficient to account for the non secular prestige of the paintings. Arguing for a "breakthrough towards the past" at the foundation of the synaesthetic event of song, Messiaen invitations a war of words with modern theologians and post-secular thinkers. the right way to account for a spiritual step forward that's produced through a piece of art?

Starting from an research of his Nineteen Sixties oratorio l. a. Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, this e-book arranges a moderated discussion among Messiaen and the tune theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of faith and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-François Lyotard. finally, this disagreement underscores the tough but deeply affirmative nature of Messiaen's music.

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Epilogue: On Affirmation As Christian Asplund is true to stress in a piece of writing during which he compares the aesthetics of Cage, Bach, and Messiaen, the song of the final composer doesn't attract a feeling of interiority within the approach Bach’s track does. it sort of feels as if in Messiaen’s song the vertical airplane of stained-glass home windows is responded by means of a planar event that leaves all interiority at the back of. encouraged by means of Gilles Deleuze, Asplund notes, ‘‘Rather than delving or diving right into a squalid, striated area of darkness inside of, Messiaen desires to ascend to a soft, infinite area of sunshine above, an increasing past oneself instead of a retraction inside. ’’1 therefore, what Gilles Deleuze and Fe´lix Guattari write approximately song typically turns out very true of Messiaen’s: ‘‘Music isn't tragic, track is pleasure. yet there are occasions it inevitably provides us a style for dying; no longer a lot happiness as loss of life fortunately, being extinguished. ’’2 The track of dazzlement induces a delivery alongside traces of flight that go through the subject’s senses (sound-color) and lead towards a cosmic airplane of immanence, a virtually tactile texture of transfigured sensibility. the following, dying is an occasion that already turns out to have taken position. It returns one’s senses to a place that they could have occupied lengthy ahead of the discovery of subjectivity. Or it can positioned them in a brand new place, one of the repetitive deaths of the topic that we have got been witnessing and that we will witness. As i've got argued, this satisfied death doesn't mean a dying of the need to affirmation. to the contrary, Messiaen’s track, faraway from exemplifying a Christian track of asceticism or contemptus mundi, is still deeply affirmative. during this appreciate, Messiaen’s paintings is remarkably as regards to the spirit of Friedrich Nietzsche, who scorned the darkish recesses of the German soul and preferred the southern characteristics of Bizet’s Carmen. even though Messiaen arguably owes very much to Wagner, his affinities look in the direction of the sun-stricken lands of the Mediterranean than to the nebulous swamps of the Teutonic mind's eye. The dialectic of abstinence and redemption that constructions Parsifal is responded in Messiaen via a joyous Yes-saying. For Messiaen’s tune is 179 180 Epilogue: On Affirmation finally a track of sure (Amen): it celebrates, it affirms, it surrenders to anything (rather than filing itself ). it really is tempting to interpret the song of dazzlement by way of blackout and unfavourable theology. Such, in spite of the fact that, isn't the nature of affirmation in Messiaen. As i've got attempted to argue, his studying of dazzlement is overwhelmingly optimistic, even in regard to the sensuous points of this event. instead of contain a bounce into blind nothingness, it embraces and affirms a vivid and colourful the rest. The summit of dazzlement is, as Messiaen defined whereas status within the Saint-Chapelle, an all-violet haze that's essentially perceived regardless of being overly extreme and saturating. Experiencing this, we haven't left the realm of the senses, and, in Messiaen’s account of the continuity among lifestyles and demise, we possibly by no means will.

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