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Intro: MESSIAEN Turangalîla Symphony
Seeded by iecontent1 on 15 May 2020
Author: Curtis Institute of Music
Olivier Messiaen wrote his epic Turangalîla Symphony at a particularly fecund creative period in music history. Contemporary to this piece are works like Bernstein’s jazzy “Fancy Free,” Cage’s experimental “Sonatas and Interludes” for prepared piano, Boulez’s strident and atonal Second Piano Sonata, and Strauss’s lush and Romantic “Four Last Songs.” But while each of these other pieces can be charted and classified amongst mid-20th century artistic movements in music history, Messiaen’s work defies clear taxonomy. Messiaen wove together many disparate influences to create a musical language all his own—one he more or less maintained through his entire artistic output. Building on the compositional techniques of his Impressionist predecessors, he incorporated into his work everything from Indian classical music, ancient Greek scales, Gregorian chant, and most importantly, the bird songs that he constantly and meticulously transcribed wherever he went. The Turangalîla Symphony’s title