Olivier Messiaen Facts & Biography

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Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen, In Short, Olivier Messiaen Was Born In a Renowned French Composer Of The 20th Century. He Was Born In 1908 And Was Famous For His Rhythmic Complexity And Rhythmic Colour As An Organist And a Teacher. Messiaen Was Also Titled As One Of The Significant Composers Of The 20th Century.
He Was a Man Of Wisdom Who Travelled Widely And Wrote On The Possessions That Caught His Eyes And Provided Diverse Influences In This Life. It Is Believed That Messiaen Perceived Colours When He Came Across Magical Notes And Heard Musical Chords, Which He Declared Were Essential For His Musical Compositions. This Phenomenon Is Popularly Called Synaesthesia.The Innovation Of Birdsong, Use Of Colour And The Conceptual Relationship Between Time And Music In His Birdsong, Were The Critical Aspects In His Work That Made Him a Distinctive Composer And Famous For His Work.



Olivier Messiaen Was Born Into a Literary Family On December 10, 1908, In France. He Was The Eldest Son Of Pierre Messiaen, Who Was a Poet And An English Scholar. Messiaen Taught Himself To Play The Piano At The Age Of 7 And In 1931 He Was Appointed As The Church Of The Sainte-Trinité, Paris. In 1936, Messiaen Was The Part Of a Group Called ‘Young France’, a Group Created To Promote French Music. Most Of His Work Involved The Quasi-Mystical Manner, Which Was Inspired By Roman Catholic Theology. From 1953 Onwards, Messiaen Included The Birdsong Tunes Into All Of His Work. After The Death Of His First Wife, He Travelled The World And Gained Inspiration From All Cultures Around The Globe And Incorporated Them In His Music.

Olivier Messiaen Facts

  • Olivier Messiaen’s Father Was a Well-Known Translator Of Almost Ll Shakespeare Plays.
  • While Messiaen Worked As An Organist In a Church In 1931, He Attracted Much Crowd And Gained His Initial Following At That Time.
  • Messiaen Also Served The French Army During The Second World War And Was Put Behind Bars For Almost Two Years.
  • In His Book, Technique Of My Musical Language, Messiaen Explains How He Taught The Theories And Analysis Of French Music At The Paris Conservatory In 1942.
  • He Also Incorporated The Japanese, Ancient Greek And Indian Styles Of Music Into His Famous Birdsong Melodies.
  • Apart From Messiaen’s Concept Of Programmatic Music, His Compositional Techniques Also Drew His Pupil’s Attention Towards Him. For Example, He Introduced New Tones And Scales To His Students And Was The First One To Divorce Rhythm From The Melody.
  • La Fauvette Des Jardins (The Garden Warbler) Of 1972 Was One Of The Best Works Of The Bird Songs.


Famous Compositions

His Work Includes Orchestra, Vocal Music, Piano, Organs Like Flute And a Hint Of The Earliest Electronic Music. He’s Also Written Several Books In His Times. Some Of The Famous Ones Include

  • Technique De Mon Language Musical
  • Conversations With Claude Samuel
  • Olivier Messiaen: Oiseaux Exotiques
  • Olivier Messiaen: The Centenary Papers
  • Arts-Sciences, Alloys

Although He Lost His Life To Surgical Complications, He Remains Alive In The Form Of His Books And Compositions.

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