11/4/08

F That

Sometimes dilettantes scare me...

Messiaen cared little for form...

F that, Stabler.

Although he was born 100 years ago next month, he's really a Romantic: Content is everything. And what he pursued with an obsessive's heart was the ecstatic, the cataclysmic, the terrifying, the unreal. He had a pictorial concept of religion, and he dramatized it with an organist's ear for color and registration.

What!? Content is nothing (or less than everything) to post romantic era composers? Please, then, define content. Stabler.

And oh, ever hear of synaesthesia, you know, the organists' province?

A chromatic descent into delirium turned into jazz -- I swear I heard Gershwin fighting to get out -- while a swing band swirled by. It was the only place in the music that made me smile.

F. That!

F.

That.

...it made you smile...Gershwin coming out.

If we are to get anything from his music, we have to give up our expectations that something will happen.

Like John Cage said...

No. Like I said...

F that like prop 8!
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3 comments:

cereal_music said...

"We were there to concentrate on the music, not the performer.

The result was one of the more engrossing piano performances in a long time."

I think that ends up the review very positively. You think?

The only criticism I have of this piece is that Messiaen was the "son of a church organist." Duh, he was THE organist at the Catholic church La Trinité in Paris from 1931 (age 23) to his death in 1992. Don't find it hard to believe a Times article diminishing the work of Christians. But put another gem in the crown of the church for music patronage!

gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam

Empiricus said...

Well, if Messiaen didn't care for form, I'm an idiot.

...and sorry, "dilettante" was harsh. My apologies. Though, not unfounded.

Fred Austere said...

That the reviewer is flummoxed by both rhythm and form in this piece is telling since with Messiaen the form is often outlined by some sort of rhythmic cycle or pattern. I believe (don't quote me) that the section he mentions where the left hand speeds up while the right slows down is a rhythmic mirror canon (left hand A-Z, right hand Z-A)a device Messiaen used often, as did Webern. Also, the paragraph about yielding is good advice for just about any performance of anything, not just Messiaen.