the friend online
14 November 2008


Every note has a colour - preview

Jeffery Smith reflects on the life of Olivier Messiaen and a centenary festival, From the Canyons to the Stars

From the Canyons to the Stars is the festival at London’s South Bank celebrating Olivier Messiaen’s music

  • He was celebrated before he was born at Avignon in 1908 in poems published by his mother
  • By 1919 he was a student at the Paris Conservatoire where he taught till he was seventy

  • In his book on the composer, Olivier Messiaen and the Music of Time (Faber & Faber, 1985) Paul Griffiths says he is the first great composer whose works exist entirely after the great Western tradition
  • His music is full of heterophonies: of different threads moving at different speeds, like the music of many clocks running fast and slow, forwards and backwards
  • Bar lines and the onward movement they produce were replaced more by pulses, often based on Indian rhythms
  • Major and minor scales and the goal orientation they produce, familiar in Beethoven, Chopin and Brahms, were replaced by modes of limited transposition

  • Jeffery Smith

    This is a preview of the full article - to see the whole thing, or to post a comment you need to login, or alternatively you could try a free sample!


    This week's .pdf
    In this week's online edition... rss edition

    News round-up
    Calls for fairer global financial structure
    Oliver Robertson
    A new story on climate change?
    Laurie Michaelis
    Trish Carn & Barbara Tonge, Eva Hopwood and Tim Baynes
    He’s not the messiah…
    Chuck Fager
    The plot twists of 4 November
    C Wess Daniels
    Every note has a colour
    Jeffery Smith
    Body theology
    Annette White
    Also remembering
    Judy Kirby
    Web extra – Quaker Tapestry wins award
    Richard Evens

    Things to do, where to stay, people to see etc...

    download this issue

    save this page

    most recent comments:
    Letters, Ala
    Quaker approach to business under the spotlight, David Hitchin
    Tackling the pay gap from both ends, anonymous poster
    Some more equal than others?, anonymous poster
    Climate Camp experience, Frances Laing
    Climate Camp experience, Frances Laing
    The centrality of worship, Andrew Hatton, Maldon LM, Essex
    In the care of the Meeting?, chrissie hinde
    Lockerbie grief and justice, Jennifer Barraclough
    The centrality of worship, Peter Arnold
    The top ten reasons (plus three) why bottled water is a blessing, Fee Berry
    Letters, David Hitchin
    Marriage and committed relationships, Fee Berry
    George Fox and same gender partnership, Chris Bagley
    Marriage and committed relationships, Chris Bagley
    Meeting for meditation?, Barry
    Meeting for ‘weorthscipe’?, Gerard Guiton
    Report shows that all is not well in multicultural Britain, chrissie hinde
    Johann Sebastian Bach and the Jews, Peter Arnold
    Prisons: our growth industry, Peer Arnold

    Save on your phone bills with:
    the phone co-op - your voice counts