Lot n° 225
40000 - 50000 EUR
Result without fees
messiaen Olivier (1908-1992).
autograph musical manuscript signed "Olivier Messiaen", La Nativité du Seigneur. Neuf méditations pour orgue (1936); 3 leaves and 34 folio pages (35.5 x 27.5 cm; small tear in title repaired with tape). Complete manuscript of this great masterpiece of organ music. Messiaen composed La Nativité du Seigneur in the summer of 1935 at Grenoble, and probably played some of the pieces on the organ of the Trinité, of which he was the titular organist, in the autumn. The first performance took place at the Trinité, on February 27, 1936, during a special concert of the Friends of the Organ, by three organists who followed one another: DanielLesur, Jean Langlais and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald. This creation "was considered a major event in the history of the organ. Thirty years later, it remains, for the organists, the richest and most accomplished score, the summit of the literature of their instrument" (Pierrette Mari). Among the eulogistic critics who greeted La Nativité, let us quote Henri Sauguet: " Olivier Messiaen reaches a perfect and brilliant mastery of his art, at the same time as he expresses a mystical sensitivity of an incomparable grandeur and quality. [... He] has risen to the rank of the purest religious poets that music could produce. There are not many, not in our eyes, who are more penetrating or more penetrating. The work was published immediately, in March 1936, by Alphonse Leduc. The manuscript is in black ink on 20-line paper, mainly in double sheets; it bears the Sacem's stamps dated 19 March 1936. The music is preceded by preliminary sheets: a long "Preface" or "Note de l'auteur" (2 p.), and a "Lexique" or "Index" of terms used in French with English translation (organ stops, dynamic indications, nuances...). The entire beginning of the Preface should be quoted: "Emotion, sincerity, first of all. But transmitted to the listener by sure and clear means. The Nativity of the Lord: this is the subject. How is it treated, from the triple point of view of theology, instrumental and music? From the theological point of view. Five main ideas. 1° Our predestination realized by the Incarnation of the Word (3rd piece). 2° God living among us, God suffering (9th and 7th pieces). 3° The three births: eternal of the Word, temporal of Christ, spiritual of Christians (4th, 1st and 5th parts). 4° Description of some characters giving Christmas celebrations a particular poetry: the Angels, the Magi, the shepherds (6th, 8th and 2nd pieces). 5° Nine pieces in all to honour the maternity of the Holy Virgin. From the instrumental point of view. Each piece treated in large planes. Economy of timbres, no tutti of different colour and density: reeds with few backgrounds, backgrounds without gambas or flutes, etc. The pedal leaves its role of bass. Rarely registered 16, 8, often 4 feet and mixture, without 8, it sings in soprano (8th piece) or engulfs the hands with light chimes (1st piece). Some exceptional effects: flute 4 and nazard alone (2nd piece), bassoon 16 alone (7th piece), gamba and celestial voice opposed to the mixtures (1st and 8th pieces): to oppose is not to mix. From a musical point of view. Five main means of expression: 1° The modes with limited transpositions. 2° Pedals, embroideries and enlarged appogiaturas. 3° The half-unit of added value. 4° The progressive increase of intervals. 5° The chord on dominant. The modes with limited transpositions. Based on our 12-tone chromatic system, these modes are made up of several symmetrical groups, the last note of each group being always the first of the following group. After a certain number of chromatic transpositions that varies with each mode, they are no longer transposable, the 4th transposition giving exactly the same notes as the 1st, for example, the 5th giving exactly the same notes as the 2nd, etc. There are three of them. Plus some 4th modes of little interest, because of their too many transpositions: six. All can be used harmonically and melodically. This is followed by long technical explanations, illustrated with musical examples. Each piece bears an exergue of a text taken from the Holy Scriptures. Messiaen has carefully indicated (and sometimes corrected) the registration of the pieces, as well as the indications of tempo and nuances. I. The Virgin and Child. "Conceived by a Virgin, a Child is born to us, a Son has been given to us. Be glad, daughter of Zion? Behold, your King is coming to you, righteous and humble. (Books of the Prophets Isaiah and Zechariah)". Moderated corrected in Lent (p. 1-3). II. The Shepherds. "When the shepherds saw the Child lying in the manger, they returned, glorifying and praising God. (Gospel according to Saint Luke)". Very Slow (p. 4-7). III. Eternal purposes. "God, in his love, has
Sales conditionsReturn to catalogue