messiaen Olivier (1908-1992).

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messiaen Olivier (1908-1992).
MANUSCRIT autograph "Olivier Messiaen" with autograph MUSICAL EXAMPLES, Technique de mon langage musical (1944); 1 title page and 99 in-4 pages (paginated 1-97 with bis); and 1 title page and 47 folio pages of music paper (paginated 1-44 plus 9 bis and ter and 13 bis). Important theoretical text with 382 musical examples, "a remarkable work of self-analysis in which the composer explains his musical vocabulary, explores his origins, provides a list of works (many of which have disappeared) and judges his own compositions" (P. Hill and N. Simeone). Published in two volumes (one of text and one of examples) in February 1944 by Alphonse Leduc, the work is dedicated to Guy BERNARD-DELAPIERRE (1907-1979); Egyptologist, composer of film music under the name of Guy Bernard, but also agent and impresario, he supported Messiaen during the years of the Occupation, after his return from captivity; it was at his home, rue Visconti, that Messiaen organized private courses of analysis and composition for a few students. On the title page, Messiaen has included his title of "Professor at the Paris Conservatory". Let us quote the beginning of the Introduction, where Messiaen explains his purpose: "It is always dangerous to talk about oneself. However, several people having either vigorously criticized or praised me - and always to the side and for things I had not done - on the other hand, a few students particularly eager for novelty having asked me many questions concerning my musical language - I decided to write this little 'theory'. With a few rare exceptions [...], all the examples quoted here will be taken from my works (past or future?). In the hope that my students will take up the few ideas I am going to develop - either to use them better than I did, or to get something else out of them, or to reject them definitively if the future proves them unviable - I write my treatise by taking the reader by the hand, searching with him, guiding him gently through the darkness where I have hoped, towards a limited light preparatory to that "better" which he may then find. If the reader is equipped with solid studies of harmony, counterpoint and fugue, composition, orchestration, without forgetting rhythmics and acoustics, he will follow me much more easily. If he is called by the "inspiration from above", and I am found to be - in one small respect - his precursor, my task will be fulfilled and beyond... Despite the importance of melodies and vocal works in his output, he spoke little of "prosody and the union of the musical line with the lively inflections of the spoken word", and insisted above all on less usual forms, "especially plain-chantetic forms". His musical language is considered "from the triple point of view of rhythm, melody and harmony". He also left out what concerns instrumentation and timbre, and will not speak of sacred music either, while recalling his "mystically, Christianly, catholically" religious inspiration. He ends by thanking his teachers Jean and Noël Gallon, Marcel Dupré, Paul Dukas, and those who influenced him: "my mother (the poetess Cécile Sauvage), my wife (Claire Delbos) [who replaced his brother, the poet Alain Messiaen], Shakespeare, Claudel, Reverdy, Eluard, Hello, Debussy, "plainchant, Hindu rhythm, the mountains of the Dauphiné, and finally everything that is stained glass and rainbow", his interpreters, adding the name of the pianist Yvonne Loriod. "Finally, all those who encouraged me to write this work and particularly my friend André Jolivet. The book includes an Introduction, then the following 19 chapters: I Charm of the impossibilities and the relationship of the different subjects. II Ragavardhana, Hindu rhythm: 1) Amasurated music; 2) Râgavardhana. III Rhythms with added values: 1) Added value; 2) Use of added value; 3) Rhythmic preparations and falls; 4) Relationship with added notes. IV Increased or decreased rhythms and table of these rhythms: 1) Increased or decreased rhythms; 2) Adding and removing the dot; 3) Table of some forms of increasing or decreasing a rhythm; 4) Inaccurate increases. V Non-retrogradable rhythms: 1) Retrograded rhythms; 2) Non-retrogradable rhythms; 3) Relationship of non-retrogradable rhythms and modes with limited transpositions. VI Polyrhythms and rhythmic pedals: 1) Superposition of rhythms of unequal length; 2) Superposition of a rhythm with its different forms of augmentation and diminution; 3) Superposition of a rhythm with its retrogradation
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