Two Ways of Looking at Messiaen's "Vingt regards dur l'enfant-Jésus"

by Stephens, Michael

Abstract (Summary)
The analytic component of my dissertation, Two Ways of Looking at Messiaens Vingt Regards sur lEnfant-Jésus, takes two points of entry into the masterwork for piano: the first examines the role of repetition in two of the movements, Regard de la Vierge and Regard du Fils sur le Fils; the second investigates Messiaens synesthesia, analyzing the pitch collections that contributed to his visual perceptions. Regard de la Vierge utilizes the juxtaposition of disparate musics in order to create a conflict; pitch-centricity and the sharing of motives unify the movement and contribute to the resolution of the conflict. In Regard du Fils sur le Fils, Messiaen re-contextualizes the first movement, labeled the Thème de Dieu, which provides the structural foundations for the superimposition of two additional musics. In Baptism, the compositional component of my dissertation, I continue to explore a technique that is for me a significant change in style: the overlapping of musical events. Some sections of the ensemble continue with one music, while other sections begin new or divergent material. In most instances, the simultaneous musics are realized through metric modulations. The piece was originally commissioned by the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble and David Stock, and after the initial performance, I revised the work in order to highlight this feature. The University of Pittsburgh Orchestra, under the direction of Roger Zahab, performed the revised version in February of 2007.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dennis Looney; Amy Williams; Mathew Rosenblum; Eric Moe

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:09/19/2007

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.