Aproximación al lenguaje de Olivier Messiaen: análisis de la obra para piano "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus"

by Costa Ciscar, Francisco Javier

Abstract (Summary)
ABSTRACT The aim of this thesis is to approach Olivier Messiaen ´s language, through the analysis of his work for piano Vingt Regards sur l ´Enfant - Jésus. The work is focused on offering a view, a recreation of the composition from the analytic - musical perspective, without starting from methods of stereotyped analysis but obtaining from each one of the 20 pieces, from each one of the Twenty Looks those specific characteristics which define them and give them a particular profile. The thesis starts with a chapter dedicated to the reckoning of the main influences which gradually prepare the composition language, so personal and unmistakably Olivier Messiaen: the inheritance of the sonorous tradition of the instrument, which starts with the romanticism and reaches impresionism with Ravel and Debussy, without leaving behind I. Albéniz´s contribution; the sound of the organ, as a result of his practice as an organist in the Trinity Church in Paris; the stressed religiousness that inspires the themes of many of his works; the search for non - occidental musical traditions, discovering in Hindu music the base of his investigations in the field of musical rhythm; the discovery of nature and specifically the use of the singing of the birds, in relation of analogy with the features and melodic fluctuations of the Gregorian chants; and the use of the Greek rhythmic verses which the composer makes of the XVI century Claude Le Jeune and his relation with the several Hindu tâlas. Next, we study the contribution of the composer to each one of the components or sonorous parameters of his music: a) Regarding the timbre, what is outstanding is the thorough use of all the registers of the instrument, in the polyphony of sonorities; the use of the loud pedal as a means to obtain complex sonorities, by successive accumulation, linking fragmentations of dense harmonious formations with the object of obtaining a full sound, dense, strong and very wide; his concept of colour will generate an audition - vision based on the coloured sensation. b) Harmoniously his flexible concept of the harmonic density, with structural function together with the use of very characteristic harmonious formations, will generate a rich palette of harmonic resources in the work. c) In spite of the influence of the Hindu raga, the Gregorian chants and the singing of the birds, in his melodies, we find a good proportion of originality, developed by means of different procedures (elimination, change of register, interinversion of notes and asymmetric extension). d) Structurally what prevails is the formed form over the forming form in the work, with the use of formal archetypes of the musical tradition (Sonata Form, Fugue) and with the prevalence of the alternation of Chorus and Verse, in the organization of the musical speech. e) Music in which prevails the motif - thematic treatment of the sonorous material and its modal arrangement starting from its modes of limited transpositions (although some pieces do not participate in any modal arrangement). Then we make the musical analysis of each one of the Looks, obtaining: a formal scheme (which determines the structure of the piece, in its different sections), the analytic development of the piece itself, finishing each analysis with a series of conclusions, which outline and define those peculiarities that identify the different pieces of the cycle. Next we study the evolution and introduction of the different the proper or specific themes of the work: the Theme of God, the Theme of the Star and of the Cross, the Theme of Chords and the Theme of Mystic Love, themes that contribute cohesion and unity to the work. Also, we approach the study of the symbols in the work, used in abundance by Messiaen, initially shown by means of the symbolic numerology, calling the order of placing of the various pieces, and subsequently calling the symbols of religious nature, poetic - literary and the musical symbols which come about as a result. There is a chapter in this study dedicated to the statistical relation of all musical elements (attending to the different sonorous parameters) that are brought out in the work, to make its quick location easy, requiring at the same time its importance with a view to the frequency in which they come through. An abundant and updated collection of records, the catalogue of works of the author and documentary appendix, close this thesis, about one of the most paradigmatic works in piano literature, that came to light -at least- in the first half of the XX century.
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Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Blanes, Luis; De la Calle, Román

School:Universitat de València

School Location:Spain

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:02/12/2004

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