L'Ascension ("The Ascension") is a piece for orchestra, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1932–33. Messiaen described it as "4 meditations for orchestra".[ This quote needs a citation ]
An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass, brass instruments such as the horn, trumpet, trombone and tuba, woodwinds such as the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and percussion instruments such as the timpani, bass drum, triangle, snare drum, cymbals, and mallet percussion instruments each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments.
Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically he employs a system he called modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from the systems of material generated by his early compositions and improvisations. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, vocal music, as well as for solo organ and piano, and also experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.
The orchestral piece is in four brief sections:
A complete performance takes around 27 minutes.
The work is orchestrated as follows:
In 1933–34, Messiaen made a version for solo organ. The first, second and fourth movements are arrangements of the orchestral pieces, but Messiaen composed a new third movement, Transports de joie d'une âme devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienne ("Outbursts of joy from a soul before the glory of Christ which is its own glory"), usually just known as Transports de joie. (
In music, the organ is a keyboard instrument of one or more pipe divisions or other means for producing tones, each played with its own keyboard, played either with the hands on a keyboard or with the feet using pedals. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria, who invented the water organ. It was played throughout the Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman world, particularly during races and games. During the early medieval period it spread from the Byzantine Empire, where it continued to be used in secular (non-religious) and imperial court music, to Western Europe, where it gradually assumed a prominent place in the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Subsequently it re-emerged as a secular and recital instrument in the Classical music tradition.
The Turangalîla-Symphonie is a large-scale piece of orchestral music by Olivier Messiaen (1908–92). It was written from 1946 to 1948 on a commission by Serge Koussevitzky for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The premiere was in Boston on 2 December 1949, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. The commission did not specify the duration, orchestral requirements or style of the piece, leaving the decisions to the composer. Koussevitzky was billed to conduct the premiere, but fell ill, and the task fell to the young Bernstein. Bernstein has been described as "the ideal conductor for it, and it made Messiaen's name more widely known". Yvonne Loriod, who later became Messiaen's second wife, was the piano soloist, and Ginette Martenot played the ondes Martenot for the first and several subsequent performances. From 1953, Yvonne's sister Jeanne Loriod was the ondes Martenot player in many performances and recordings.
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Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … is an epic orchestral work by Olivier Messiaen, written in 1988–91, his last completed composition. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 150th anniversary in 1992, Éclairs was first performed by that orchestra at Lincoln Center with Zubin Mehta conducting on 5 November of the anniversary year, just over six months after the composer's death.
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L'enfance du Christ, Opus 25, is an oratorio by the French composer Hector Berlioz, based on the Holy Family's flight into Egypt. Berlioz wrote his own words for the piece. Most of it was composed in 1853 and 1854, but it also incorporates an earlier work La fuite en Egypte (1850). It was first performed at the Salle Herz, Paris on 10 December 1854, with Berlioz conducting and soloists from the Opéra-Comique: Jourdan (Récitant), Depassio (Hérode), the couple Meillet and Bataille.
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Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum is a work for wind orchestra by Olivier Messiaen, written in 1964 and first performed the following year. It is composed in five movements.
Don Quichotte à Dulcinée is a song cycle by Maurice Ravel based on the story of Don Quixote. It was first composed for voice and piano but later orchestrated. The songs are traditionally performed by a baritone or bass(-baritone). The cycle is made up of three independent pieces: Chanson Romanesque, Chanson épique, and Chanson à boire. The text was written by the librettist Paul Morand. It was composed between the years of 1932 and 1933.
Le Livre du Saint-Sacrement is a collection of pieces for organ on the subject of the Eucharist by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. It was composed from 1984-1985 and first performed in 1986.
Quatre petites prières de saint François d'Assise, FP 142 is a sacred choral work by Francis Poulenc for a cappella men's chorus, composed in 1948. Written on a request by Poulenc's relative who was a Franciscan friar, the work was premiered by the monks of Champfleury.
Méditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité is a work for organ by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. It was composed in 1969, and comprises nine "Meditations". The work introduces communicable language, a musical cryptogram invented by Messiaen.
George Michael Sinclair Kennedy CBE was an English biographer, journalist and writer on classical music.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
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