The National Catholic Review

The Music of Olivier Messiaen

Nov 12 2008 - 12:00am | America Podcasts
November 24 Podcast
Tim Reidy visits Symphony Space, a concert hall in New York, for a centennial celebration of the music of Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), a Catholic composer who, in the words of Father John Coleman, sought to use music to "communicate the mysteries of Christ to non-believers." The artistic director of Symphony Space, and two of the artists who took part in the centennial performance, discuss the spiritual power of Messiaen's work, and what makes him unique among twentieth-century composers. Includes samples from "Visions de l'Amen" and Messiaen's groundbreaking "Quartet for the End of Time." Read Father John Coleman's article on Messiaen in our Nov. 24 issue.

Listen to this episode.

Excerpted performances of Messiaen's work are widely available on Youtube. Here are samples of the compositions discussed during the podcast:

"Le Merle Noir"
"Quartet for the End of Time"
"Visions de l'Amen"