Messiaen’s structural and formal procedures in Chronochromie and Couleurs de la Cité Céleste
Introduction: Messiaen's music has, from its beginning, drawn a wide variety of responses, and not in the least has the form of his works had a part to play in this. Hodier (1961) would have us believe that in the domain of form, “Messiaen has proved completely - and, I fear, definitively impotent" while in 1965, Nicholas Armfelt finds that “Messiaen’s peculiar excellence manifests itself in the form of his works". Such disparity of comments would seem to invite investigation; two of Messiaen’s more recent works, Chronochromie (1960) and Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (1963) provide material suitable for such a study. Both incorporate birdsong, symmetrical permutations of durations and the representation of colour into their structures which, on the surface, are quite different: Chronochromie is articulated in seven distinct sections while Couleurs de la Cité Céleste is through-composed. However, it will be seen that Messiaen's rather unique approach to form is an integral part of both of these, and must be understood if the works are to be fully appreciated.
Degree Name: Bachelor of Music with Honours
Degree Discipline: Music
Research Type: Dissertation
Format: 106 leaves: illustrated, music; 30 cm.