|Olivier Messiaen |
20 regards sur l'enfant-JésusPiano
1944. Time: 119'30.Vingt Regards de l'Enfant Jesus
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Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus is a collection of pieces by the French composer Olivier Messiaen for solo piano. The French title translates into English roughly as "Twenty gazes/contemplations on the infant Jesus". It was composed in 1944 for Yvonne Loriod.
It contains twenty movements:
Messiaen uses Thèmes or leitmotifs, recurring elements that represent certain ideas. They include:
The work's twenty movements last around two hours in performance. The whole piece is a meditation on the childhood of Jesus.
Movement 18, "Regard de l’onction terrible", is an example of how Messiaen used his ideas on form and symmetry in his compositions.
The piece starts with the right hand descending on a chromatic scale and in tritone chords. After the opening semi-quavers the note length starts to elongate first to quavers then to dotted quavers, quavers, crotchets, dotted crotchets, minims, dotted minims and finally a semi breve. While all this is happening in the right hand the left hand is doing the same but in reverse, starting with the semi breve and working towards the semi quavers.
As the main subject of the movement is reached a chorale is heard but in staying within Messiaen’s strict form it is only harmonised with octaves and fifths. After this chorale is repeated the movement continues onto two variations of sections from within the chorale before the chorale is heard again this time up a major 3rd.
Vingt regard de l’onction terrible –Messiaen. Cambridge Music Guide
This variation and repeat of the chorale in different keys continues until the opening theme is once again returned too, however this time the left hand is playing the slowing descending passage while the right plays the ascending, accelerating passage. The form for this movement can be classified as: X-A-A-B-A-C-A-B-A-A-C-X.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vingt_regards_sur_l%27enfant-J%C3%A9sus". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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