Olivier Messiaen's Opera, <I>Saint Francois d'Assise</I>

In this comprehensive study of Olivier Messiaen's magnum opus, Saint Francois d'Assise, Vincent Perez Benitez examines the opera from both theological and musical-analytical perspectives to ask how Messiaen expresses his Catholic theology through his work. Les mer
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In this comprehensive study of Olivier Messiaen's magnum opus, Saint Francois d'Assise, Vincent Perez Benitez examines the opera from both theological and musical-analytical perspectives to ask how Messiaen expresses his Catholic theology through his work. Benitez combines a close reading of the opera score with accounts from Messiaen's associates, studies of Messiaen's birdsong notebooks and other primary documents, and an examination of the religious, musical, poetic, and visual arts literature with which the composer was familiar to explore how the opera's harmonic language and sound-color relationships motivate its musical meaning and expression. Through his analysis of these diverse sources and comparisons of Saint Francois d'Assise with other works such as Berg's Wozzeck and Wagner's Parsifal, Benitez places Messiaen's compositional practice within larger musical perspectives and historical contexts.

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Innholdsfortegnelse

Preface
Acknowledgments
Notes on the Text
Introduction: Setting the Stage for Messiaen's Compositional Summa
1. Theology as Light in Saint Francois d'Assise
2. A Theological Opera and Its Musical Themes
3. Form as an Expression of the Beyond
4. Chords and Colors: The Harmonic Vocabulary of Saint Francois d'Assise
5. Analyzing the Musical Language of Saint Francois d'Assise
6. Light, Freedom, and the Beauty of Creation: Birdsong in Saint Francois d'Assise
7. Tonal-Dramatic Associations in Saint Francis's Spiritual Journey
8. Saint Francis's Path toward the Numinous: A Tonal-Color Narrative
Epilogue: Saint Francois d'Assise as Religious Drama in a Contemporary World
Appendix 1 Glossary
Appendix 2 Dramatic Synopsis
Notes
Bibliography
Index