For Olivier Messiaen, music was a way of expressing his faith. He considered it his good fortune to have been born a Catholic and declared that 'the illumination of the theological truths of the Catholic faith is the first aspect of my work, the noblest and no doubt the most useful'. Messiaen is one of the most widely performed and recorded composers of the twentieth-century and his popularity is increasing, but the theological component of his music has so far largely been neglected, or dealt with superficially, and continues to provide a serious impediment to understanding and appreciating his music for some of his audience. Messiaen the Theologian makes a significant contribution to Messiaen studies by providing cultural and historical context to Messiaen's theology. An international array of Messiaen scholars cover a wide variety of topics including Messiaen's personal spirituality, the context of Catholicism in France in the twentieth century, and comparisons between Messiaen and other artists such as Dante and T.S. Eliot. Interdisciplinary methodologies such as exegesis, theological studies and analysis are used to contribute to the understanding of several major works including A clairs sur l'au-delA ..., Sept HaA-kaA- and Saint FranA ois d'Assise. By approaching Messiaen and his music from such important and original perspectives, this book will be of interest not only to musicians and theologians, but also to readers interested in the connection between spirituality and the arts."
Messiaen the Theologian
Taylor & Francis Group