It Is a Glistening Music We Seek

Sander van Maas

in The Reinvention of Religious Music

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230570
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236695 | DOI:
It Is a Glistening Music We Seek

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This chapter attempts to answer the question about what Olivier Messiaen exactly had in mind with his compositions of religious music. It shows that there was a gradual shift in Messiaen's musical localization of religion. While his earlier works emphasize the sincerity of feelings, his later compositions suggest this subjective dimension has faded into the background. This chapter also examines Messiaen's conception of the relation between music and religion, and concludes that Messiaen was ambivalent both about the idea of pure music and about the idea of pure expression.

Keywords: Olivier Messiaen; religious music; composition; religion and music; sincerity of feelings; pure music; pure expression

Chapter.  10422 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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