Epilogue: On Affirmation

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:
Epilogue: On Affirmation

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This epilogue sums up the key findings about the religious music composition of Olivier Messiaen. It suggests that Messiaen's is far from exemplifying a Christian music of asceticism or contemptus mundi and that it remains deeply affirmative. In this respect, his work is close to the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and his affinities seem closer to the lands of the Mediterranean than to the realm of Teutonic imagination. This chapter contends that the dialectic of abstinence and redemption in the structure of Parsifal is answered in Messiaen by a joyous Yes-saying because his music is ultimately a music of Yes.

Keywords: Olivier Messiaen; religious music composition; Christian music; asceticism; contemptus mundi; Friedrich Nietzsche

Chapter.  945 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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