Olivier Messiaen

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Olivier Messiaen, © Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen; (December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992) was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist. Messiaen is known for his pure, colorful and often experimental music which celebrates both nature and his Christian faith. His many distinguished pupils included Pierre Boulez, Yvonne Loriod (who later became Messiaen's second wife), Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis and George Benjamin.

FZ said of Messiaen in an interview with Don Menn in 1992;

"I like Messiaen. Took me a while, but I like that music. He's colorful. But I must admit that the first Messiaen album that I ever got was an Angel recording of Chronochromie, and it baffled the snot out of me. I didn't know what to do with it. I could stay interested for about the first three minutes. I was going, "Whoa, a lot of percussion; that's interesting, but what is this?" It took me years before I could listen to that whole side of the album straight through".

Zappa played a piece of "Chronochromie" during the radio special Musik Für Junge Leute.

Further reading