Messiaen's Contemplations of Covenant and Incarnation: Musical Symbols of Faith in the Two Great Piano Cycles of the 1940s

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"Olivier Messiaen, master of sounds, was gifted with an unusual visual sense. While his physical eyes always needed thick glasses, his inner eye saw much that remains hidden to most. Music and Color is the title of the only volume of conversations published under the composer's own name rather than under that of the respective interviewer, thus drawing the readers' attention to the importance Messiaen attached to one of the basic aspects of visual perception. ...Were one to move in the direction of inner perception, one would arrive at the dimension of contemplations and visions. This book aims to direct its readers' interest specifically toward the metaphysical, theological, and sometimes mystical visions manifested in the two piano cycles whose movements are compiled under the titles of 'visions' and 'contemplations' respectively." -Siglind Bruhn (Preface)

Table of Contents

Part I--Messiaen's Religious Resources
Catholicism in the Composer's Early Environment
Elements of a Musical Language of Faith
Part II--The Sevenfold Amen in the Relationship between God and His Creatures
The Sources of Messiaen's Concept of Amen
Alpha and Omega, Creation and Consummation
Part III--Contemplations of the Child at Bethlehem (A Multi-Dimensional Symphony)
The Sources of the "Gazes" upon the Infant Jesus
The Incarnation of Divine Love (Exposition)
The Human Response to God's Plan (Development Section)

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