In late February 1943, Messiaen had been asked by the Director of the Paris Conservatoire, Claude Delvincourt, to write a test piece for that summer’s competition, and the result was the Rondeau
. Though written at the same time as Visions de l’Amen
, is it musically much less adventurous, and the demands here are largely technical; in other words, Messiaen produced the kind of piece that was expected of him. Among those to win premiers prix were Loriod herself and the composer-pianist Jean-Michel Damase.
from notes by Nigel Simeone © 2004