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Morceau de lecture à vue

composer
1934

 
Before the Second World War Messiaen taught for a time at the École Normale de Musique and in 1934 he wrote a Morceau de lecture à vue—a sight-reading piece—for the piano exams there. Even if he had pity on the students’ rhythmic capabilities (the piece is in 6/8 throughout), there are plenty of accidentals to sort out, often through his use of what he rather cumbersomely called his ‘second mode of limited transposition’, a scale of alternating tones and semitones. The opening five-note motif would later be developed into the ‘Theme of Love’ in the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus of 1944 (a further instance of the composer recycling material); the whole piece radiates the sort of lushness that was to upset so many critics after the war.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2008

Recordings

Messiaen: Chamber Works
SIGCD126Download only

Details

Track 12 on SIGCD126 [1'59] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD126 track 12

Artists
ISRC
GB-LLH-08-12612
Duration
1'59
Recording date
19 February 2008
Recording venue
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Rachel Smith
Recording engineer
Peter Newble
Hyperion usage
  1. Messiaen: Chamber Works (SIGCD126)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: July 2008
    Download only
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