Tone Poem Tuesday

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was one of the major names in twentieth-century music. HIs work is always brightly modern, but also accessible in a way that much of the avant garde music of that century was not; Messiaen’s work both rewards repeated listening and the first hearing.

I haven’t found much information about this particular piece, beyond the fact that the score was lost during World War II, prompting Messiaen to reconstruct it from memory. The result is a work of unflinching spirituality and modernism, an orchestral kaleidoscope of color and texture. It’s a fascinating listen, as Messiaen tends to be. Here is Hymne (Hymn to the Blessed Sacrament), by Olivier Messiaen.


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