Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

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lennygoran
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Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:26 am

The NY Times recommends going to this for a rare NYC treat-I listened to about 10 minutes at YouTube and definitely won`t be there. Regards, Len

At Le Poisson Rouge, Messiaen’s ‘Catalogue d’Oiseaux’: The World Refracted

By ZACHARY WOOLFE AUG. 25, 2017


There is nothing merely pretty about Messiaen’s “Catalogue d’Oiseaux,” a sprawling solo-piano cycle with a straightforward title (“Catalog of Birds”). Inert twittering this is not: In seven books, 13 movements and some two and a half hours of music, this composer reflects our natural world, in all its strangeness and violence, and invents his own. Ranging through blocky chords, chalky bits of understatement, floods of jabbering and shimmering resonances, the songs of dozens of birds are made into the musical equivalent of an abstract painting.

On Monday, Aug. 28, Taka Kigawa — who in recent years has guided audiences at Le Poisson Rouge on intimate excursions through luminous modern masterpieces of Debussy, Ligeti, Boulez and others — returns there to traverse Messiaen’s entire “Catalogue,” a rare treat. (158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, 212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com.)

http://lpr.com/lpr_events/taka-kigawa-o ... 28th-2017/



https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/arts ... front&_r=0


maestrob
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by maestrob » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:56 pm

Len, Messiaen is not my cup of tea either, esp. including that massive symphony of his that I can never spell correctly. :mrgreen:

jbuck919
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:10 pm

maestrob wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:56 pm
Len, Messiaen is not my cup of tea either, esp. including that massive symphony of his that I can never spell correctly. :mrgreen:
The key syllable here is "cat," as in one walking across a keyboard.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:56 pm

maestrob wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:56 pm
Len, Messiaen is not my cup of tea either, esp. including that massive symphony of his that I can never spell correctly. :mrgreen:
Brian thanks-before we got into gardening big time our hobby was birdwatching-what I was listening to didn't have one iota of resemblance to the birds. Regards, Len :(

jserraglio
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:09 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:10 pm
The key syllable here is "cat," as in one walking across a keyboard.
Or "cat," as in killing birds?

BTW, I really like Messiaen, not because I "get" his music but b/c I was raised on it. My piano teacher, also a proficient organist, used to play Messiaen all the time at Mass and we used to talk about it afterwards.

lennygoran
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:18 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:09 am
BTW, I really like Messiaen, not because I "get" his music but b/c I was raised on it.
Can you recommend something of his that might be relatively accessible--something on you tube? Regards, Len

jserraglio
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:52 am

Improvisation on "Puer Natus Est". This sounds most like what I remember being performed in church before and after Mass.




"Transport de joie", extracted from "L'Ascension




"Offrande et Alléluia final" from Livre du Saint-Sacrement




Le Banquet Celeste (Dupre, organ). Famous work, but I still don't get the drift of it.




Quartet for the End of Time. The first work of his I ever heard on a recording, rather than live in church.

Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:48 am, edited 5 times in total.

jbuck919
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:20 am

For the record, I just posted the organ improvisation. There have been and are many greatly superior improvisers in the French tradition, which BTW is one of three that exist. (The other two are German and English, with a lot of mishmash in between by such performers as Gerre Hancock.) As for the rest, my opinion about Messiaen is well known. Making a lot of noise by writing a lot of notes and being lucky enough to get it performed to the extent that one gets a favorable reputation does not constitute great composition.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:29 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:20 am
Making a lot of noise by writing a lot of notes and being lucky enough to get it performed to the extent that one gets a favorable reputation does not constitute great composition.
You bet. Nevertheless, making a joyful noise to the Lord is blessed fun.

I love Messiaen's music and could care less whether or not he writes great compositions. "There are simply too many notes, Herr Mozart. Just cut a few and it'll be perfect."
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:43 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:52 am
Le Banquet Celeste (Dupre, organ). Famous work, but I still don't get the drift of it.
Thanks, listened to quite a few of these and they are at least in the ballpark-aamof the Banquet one suited me nicely-go figure. OTOH that bird stuff drew a complete blank. Regards, Len

PS-I'd definitely go to his opera Saint François d'Assise if they ever do it around here.


jserraglio
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:58 am

http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/04/m ... _fr_1.html

I have both the Ozawa and the Nagano recordings. Like Bach, Messiaen didn't seem as concerned about pleasing mere humans as he was about his worship of God. Bach is without peer, Messiaen is, well . . . only very damn good.

lennygoran
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:52 am

Here's a followup interview with Taka Kigawa. Regards, Len


The Pianist Taka Kigawa on Playing Messiaen’s Bird Marathon

By JOSHUA BARONE AUG. 27, 2017


Olivier Messiaen’s “Catalogue d’Oiseaux” (“Catalog of Birds”) is an absurd undertaking for a pianist. Its sprawling score demands that performers master three hours of complex music: the painstakingly transcribed sounds of European birds.

The piece is an ideal fit for Taka Kigawa, the adventurous pianist who will play Messiaen’s “Catalogue” on Monday at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, his frequent performing home. Mr. Kigawa has a reputation for tackling heady and exhausting music with ease. He has performed the complete solo piano works of Pierre Boulez in a single evening, and all of Bach’s “The Art of Fugue,” from memory and without a break.

But both those programs were far shorter than the 13-part “Catalogue,” which Messiaen wrote in the 1950s for Yvonne Loriod, his wife and muse. And learning the work requires more than just skill; a successful performance is also a deep dive into ornithology.

Messiaen was a lifelong bird lover. Many of his other works also contain avian references, such as the musical direction “comme un chant d’oiseau” (“like a birdsong”) in his vast “Turangalîla-Symphonie.” While composers such as Beethoven and Mahler have included minor third intervals — the quintessential cuckoo call — to evoke birds, Messiaen transcribed a wide range of songs and paired them with atmospheric music to illustrate their European habitats.

As Mr. Kigawa prepared for his coming performance, he found himself falling into Messiaen’s obsession. “For the last couple of months, I was solely into birds,” he said in a recent interview at Le Poisson Rouge. “I can go to Europe and explain everything about them now.”

Mr. Kigawa also spoke about the intellectual demands of Messiaen’s music, how Google changed his performance of “Catalogue” and why he lies down during intermissions. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Depending on tempo, the duration of this piece can vary pretty widely.

Yes, mine is longer. It’s about three hours 15 minutes: a lot of fermatas. I try to take a lot of space and silence, which to me is important. Just like nature. The notation is very meticulously written, very precise. But if you play it as written, it can sound like a metronome. A birdcall is sort of an improvisation, though. Birds don’t read the score. So you have to make it alive.

The music is also a form of scientific research. It quotes more than 75 birdcalls.

Seventy-seven, to be exact.

So how does studying this compare with other piano music?

I spent more time at a desk this time. You’re not only trying to arrange the notes. You have to study birds — how birds sing and also the nature they live in. Messiaen immerses you. It’s now easy, thanks to the internet.

You just Googled the birds?

Yes, and YouTube. It’s quite amazing. But I actually first studied it before the internet era. European birds — they aren’t in Japan, so it was completely out of my imagination. Now it’s much easier. You can actually hear a European bird and see a picture. Watching them inspired me a lot. They give the music character.

During marathon concerts you never really seem exhausted by physically and intellectually challenging music.

People say I look like a monk. I’m just trying to concentrate. And at intermission I will have a Gatorade or bananas, and I’ll lie down.

You literally lie down?

It’s a good way to refresh your brain. Everyone should do it, for just a few minutes. But I try not to sleep — that’s no good.

Do you mean to seek out long and difficult music?

I just play what I like best. I go to libraries, and I go to other people’s concerts and think about what kinds of composers are interesting. There is so much beautiful piano music. I feel sometimes like I’m on a beach. The sand is made up of little grains, and I’ve played only a handful. There’s so much more.

Are you planning to play more Messiaen?

Well, I’ve played “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus,” “Île de Feu,” études …

Would you play the solo part in “Turangalîla-Symphonie”?

I’d love to! If someone calls, I’ll be there.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/27/arts ... front&_r=0

diegobueno
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by diegobueno » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:22 am

lennygoran wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:52 am
The Pianist Taka Kigawa on Playing Messiaen’s Bird Marathon

Yes, and YouTube. It’s quite amazing. But I actually first studied it before the internet era. European birds — they aren’t in Japan, so it was completely out of my imagination. Now it’s much easier. You can actually hear a European bird and see a picture. Watching them inspired me a lot. They give the music character.
Messiaen eventually got around to the Japanese birds.


lennygoran
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:37 pm

diegobueno wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:22 am

Messiaen eventually got around to the Japanese birds.
Thanks. Regards, Len [bewildered] :lol:

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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by diegobueno » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:25 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:37 pm
diegobueno wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:22 am

Messiaen eventually got around to the Japanese birds.
Thanks. Regards, Len [bewildered] :lol:
What you can't hear the birds in this piece? :P

When Messiaen writes birdsongs, they all sound like Messiaen birds, no matter what their nationality. In this case he was invited to Japan in 1962 for performances of his music, and he, as was his habit, took his manuscript music notebook into the field and wrote down the birdsongs he heard. There are photographs of him doing this. Taking music dictation from birds.

Once you get used to his style of bird writing, the piano licks in this piece begin to sound bird-like.

lennygoran
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Re: Catalogue d’Oiseaux NYC

Post by lennygoran » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:29 pm

diegobueno wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:25 pm
Once you get used to his style of bird writing, the piano licks in this piece begin to sound bird-like.
Thanks, thing is it's how they look that matters-not how they sound! Regards, Len

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