The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond

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9780823230570: The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond

On the basis of a careful analysis of Olivier Messiaen's work, this book argues for a renewal of our thinking about religious music. Addressing his notion of a "hyper-religious" music of sounds and colors, it aims to show that Messiaen has broken new ground. His reinvention of religious music makes us again aware of the fact that religious music, if taken in its proper radical sense, belongs to the foremost of musical adventures.

The work of Olivier Messiaen is well known for its inclusion of religious themes and gestures. These alone, however, do not seem enough to account for the religious status of the work. Arguing for a "breakthrough toward the beyond" on the basis of the synaesthetic experience of music, Messiaen invites a confrontation with contemporary theologians and post-secular thinkers. How to account for a religious breakthrough that is produced by a work of art?

Starting from an analysis of his 1960s oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, this book arranges a moderated dialogue between Messiaen and the music theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of religion and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Søren Kierkegaard and Jean-François Lyotard. Ultimately, this confrontation underscores the challenging yet deeply affirmative nature of Messiaen's music.

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About the Author:

Sander van Maas is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Amsterdam and has held positions at Utrecht University (Endowed Chair of Contemporary Composed Music) and the Amsterdam Conservatory. In
2010–2011 he was visiting Associate Professor of Musicology at Boston University and visiting scholar at Harvard. He authored The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen’s Breakthrough toward the Beyond (with Fordham University Press) and edited several volumes including Contemporary
Music and Spirituality (forthcoming). He also works as a consultant for major cultural institutions around Europe.

Review:

If the idea that religious music is a thing of the past helps you sleep better, Sander van Maas' provocative book should wake you up. Did you ever think that an ear could be circumcised? From the Bible to Messiaen and Derrida, he radically rethinks the relationships between ear and flesh. (―Peter Szendy Université de Paris X Nanterre)

Examines the religious dimension of this composer's music. (―Publishers Weekly)

Labeled "philosophy" by the publisher, this book contains neither musical examples (either in score or CD form) nor an index, but it does offer 40 pages of notes and an extensive bibliography that includes Augustine, Eduard Hanslick, Heidegger, Kant, and Kierkegaard. The writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Jean-Luc Marion serve as points of departure and scrutiny. Positing that listening to Messiaen's music requires more than aesthetics, theology, musicology, or theory, musicologist Sander van Maas investigates whether the "musical experience of the work of Messiaen merely results from ingenious rhetorical techniques" or whether there is something more. Is the music, as Messiaen himself believed, a "breakthrough toward the beyond" (i.e., an inner "dazzlement" or religious experience)? Or, in the contrary view, is this "breakthrough" a nonreligious "adoration of music"? According to the author, Messiaen "situates the listener at once inside and outside faith." Not meant for casual reading, the book includes sentences such as "Thinking about the phenomenon in terms of objectivity mystifies the original phenomenality of the phenomenon." Those who do embark on the book will likely find Messiaen's The Technique of My Musical Language (Eng. tr., 1956) and a CD of "La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ" useful aids. Summing Up: Recommended. Researchers, faculty, professionals. (―Choice)

A penetrating and thought-provoking exploration of what might be entailed by Messiaen’s musical ‘breakthrough to the beyond’.  The Reinvention of Religious Music provides us with a wealth of fresh and original perspectives on this complex, endlessly fascinating musician. (―Jeremy Begbie Duke University)

In his eloquent and detailed study, van Maas discusses the theological meaning of Messiaen’s music and the ways in which this unique sound world seeks to configure and even evangelize Messiaen’s Christian thought. Maas presents an absorbing and provocative insight into Messiaen’s faith in music that will enhance appreciation of this often misunderstood composer and his work. (―Andrew Shenton Boston University)

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the basis of a careful analysis of Olivier Messiaen s work, this book argues for a renewal of our thinking about religious music. Addressing his notion of a hyper-religious music of sounds and colors, it aims to show that Messiaen has broken new ground. His reinvention of religious music makes us again aware of the fact that religious music, if taken in its proper radical sense, belongs to the foremost of musical adventures. The work of Olivier Messiaen is well known for its inclusion of religious themes and gestures. These alone, however, do not seem enough to account for the religious status of the work. Arguing for a breakthrough toward the beyond on the basis of the synaesthetic experience of music, Messiaen invites a confrontation with contemporary theologians and post-secular thinkers. How to account for a religious breakthrough that is produced by a work of art? Starting from an analysis of his 1960s oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jesus-Christ, this book arranges a moderated dialogue between Messiaen and the music theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of religion and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Soren Kierkegaard and Jean-Francois Lyotard. Ultimately, this confrontation underscores the challenging yet deeply affirmative nature of Messiaen s music. Bookseller Inventory # CBL9780823230570

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the basis of a careful analysis of Olivier Messiaen s work, this book argues for a renewal of our thinking about religious music. Addressing his notion of a hyper-religious music of sounds and colors, it aims to show that Messiaen has broken new ground. His reinvention of religious music makes us again aware of the fact that religious music, if taken in its proper radical sense, belongs to the foremost of musical adventures. The work of Olivier Messiaen is well known for its inclusion of religious themes and gestures. These alone, however, do not seem enough to account for the religious status of the work. Arguing for a breakthrough toward the beyond on the basis of the synaesthetic experience of music, Messiaen invites a confrontation with contemporary theologians and post-secular thinkers. How to account for a religious breakthrough that is produced by a work of art? Starting from an analysis of his 1960s oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jesus-Christ, this book arranges a moderated dialogue between Messiaen and the music theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of religion and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Soren Kierkegaard and Jean-Francois Lyotard. Ultimately, this confrontation underscores the challenging yet deeply affirmative nature of Messiaen s music. Bookseller Inventory # CBL9780823230570

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Book Description Fordham University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 224 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.0in. x 1.0in.Present-day music studies conspicuously evade the question of religion in contemporary music. Although many composers address the issue in their work, as yet there have been few attempts to think through the structure of religious music as we hear it. On the basis of a careful analysis of Olivier Messiaens work, this book argues for a renewal of our thinking about religious music. Addressing his notion of a hyper-religiousmusic of sounds and colors, it aims to show that Messiaen has broken new ground. His reinvention of religious music makes us again aware of the fact that religious music, if taken in its proper radical sense, belongs to the foremost of musical adventures. The work of Olivier Messiaen is well known for its inclusion of religious themes and gestures. These alone, however, do not seem enough to account for the religious status of the work. Arguing for a breakthrough toward the beyondon the basis of the synaesthetic experience of music, Messiaen invites a confrontation with contemporary theologians and post-secular thinkers. How to account for a religious breakthrough that is produced by a work of artStarting from an analysis of his 1960s oratorio La Transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jsus-Christ, this book arranges a moderated dialogue between Messiaen and the music theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the phenomenology of revelation of Jean-Luc Marion, the rethinking of religion and technics in Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, and the Augustinian ruminations of Sren Kierkegaard and Jean-Franois Lyotard. Ultimately, this confrontation underscores the challenging yet deeply affirmative nature of Messiaens music. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780823230570

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