Messiaen's Turangalila symphonie and its place within the symphonic genre of the first half of the twentieth century

Edited book (chapter)


McNeill, Rhoderick J.. 2010. "Messiaen's Turangalila symphonie and its place within the symphonic genre of the first half of the twentieth century." Crispin, Judith M. (ed.) Olivier Messiaen: the centenary papers. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 193-204
Chapter Title

Messiaen's Turangalila symphonie and its place within the symphonic genre of the first half of the twentieth century

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID1417
Book TitleOlivier Messiaen: the centenary papers
Authors
AuthorMcNeill, Rhoderick J.
EditorsCrispin, Judith M.
Page Range193-204
Chapter Number11
Number of Pages12
Year2010
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
ISBN1443824984
Abstract

Messiaen's Turangalila Symphonie of 1946-48 coincides with the last phase of interest in the symphony as a genre during the decade following the Second World War - at precisely the same time as the second major wave of modernism was occurring. In terms of its size, its concertante elements, its 'unsymphonic' sections containing rotations of repeated ideas and ostinatos rather than dynamic continuity, and its wide range of stylistic language, the work could be seen as being atypical of symphonic practice of the 1930s and 1940s. The author examines Turangalila's context within the development of the twentieth century symphony and makes many links between the work and the symphony tradition, including that of the post-Franck French symphony. In so doing, we find that the work has many features which are representative of its time and its immediate forbears. Turangalila also presages the more recent revival of symphony composition that has occurred in the wake of post-modernism since about 1980. Rather than being part of the last phases of an old tradition, the work is prophetic of the new approach to the symphony which is not so tied to sonata form procedures. The work's popularity today can be linked to the status that the symphonic genre has recaptured in recent decades within orchestral concert music, its community of composers and its audience.

KeywordsMessiaen; symphony; Turangalila Symphonie
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360302. Music composition and improvisation
360306. Musicology and ethnomusicology
Public Notes

© 2010 by Judith Crispin and contributors.

Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Arts
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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