Here's a post especially for my students!
I'm preparing a BIG piece for performance in a few weeks at the Toledo Museum of Art, part of a marathon concert of 10 pianists playing Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux. I'm playing the 7th of 13 pieces: La Rousserolle Effarvatte. Here's a link to the event
This is difficult music to listen to, especially if you've never listened to contemporary music! Even if you have, this piece jumps around a lot and it's hard to find a through-narrative. What should you listen for?
Yet, I think this piece is truly beautiful.
As a result, I decided to create a series of audio/video posts to aide in listening. Here's the first in the series where I discuss some general background to the composer and the piece (recorded with real live birds in the background!), and two specific bird calls that Messiaen uses:
"Modern performers seem to regard their performances as texts rather than acts, and to prepare for them with the same goal as present-day textual editors: to clear away accretions. Not that this is not a laudable and necessary step; but what is an ultimate step for an editor should be only a first step for a performer, as the very temporal relationship between the functions of editing and performing already suggests." -Richard Taruskin, Text and Act