Messiaen's Turangaliila Symphonie and its place within the symphonic genre of the first half of the twentieth century

McNeill, Rhoderick J. (2010) Messiaen's Turangaliila Symphonie and its place within the symphonic genre of the first half of the twentieth century. In: Olivier Messiaen: the centenary papers. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, pp. 193-204. ISBN 1-4438-2498-4

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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.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 11. Copyright © 2010 by Judith Crispin and contributors. Print copy not held in USQ Library.
Depositing User: Dr Rhod McNeill
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Music
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2011 01:56
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2014 03:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: Messiaen; Symphony; Turangalila Symphonie
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950101 Music

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