Cantéodjayâ

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Published on: 20 August 2009

Cantéodjayâ was written in 1948. Messiaen had long been interested in Hindu rhythms, relying on the listing of 120 such rhythms in the thirteenth-century Sangitaratnākara of Sarngadeva.

The score includes names drawn from this work and from Karnatic musical theory, the latter including the title of the work, indicating the element with which the piece opens, interspersed with intervening material.

The sixth appearance of this characteristic rhythm and figuration is followed by three brief refrains, a first couplet, a return of the first refrain and a second couplet. There follows the second refrain and third couplet, including a six voice canon. The first and third refrains are heard before the final return of the original cantéyndjayâ.

The work contains elements further explored in the Mode de valeurs et d’intensités. At a first hearing a listener unfamiliar with the style of writing might do worse than keep in mind the opening phrases, although the general form is one rather of superimposition than extensive repetition and development.
[Keith Anderson]

Steffen Schleiermacher, piano.

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