I Colori della Città Celeste

Categories: Strumentale
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Published on: 20 June 2007

Questa esecuzione dei Couleurs de la Cité Céleste, di Olivier Messiaen è offerta dalla Piano Society che ha ottenuto il permesso di diffondere questa registrazione effettuata 18/11/2004 all Università del Kansas.
I colori interni di questo brano emenano da cinque citazioni dall’Apocalisse (Rivelazione IV, 3; VIII,6; IX,1; XXI,11; XXI,19-20), come lo stesso Messiaen spiega qui sotto.
I riferimenti ai canti degli uccelli si spiegano sapendo che Messiaen era anche un appazionato ornitologo. Inoltre era anche un sinottico e precisamente percepiva colori insieme ai suoni.

The form of the piece depends entirely on colours. The themes, melodic or rhythmic and the complexes of sounds and timbres evolve like colours. In their perpetually renewed variations, there can be found (by analogy) colours that influence their neighbors, shading down to white, or toned down to black. These transformations can be compared to the superimposition of plays enacted on several stages, the simultaneous unfolding of several different stories that assume and call out for it. Plainsong Alleluias, Greek and Hindu rhythms, permutations of note-values, the bird-song of different countries were all collected and used in this work. All these accumulated materials are placed at the service of colour and of the combinations of sounds that assume and call out for it. The sound-colours, in their turn, are a symbol of the Celestial City and of Him who dwells there. Above all time, above all place, in a light without light, in a night without night… That which the Apocalypse, still more terrifying in its humility than in its visions of glory, describes only in a blaze of colours… To the song of two New Zealand birds is opposed “the abyss”, with its pedal-notes for the trombones and the resonance of tam-tams. To the cries of the Brazilian Araponga is opposed “the coloured ecstasy” of pedal points. The work ending no differently from the way it began, but turning on itself like a rose-window of flamboyant and invisible colours.

Olivier Messiaen, Les Couleurs de la Cité Céleste, per piano, 3 clarinetti, 3 xilofoni, ottoni and percussioni.
John Lynch director, Avguste Antonov piano, Wind Ensemble fiati.

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