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Re-issued to coincide with the centenary of Messiaen’s birth, The Messiaen Companion was the first major study to appear after the composer’s death in April 1992. It was the first book to offer both a complete survey of Messiaen’s extraordinary achievements and a comprehensive guide to his music, also examining in detail the enduring inspiration which Messiaen derived from his religious faith and from his lifelong passion for ornithology and the natural world.
The contributors, all of whom have made a special study of the composer, include two biographers of Messiaen and a number of the foremost interpreters of his music. Messiaen’s influential teaching is recalled in essays by three of his pupils (Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin, and Peter Hill), and the composer is also remembered in a remarkable and moving contribution from his widow and devoted musical companion, the pianist Yvonne Loriod.
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