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Olivier Messiaen: Musical Rhetoric in "Visions de l’Amen, Amen de la Création”

Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for two pianos, first premiered in 1943, is aesthetically similar to better known pieces from Messiaen's mid-20th century oeuvre, such as Quatour pour la fin du temps, premiered only a two years prior in 1941. The use of ostinato, repetition, and slight variation is highly prevalent during this compositional period, and naturally finds its way into the musical language of Vision de l’Amen. In these works, Messiaen makes extensive use of isorhythmic sequences paired with quartal harmonic/melodic pitch collections to communicate his music's formal unity. While dissonant quartal harmonies and complex isorhythms underpin the music's form, lyrically accessible diatoni

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- Jordan Alexander Key -

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