Messiaen CD on BBC Radio 3

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Matthew Schellhorn’s new CD, Messiaen: Chamber Works (SIGCD126), was featured on BBC Radio 3’s CD Review on Saturday 19 July 2008.

Andrew McGregor chose to play the Morceau de lecture à vue, which receives its world premiere recording on the disc.

For programme details see http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/cdreview/pip/3cuql/

For more details about the CD visit Listen.

New Messiaen CD released

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British pianist Matthew Schellhorn is joined by the Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra in this recording of Olivier Messiaen's chamber works, including the eight-movement masterpiece Quartet for the End of Time, written while the composer was a prisoner of war and premiered in 1941 at the Stalag VIIIA camp in Silesia.

Marking one hundred years since the birth of the composer, the disc also includes the newly published Fantaisie for violin and piano (discovered after the composer's death) and the world première recording of a beautiful miniature for solo piano.



Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra

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Matthew Schellhorn on BBC Radio 3 In Tune

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Matthew Schellhorn will be playing some items from his forthcoming Wigmore Hall programme and talking about his recent and forthcoming activities on BBC Radio 3's In Tune tomorrow (Friday 21 March 2008).

You can listen online at www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/intune and the interview should be just after 6 p.m.

Forthcoming Wigmore Hall recital

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Matthew Schellhorn will be performing birdsong-inspired works by French composers Daquin, Rameau, Ravel, Dutilleux and Messiaen, and also bringing to completion the wonderful cycle of Stations written for him by Irish composer Ian Wilson.

Wigmore poster

There will also be favourites by Mozart and Chopin.

You can download the full flyer by clicking on the poster above.

Tickets begin at £10 and can booked by telephone (020 7935 2141) or online at www.wigmore-hall.org.uk.

Wigmore Hall

New Messiaen book from Ashgate

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Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art and Literature
Christopher Dingle and Nigel Simeone (editors): Ashgate, 2007

"Before his death, Messiaen was, quite naturally, regarded as the primary, often the only, source of information about himself and his music. ... Matthew Schellhorn provides a prime example of the kind of recent scholarship that is not afraid to cast a critical eye upon the reliability of some of Messiaen's key pronouncements, in this case with respect to Stravinsky's Les Noces." (Preface)

When Olivier Messiaen died in 1992, the prevailing image was of a man apart; a deeply religious man whose only sources of inspiration were God and Nature and a composer whose music progressed along an entirely individual path, artistically impervious to contemporaneous events and the whims both of his contemporaries and the critics. Whilst such a view contains a large element of truth, the past ten years has seen an explosion of interest in the composer, and the work of a diverse range of scholars has painted a much richer, more complex picture of Messiaen. This volume presents some of the fruits of this research for the first time, concentrating on three broad, interrelated areas: Messiaen's relationship with fellow artists; key developments in the composer's musical language and technique; and his influences, both sacred and secular.

The volume assesses Messiaen's position as a creative artist of the twentieth century in the light of the latest research. In the process, it identifies some of the key myths, confusions and exaggerations surrounding the composer which often mask equally remarkable truths. In attempting to reveal some of those truths, the essays elucidate a little of the mystery surrounding Messiaen as a man, an artist, a believer and a musician. Specifically, the volume covers Messiaen's attitudes and associations to Cocteau, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Dutilleux and Toesca, as well as exploring his teaching techniques, the Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie, Messiaen's harmony, performing and transcription techniques, composing for Ondes Martenot, his association with ballet, Saint François d'Assise and the influence of his faith.

Messiaen himself contributes directly in the form of a speech that he gave about the tapestry-maker Jean Lurçat, and the collection also includes the first literary translation of L'âme en bourgeon; the garland of poems written by Messiaen's mother, Cécile Sauvage, when she was expecting him. The composer described these poems as "the only influence" in his life, making L'âme en bourgeon a fascinating centrepiece to a rich and rewarding collection of essays.

Further information
Illustrations: Includes 9 b&w illustrations and 76 music examples
ISBN: 0 7546 5297 1
Publication Date: June 2007
Number of Pages: 378 pages
RRP: $99.00 / £55.00

More details from Ashgate

Buy the book from Amazon.co.uk