Matthew Schellhorn

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Talk at London International Piano Symposium now online

Matthew Schellhorn’s successful talk at the London International Piano Symposium is now online.

poster2012

Many of Olivier Messiaen’s works testify to the fascination the composer had with temporal aspects of music – titles allude to such concepts as ‘eternity’, ‘immortality’, and indeed ‘the end of Time’. This paper examines the role of time in Messiaen’s great piano cycle Catalogue d’oiseaux (Bird Catalogue) (1956–8), exploring how narratives are articulated through a sense of the passage of time. Specific chronologies within the music are identified, along with their function as ‘harnesses’ of the form and of the expressive power of the performance. The paper was illustrated with live performance excerpts from the one-movement masterpiece La Fauvette des jardins (Garden Warbler) (1971).

The paper examines the intended psychological effects of the passage of time in Messiaen’s piano music, discussing further the role of interpretative decisions in enhancing (or lessening) the composer’s aims and the music’s ‘goals’. At the same time, the paper discusses the vast impact had on the composer by his wife and main interpreter, Yvonne Loriod, drawing upon key recordings and documentary evidence.

In this way, the presentation addresses three key main areas by the first London International Piano Symposium, which invited submissions presenting original research on subjects surrounding evidence-based directives to enhance modern piano performance practice, psychology and research into inspirational performers and teachers past and present.

To read the talk click here.
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