Focusing on Messiaen's relation to history - both his own and the history he engendered - the Messiaen Perspectives volumes convey the growing understanding of his deep and varied interconnections with his cultural milieux.
Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences examines the genesis, sources and cultural pressures that shaped Messiaen's music.
Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception analyses Messiaen's compositional approach and the repercussions of his music.
While each book offers a coherent collection in itself, together these complementary volumes elucidate how powerfully Messiaen was embedded in his time and place, and how his music resonates ever more today. Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influences presents many new primary sources, including discussion of Messiaen's birdsong cahiers, sketch and archival materials for his Prix de Rome entries and war-time Portique, along with performance practice insights and theological inspiration in works as diverse as Visions de l'Amen, Harawi, Timbres-durees and the organ Meditations.
The volume places the composer within a broader historical and cultural framework than has previously been attempted, ranging from specific influences to more general contexts.
As a centrepiece, the book includes an examination of the impact of one of the greatest influences upon Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod.