The Gilmore Music Library is celebrating the centennial of Olivier Messiaen's brith with a display of two recently acquired items in the composer’s own hand (on exhibit in the Reference Room, Music Library ML 101M). In 1960 Messiaen completed Chronochromie, a large orchestral work based on bird songs, and it was first performed that year at the Donaueschingen festival under the direction of Hans Rosbaud.
In September 1961, shortly after the initial French performance in Besançon, Messiaen sent some corrections to a Monsieur Brück, along with a letter discussing the matter. Chronochromie proved to be one of Messiaen’s most controversial works, and it met with a stormy reception at each of its early performances. The two manuscripts were purchased with income from the Margaret Deakers Waith Fund.
The Yale School of Music is also marking the Messiaen anniversary with a series of concerts and a symposium from December 8 to 14. For more information, see http://www.yale.edu/music/Messiaen.