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Messiaen Paper

Messiaen Paper

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Published by Kevin Pescador
Messiaen Paper
Messiaen Paper

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Published by: Kevin Pescador on May 10, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Kevin FisherMay 8, 2013AnalysisMessiaen AnalysisIn movement one in the Quartet for the End of Time, the piece is written in ¾time, but there is not really any sense of a triple meter. Rhythmic processes havenothing to do with the actual meter. This movement is free and unorganized, whichis the exact opposite of what Messiaen had while he was in the Nazi concentrationcamp in Poland. The cello plays the repeating whole tone scale with the notes Bflat,C, D, E, and F#. This is a whole-tone, pentatonic scale. The rhythms in the piece areshaped as a palindrome
meaning, it is the same forwards and backwards, give ortake an added note here and there. The cello line rises through the scale, and thenfalls down. This happens throughout the entire piece and this motif could besymbolic. The piano part also uses rhythmic augmentation while the other twoparts, the violin and clarinet, are completely separate entities. The form is ABA asthe violin and clarinet have different cyclic patterns. The cello part has the repeatingwhole-
tone set on Messaien’s mode 1 of unaltered modes. The movement is
prelude-like in that it is constructed on one main palindromic theme. There may not be one tone center of this movement 
it is free and unorganized, everythingMessiaen wished for.Movement five of the piece just focuses on the cello and the piano, whichwere two instruments that worked together in the opening movement. Chords withan added 6
th
are used and there are no
clear 
tetrachords used. Some are constructedthrough the descending lines of the cello against the repeating chords of the piano,but the piano does not focus mainly on the horizontal harmonies, but instead, the

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