Messiaens early organ works (1928-1950): performance aspects, with particular reference to Gaston Litaize by Johann Th. Lemckertby Johann Th. Lemckert |Het ORGEL |Year 104 |(2008) |Issue 6
Het ORGEL 104 (2008), nr. 6, xx-xx [summary]
Several twentieth-century composers demanded that their music be performed exactly as they wished. This article discusses the question whether Olivier Messiaen also demanded this strictness of those who performed his organ works. The discussion is based in the first place on a consideration of the way Gaston Litaize (1909-1991) performed Messiaens early organ works. The recordings of Litaize play an important role, as do those made by Messiaen himself in 1956. In addition, the author uses information from personal meetings with Litaize and from the Messiaen project (1986) at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, where Litaize and Messiaen appeared as guest teachers.
One of the aspects treated specifically is the tempi in which the organ compositions are played. Analysis of the various interpretations leads to the conclusion that Messiaen permitted much freedom in the performance of his organ works.