Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yvonne Loriod, Pianist and Messiaen Muse, Dies at 86

The New York Times offers an informative obituary of Yvonne Loriod, the immensely talented widow of Olivier Messiaen.

There may be no parallel in musical history to the performer-composer relationship that Ms. Loriod and Messiaen maintained across half a century. It gave rise not only to two immense Messiaen solo works — “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus” (“20 Glances at the Child Jesus”) and “Catalogue d’Oiseaux” (“Bird Catalog”) — but also to shorter pieces and quasi concertos, ranging in scale from the huge “Turangalîla Symphony” to “Oiseaux Exotiques” (“Exotic Birds”), for piano with a tight group of wind instruments and percussion.

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