Academic Year 2011-2012

Event Title

The Power of Hope: Messiaen’s Understanding of Truth, History, and the Incarnation

Disciplines

Religion

Description

The genesis and premiere of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus chronologically framed the economic and political turmoil of the liberation of Paris, yet remained seemingly aloof from the city’s surrounding chaos. This lecture and recital argued that programmatic connections drawn between Messiaen’s war-time works and the specific historical events of the 1940s do not effectively encapsulate the value of his works in conveying hope to his contemporaries. Instead, the powerful sense of hope in Messiaen’s works lies in an epistemological approach that points to universal truths by eschewing all particular historical events except the Incarnation of Christ.

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The Power of Hope: Messiaen’s Understanding of Truth, History, and the Incarnation

The genesis and premiere of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus chronologically framed the economic and political turmoil of the liberation of Paris, yet remained seemingly aloof from the city’s surrounding chaos. This lecture and recital argued that programmatic connections drawn between Messiaen’s war-time works and the specific historical events of the 1940s do not effectively encapsulate the value of his works in conveying hope to his contemporaries. Instead, the powerful sense of hope in Messiaen’s works lies in an epistemological approach that points to universal truths by eschewing all particular historical events except the Incarnation of Christ.