Crowdfund Now! Olivier Messiaen and the Organ – filming to start on January 29th, 2024!

Crowdfund Now! Olivier Messiaen and the Organ – filming to start on January 29th, 2024!

Please prebuy this multi-disc boxset from Fugue State Films. Tom Bell will perform several of Messiaen’s great cycles of organ music: La Nativité, Messe de la Pentecôte, as well as the magisterial Livre du Saint-Sacrement in its entirety, plus other movements. These will be filmed and recorded at Blackburn Cathedral, home of the best organ for playing Messiaen’s organ music in the UK. Thomas Lacôte will explore Messiaen’s improvisation, and Loïc Mallié and Carolyn Shuster-Fournier will discuss Messiaen’s music. The French organists will be filmed at Messiaen’s church, La Trinité in Paris, where the composer was organiste titulaire for 60 years. In an accompanying documentary biographer and scholar Christopher Dingle will explore Messiaen’s life and compositional styles and development in relation to his organ music.

Please Help us Crowdfund the last £26,500 to hit our target of £50,000. Please Prebuy ‘Olivier Messiaen and the Organ’ Multi-DVD Boxset.

Please generously support the production as:

Gold Patron (£2000)

Patron (£950)

Educational (one course) (£800)

Screener or Library (£800)

Gold Recognised Subscriber (£195)

Recognised Subscriber (£95)

Early-bird Discount: Subscribe to Messiaen DVD Boxset (£38)

All supporters will receive the multi-disc boxset when it is released in 2023. Your generosity will allow us to make this set of films. Please prebuy now!

We need to crowdfund £40,000, of which we have already raised half, to make this set of films. Please prebuy this multi-disc boxset from Fugue State Films.

You can see Tom Bell in action in his ten part vlog about Messiaen here:

Fugue State Films plans to make a lot of films about the tremendous French tradition of organ music – we’ve made films about Cavaillé-Coll, Franck, Widor and Vierne, but there is much more to cover – particularly the classical school of the Ancien Regime – Couperin, de Grigny etc, and of course the organists, composers and/or improvisers who followed Widor in the 20th century – Dupré, Duruflé, Litaize, Langlais, Alain, Cochereau, Guillou, Grunenwald, Hakim, Florentz and many more. There’s also of course the 21st century!

But one name stands out, a composer of organ music who both dominates the instrument but also the general musical landscape of the 20th century: Olivier Messiaen.

This project will approach Messiaen’s greatest organ music cycles, filming them properly for the first time, to explore his extraordinary and earth-moving compendiums of drama, colour, evocation and a myriad of different languages, forms and techniques. 

We will record with Tom Bell. Tom is one of the directors of the Royal College of Organists and is known for his concerts and classes around the UK and in Singapore, Australia and the USA. He is an avid proponent of 20th and 21st century music, from Schoenberg’s Variations on a Recitative through the recent Orgelbuchlein Project to Jean Guillou’s nine-organ epic, La Révolte des Orgues.

An expert on Messiaen, not only will Tom perform, but he will also co-present a documentary with leading Messiaen-scholar Christopher Dingle. 

Tom Bell himself says:

Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrement (LSS) is the ultimate and longest organ piece by one of greatest composers of the 20th century. It is an ideal way to discover the sound world of Messiaen, as it is an almost comprehensive account of the major styles he used within his compositions, such as innovative use of rhythm, birdsong, richly colourful harmony and the influence of world music.

We shall also include La Nativité and the Messe de la Pentecôte in this DVD for as full an account as possible of Messiaen’s style.

Therefore this one boxset shall showcase Messiaen’s full range as a composer of organ music.’

Tom will co-present the documentary with Professor Christopher Dingle, author of The Life of Messiaen and Messiaen’s Final Works. Chris is one of the most authoritative Messiaen scholars in the world. Together they will explore the history, style and language of the piece.

The DVD/CD boxset we produce shall be therefore be both a spotlight on a particular work and an overall summation of Messiaen’s work as a composer!

For this set of films we will explore the form, style and language of Messiaen’s many organ works, showing the extraordinary range and expressive depth of this composer’s work.
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