Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen
December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992) was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically he employs a system he called modes of limited transposition. He was influenced by Japanese music, the landscape, birdsong, colours and time.
Some wrong notes and time values persist in my playing of this piece but I was more interested in playing it slowly and achieving the pp marking. It is actually difficult to play this as slowly as Messiaen himself in a recoding at Sainte-Trinite where he takes 6:48
to play it. Listening to performances on YouTube the playing time is between 5:18
. Listening from the internet is not the best way to judge but few if any performances start pp. This indication means to use the softest stops available I would have thought but this rarely seems to be the case so i though i would see how this sounded starting with just 3 stops on the manuals. Of course doing it this way limits the crescendo but that was the experiment - achieving I hope a reserved and respectful Majesty. Do doubt a lot has been taught on how to play this piece.