Fridays at Finney: Music of Olivier Messiaen

Date, time, location

Friday, April 22, 2022
7:30 pm

Finney Chapel

90 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH 44074

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Additional details

Free Admission

Watch the webcast  – streamed live at concert time.

If you are driving to the concert, please review the note below the program information regarding navigating campus and parking at Finney Chapel.

Music of Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992)

This mini-festival features performances of two of French composer Olivier Messiaen's expansive works written between 1969-1974.

The Contemporary Music Ensemble, led by conductor Tim Weiss, will collaborate with solo pianist and Messiaen specialist Jason Hardink '97 in the extraordinary 90-minute Des Canyons aux étoiles. The 12-movement work, inspired by the landscapes of Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, and Zion Park, is scored for four soloists (piano solo, horn solo, xylorimba solo and glockenspiel solo) and orchestra, which includes an unusually large percussion section. 

Oberlin Conservatory organ professor Jonathan Moyer AD '12 will follow with Méditations sur les Mystère de la Sainte Trinité. This 80-minute piece for solo organ is constructed in nine untitled meditations and incorporates motivic representations of the words of Thomas Aquinas, for which Messiaen developed a new aspect in his musical language—"langage communicable"—to express. 



Des Canyons aux étoiles… 
(From the Canyons to the Stars…)

       Part I:

               I. Le Désert (The Desert)

               II. Les orioles (The Orioles)

               III. Ce qui est écrit sur les étoiles (What is Written in the Stars)

               IV. Le Cossyphe d’Heuglin (The White-Browed Robin-Chat)

               V. Cedar Breaks et le don de crainte (Cedar Breaks and the Gift of Awe)

       Part II:

               VI. Appel interstellaire (Interstellar Call)

               VII. Bryce Canyon et les rochers rouge-orange (Bryce Canyon and
                    the Red-
Orange Rocks)

        Part III:

               VIII. Les Ressuscités et le chant de l’étoile Aldebaran (The Resurrected and
                     the Song of the Star Aldebaran)

               IX. Le Moqueur polyglotte (The Mockingbird)

               X. La Grive des bois (The Wood Thrush)

               XI. Omao, leiothrix, elepaio, shama (Oamo, leiothrix, ‘elepaio, shama)

               XII. Zion Park et la cité céleste (Zion Park and the Celestial City)


Featuring a Q&A with Timothy Weiss, Jason Hardink '97 and Jonathan Moyer AD '12. 

The second half of the concert will begin at 9:30pm.


Méditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité
(Meditations on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity)


View the program for April 22


Oberlin recommends attendance for vaccinated people. Everyone is required to wear a mask indoors at all times. Anyone with symptoms should refrain from attending campus events. Oberlin policies are subject to change based on evolving public health recommendations.


Oberlin College’s campus modernization program to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions and water consumption will cause some temporary road closures and disruptions to parking access throughout campus. You can stay up to date at the Sustainable Infrastructure Program website.

Parking in the Finney Chapel lot is limited. Nearby visitor parking is available in the lots:

  • northwest of the intersection of W. Lorain Street and Woodland Street

  • behind Bosworth Hall (Fairchild Chapel) north of W. Lorain Street, accessible from both W. Lorain Street and N. Main Street


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