Go to the main content

Masterpiece Messiaen

Masterpiece Messiaen

Turangalîla-Symfonie

  • Messiaen wrote his Turangalîla for a hundred-piece orchestra, ten percussionists, piano and the early electronic instrument ondes Martenot
  • according to Messiaen ‘Turanga’ is Sanskrit for 'the speed of a galloping horse' and 'lîla' refers to the life force, movement, rhythm and creation
  • Messiaen wrote the opera Saint François d’Assise almost 40 years after his Turangalîla Symphony and yet the musical language in these two large-scale works is very similar
  • the piano part, which is extremely virtuoso, was written for Messiaen's second wife Yvonne Loriod; in many performances and recordings her sister Jeanne Loriod played the ondes Martenot