Friday, March 11, 2011

The NSO takes on Messiaen's "Turangalila"

My brother and his girlfriend are going to hear Olivier Messiaen's gargantuan "Turangalila-Symphonie" performed by the National Symphony Orchestra this weekend in Washington, DC.  I'm not a big fan of Messiaen's music but I'd go see this work in concert in a heartbeat.  It calls for a massive orchestra with obsolete instruments and makes demands on the players and audiences that few pieces do.  In short, it's a spectacle.  And I love spectacles, musical or otherwise.  It's disappointing that there were "hundreds of empty seats" at the Kennedy Center last night.  I think that New York audiences would turn out for this piece.  (A quick check of the New York Philharmonic's history shows that they've performed it twice, in 1988 and 2000, so it must have been popular enough for a second hearing.)  I look forward to hearing my brother's review of the performance.

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