TURANGALÎLA-TRISTAN, Quite a play of classical contrasts…

Sunday brought the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale to Carnegie Hall for a reading of Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphonie, with Reinbert de Leeuw conducting. A gifted older maestro, young and hungry players — the mix couldn’t have been more combustible. The sprawling 10-movement work of the mid-’40s involves spine-tingling sustained crescendos and hints of Romanticism, and uses a strange electronic keyboard called the ondes Martenot, played beautifully by Geneviève Grenier. I took a close look right before the concert and it looked like the kind of ancient-to-the-future device that could easily turn up on a Brooklyn jazz bandstand. But most of all, hats off to featured pianist Wei-Yi Yang, who nearly did windmills while pounding out Messiaen’s unfathomable chords, landing with fine dynamic control and perfect enunciation.

David R. Adler

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