A Monumental Messiaen Speaks Many Languages

The performance was sensational: well prepared, solidly and precisely executed, and rippling with high-energy percussion and brass playing and a fluid interplay of polished strings as well as winds. If you were looking for a demonstration of how completely a conductor can convey an unusual work’s ideas in all their complexity and beauty, and inspire his musicians to play the piece as if it is the most vivid, original music ever written, you could hardly have done better than this…

But in a way the work’s inspiration, musical sources and relationship with Messiaen’s other music need not matter. Taken entirely on its own, this is a masterpiece of color, texture and peculiarly alluring turns of phrase. Mr. de Leeuw made every moment of it taut and exciting, and Wei-Yi Yang, playing the sparkling piano line, contributed significantly and virtuosically, as did Geneviève Grenier, who produced the score’s otherworldly electronic lines on the ondes martenot.

Lire la critique complète sur le site de The New York Times

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