Introduction to Messiaen: Des canyons aux étoiles

Colour and eternity: the rich and vibrant musical world of Messiaen's Des canyons aux étoiles explored  (March 2014)


Colour and eternity - the music of Olivier Messiaen, was a pre-concert talk given by music writer Paul Griffiths, composer Robert Saxton and pianist Alexandra Dariescu.  It formed part of the Royal Philharmonic Society Bicentenary Celebrations, and was chaired by Tom Hutchinson.

This month's LPO podcast brings you an edited version of this talk, delving into the musical method developed by Messiaen and his use of rhythm, colour and birdsong in his composition. Des canyons aux étoiles was commissioned to celebrate the bicentenary of the United States Declaration of Independence and we hear how the composer was inspired by the canyons of Utah to create this work of space and suspended time.

Excerpts of Messiaen Des canyons aux étoiles taken from the concert recording of the LPO's performance conducted by Christoph Eschenbach at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall on 2 November 2013.