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Rattle: Roots & Origins

This listing is in the past
Barbican HallSilk Street, London, Greater London, EC2Y 8DS, United Kingdom
On Sunday 15 September 2019 at 19:00

Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … is the last piece the composer ever completed, and it’s monumental in all senses of the word.

‘I imagined myself in front of a curtain, in darkness, apprehensive about what lay beyond: Resurrection, Eternity, the other life.’ That’s how Messiaen described his inspiration for Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … . Scored for a gigantic orchestra of over 120 musicians, it melds the composer’s fascinations with Roman Catholic theology and ornithology, the study of birds.

Densely orchestrated chorales mingle with rushing birdsong notated by Messiaen in the Australian countryside. At the centre of the work sits the seventh movement, ‘Seven Angels with Seven Trumpets’, which displays the composer at his most theatrical. With grave-cracking drum strikes and loud brass, this is a truly cosmic vision of what an afterlife might sound like.


Sir Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra © Mark Allan
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