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Work: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, for orchestra

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Fact file
ComposerMessiaen, Olivier (1908-1992)
Period20th century
Year1964
Work typeOrchestral
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Prom 69: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly play Messiaen and Mahler

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LSO play Bruckner

Three enormous ear-splitting tam-tams were employed in Messiaen’s Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorem, the largest being truly gigantic, maybe 10ft (3m.) in diameter. When we reassembled after the interval to hear the LSO perform Bruckner’s 9th symphony, this massive tam-tam was still centre-stage, at the back lowering over the orchestra.

LSO's giant tam-tams shake and roll with Rattle

This evening’s programme of Messiaen and Bruckner ought to have come with a health warning beforehand – caution: not for the fainthearted. Following on from Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration last month, the LSO’s programming seems to be continuing in a similar vein, with this concert united by the theme of death and religious conviction.