|Sophie Bevan and Anne Stephany|
BUT after the interval we had Messiaen's monumental 10-movement Turangalila-symphonie which is arguably in fact a concerto for 4 keyboard instruments: Piano, Ondes Martinot, Celeste and Keyed Glockenspiel (!) brilliantly played by Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Valerie Hartmann-Claverie, Elizabeth Burley and Helen Crayford. These all have pretty amazing bios - Aimard could have conducted the work, Burley and Crayford are celebrated pianists and could presumably have played the solo piano, and Harman-Claverie seems to be the world's premier Ondes Martinot player and collaborated with Messiaen!
It is impossible to describe the impact of this monumental work. It is deliberately an overwhelming piece both in scale and scope, and the underlying theme is that of sacrificial love: human and ultimately divine. I wish I had time to listen to it again because the first time you just have to experience such a piece but it would be great to start to begin to understand it. The original piano soloist Yvonne Loriod, was Messiaen's pupil and became second wife after his first wife died in 1959.
Leonard Bernstein conducted the first performance - it was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra - and this concert was superbly conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Just tremendous!