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Toronto Symphony burns down the barn with Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie

“It is a love song, a hymn to joy; love that is fatal, irresistible, transcending everything, suppressing everything outside; joy that is superhuman, overwhelming, blinding, unlimited.” This was Olivier Messiaen’s description for his epic Turangalîla-Symphonie. Scored for an orchestra of colossal proportions — featuring powerhouse solo roles for both piano and ondes Martenot (an electric instrument) — it’s equal parts mesmerizing, fearlessly imaginative, surreal, and ecstatic. First recorded by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1968, Gustavo Gimeno leads a 21st-century TSO in this all-new, epic recording of Turangalîla-Symphonie.

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Live Recording,
from Roy Thomson Hall

Track Listing

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

  1. Introduction
  2. Chant d’amour 1
  3. Turangalîla 1
  4. Chant d’amour 2
  5. Joie du sang des étoiles
  6. Jardin du sommeil d’amour
  7. Turangalîla 2
  8. Développement d’amour
  9. Turangalîla 3
  10. Final

Gustavo Gimeno, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Nathalie Forget, ondes Martenot
Toronto Symphony Orchestra

What the Press is Saying

  • "Toronto Symphony burns down the barn with Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie" –Bachtrack
  • “One could not have asked for a more boisterous Joie du sang des étoiles and the rhythms of the finale invoked something like an avant-garde hootenanny.” –Ludwig Van
  • “The work’s disorienting eclecticism, running the gamut from hoedown to a metaphysical paean to love–death, was pulled off with virtuosity and even a degree of subtlety by the TSO.” –Bachtrack
  • “The combined buildup to the finale was nothing short of glorious.” –LaScena Musicale
  • Go behind the scenes during the TSO's recording week with The Globe and Mail -The Globe and Mail

Rehearsal and Performance Images


Turangalîla-Symphonie Trailer