[ Concerts In the Press ]

Turangalîla Symphony at Carnegie Hall garners rave reviews

December 17, 2008

The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale performed Olivier Messiaen’s epic Turangalîla Symphonie at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, December 14, under the baton of guest conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and with Wei-Yi Yang at the piano and Geneviève Grenier at the ondes Martenot to close the Messiaen Centenary Celebration.  The critical reception to the performance was overwhelmingly positive:

Allan Kozinn at the New York Times had this to say in his review “A Monumental Messiaen Speaks Many Languages“:

The performance was sensational: well prepared, solidly and precisely executed, and rippling with high-energy percussion and brass playing and a fluid interplay of polished strings as well as winds. If you were looking for a demonstration of how completely a conductor can convey an unusual work’s ideas in all their complexity and beauty, and inspire his musicians to play the piece as if it is the most vivid, original music ever written, you could hardly have done better than this.


But in a way the work’s inspiration, musical sources and relationship with Messiaen’s other music need not matter. Taken entirely on its own, this is a masterpiece of color, texture and peculiarly alluring turns of phrase. Mr. de Leeuw made every moment of it taut and exciting, and Wei-Yi Yang, playing the sparkling piano line, contributed significantly and virtuosically, as did Geneviève Grenier, who produced the score’s otherworldly electronic lines on the ondes martenot.

Other positive reviews include: