Big musical draw in Washington this week: NSO performs Messiaen's 'Turangalila'
As usual, there's so much going on musically that it's hard to know where to turn. Well, let me nudge you ever so slightly to consider one particular offering from the National Symphony Orchestra Thursday, Friday or Saturday night at the Kennedy Center.
Christoph Eschenbach leads the ensemble in Messiaen's fabulous "Turangalila" Symphony, which the NSO last performed a decade ago with Leonard Slatkin on the podium. In some places -- Hello, Baltimore! -- you might wait a lot longer to experience this masterwork. On the first half of each performance, Eschenbach will take part in a discussion of Messiaen and "Turangalila," joined by guest artists Cédric Tiberghien (piano) and Tristan Murail (ondes martenot) and moderated by Joseph Horowitz.
There's nothing else quite like "Turangalila" in the repertoire. Messiaen created here something at once intensely sensual and intensely spiritual, a work filled with joy and wonder and incredible splashes of orchestral coloring. Here's a snippet: