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Olivier Messiaen - Éclairs sur l'au-delà... (1987-1991)

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Uploaded on Apr 4, 2011

Éclairs sur l'au-delà... [Illuminations of the Beyond...] (1987-1991)

I. Apparition du Christ glorieux ("Apparition of Christ in glory") [0:00]
II. La Constellation du Sagittaire ("Constellation of Sagittarius") [7:23]
III. L'Oiseau-lyre et la Ville-fiancée ("The lyre bird and the bridal city") [14:08]
IV. Les Élus marqués du sceau ("The elect marked with the seal") [18:20]
V. Demeurer dans l'Amour... ("Abiding in love") [20:28]
VI. Les Sept Anges aux sept trompettes ("The seven angels with the seven trumpets") [35:23]
VII. Et Dieu essuiera tout larme de leurs yeux... ("And God will wipe every tear from their eyes") [41:58]
VIII. Les Étoiles et la Gloire ("The stars and the glory") [46:22]
IX. Plusieurs Oiseaux des arbres de Vie ("Some birds in the trees of Life") [58:10]
X. Le Chemin de l'Invisible ("The way of the Invisible") [1:01:24]
XI. Le Christ, lumière du Paradis ("Christ, light of paradise") [1:04:43]


Although my own disposition is anything but mystical or religious, the sheer vibrancy, inventiveness, cohesiveness and depth of feeling of this composition makes it one of my favourite works by French composer and organist Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). "Éclairs sur l'au delà..." was his last completed work, and its commissioner, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, premiered it in November 1992 under the baton of Zubin Mehta, six months after the composer's death. Like Messiaen's other monumental orchestral pieces, it has an austere sense of otherwordliness, which is produced by sharp, repetitive, mesmerizing rhythms, rich orchestral colour, and lilting melodic patterns. The third and ninth of the eleven movements incorporate birdsong, which was an endless source of fascination and inspiration for Messiaen. The composition is scored for the following forces:


Strings - 16 first violins, 16 second violins, 14 violas, 12 cellos, 10 five-stringed double basses

Woodwinds - 3 piccolos, 6 flutes, alto flute, 3 oboes, English horn, 2 E-flat clarinets, 6 clarinets in B-flat, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon

Brass - 2 trumpets in D, 3 trumpets in C, 6 horns (in F and B-flat; horns 1, 3, 5: high, horns 2, 4, 6: low), 3 trombones (tenor-bass), 2 tubas in C, contrabass tuba in C

Keyboard percussion - crotales, glockenspiel, xylophone, xylorimba, marimba

Percussion (10 percussionists) - 3 sets of tubular bells, 3 triangles, wind machine, bass drum, wood block, 6 temple blocks, réco-réco, 3 large gongs, 3 high gongs, whip, small suspended cymbal, suspended cymbal, large suspended cymbal, small tamtam, regular tamtam, very large tamtam


Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling
SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg

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    • "Eclairs sur l'Au-dela … (Illuminations of the Beyond …): Demeurer dans l'Amour..." by South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Baden-Baden Listen ad-free with YouTube Red

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