3. Not Carmen!

The ‘bulle de cristal’ [crystal bubble] that surrounds the lovers in
Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights
(Messiaen refers to it in Rechant 1)

In Montagnes, the third of the Harawi cycle, it’s the piano that has most of the action; the singer, rocking mostly between C-sharp and E, has a text which reflects images of the mountains of the mind with its abysses and cliffs of fathomless depth.

The first of the three Turangalîla movements which the composer added to his original four movement (traditional) symphonic form. These seven movements were then further augmented by another three (Chant d’amour 1, Joie du sang des étoiles and Développement d’amour) giving ten movements in all.

Then, in Rechant 2, we enter a world of palindromes, isorhythms and magical incantations…

Olivier Messiaen:

III. Montagnes

Turangalîla 1

I. Introduction 0:00:48
II. Chant d’amour 1 0:07:31
III. Turangalîla 1 0:15:58
IV. Chant d’amour 2 0:21:30
V. Joie du sang des étoiles 0:32:56
VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour 0:39:53
VII. Turangalîla 2 0:52:02
VIII. Développement de l’amour 0:55:45
IX. Turangalîla 3 1:07:25
X. Final 1:12:38

Cinq Rechants: Rechant 2

Georges Bizet:

Bizet seems to have become a one work (or should I say one opera) composer. His career, after a brilliant start (listen to the Symphony in C, below, written when he was 17), is dotted with a series of failures; even Carmen – which now claims the title of the most performed opera ever – was initially a flop. Apart from his operatic works, of which there are several completed and even more unfinished, his orchestral works include two symphonies, two suites – the second not compiled by the composer himself – drawn from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet’s play L’Arlésienne and an orchestration (again only partially by the composer himself) of his piece for two pianos, Jeux d’enfants [Children’s games].

Symphony in C

00:00 Allegro vivo
08:06 Andante. Adagio
19:29 Allegro vivace
25:28 Finale. Allegro vivace


L’Arlésienne Suite Nos. 1 & 2

Suite No. 1
Prélude ~ 0:21
Minuet ~ 6:51
Adagietto ~ 9:58
Carillon ~ 13:36

Suite No. 2
Pastorale ~ 17:41
Intermezzo ~ 23:29
Minuet ~ 28:39
Farandole ~ 33:02

Suite 1: Score
Suite 2: Score

 Jeux d’enfants
[2 piano version]

1.Reverie: L’Escarpolette (The Swing)
2.Impromptu: La Toupie (The Top) 2:30
3. Berceuse: La Poupée (The Doll) 3:31
4.Scherzo: Les Chevaux de bois
(The Merry-Go-Round) 5:53
5.Fantaisie: Le Volant (The Shuttlecock) 7:10
6.Marche: Trompette et Tambour
(Trumpet and Tambourine) 8:10
7.Rondino: Les Bulles de Savon (The Soap Bubbles) 10:20
8.Esquisse: Les quatre coins (The Four Coins) 11:48
9.Nocturne: Colin-Maillard (Hide and Seek) 14:04
10.Caprice: Saute-Mouton (Leapfrog) 15:38
11.Duo: Petit mari, petite femme (Playing House) 16:54
12.Galop: Le Bal (The Ball) 20:12


Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).