Young Ambassador Review: Turangalila

One of the Glasgow Young Ambassadors, Luke Maher, describes Turangalila in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sat 15 March 2014

Turangalila was a piece that I never thought I would be able to like. I had listened to several recording but had never seen it live and until this point I hadn't managed to enjoy it at all. The dissonance and the madness of it had just never managed to capture me, however, Saturdays (15th March) performance changed it all.
The RSNO under the baton of Thomas Søndergård were thrilling and for the first time I enjoyed Messiaen's Turangalila immensely. It really is as much of a feast for the eyes as it is for the ears with the use of instruments such as the ondes Martenot (the nearest thing to a synthesiser in a piece of classical music). All the soloists really were amazing but for me the leader of the orchestra stood out as I think he captured Messiaen's idea of a love song amongst the chaos perfectly. Passages that had usually made feel a little uneasy completely reeled me in and when the tension was released, with the massive warm brass chords that pop up several times throughout the piece, the hall was left in shock and you could feel the audience wanting more.
The only disappointing thing about this concert was the attendance. A masterpiece and display of such genius should not be missed by anyone who can help it.
Luke Maher
Luke is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All opinions expressed by Young Ambassadors are that of the individual and are not representative of the RSNO. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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