Tombeau de Messiaen


by Jonathan Harvey

Piano and CD
Electronics with Live Performers, Piano

Commissioned by Philip Mead with funds provided by Eastern Arts

First Performance
2.11.94, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge: Philip Mead

Score and CD 0-571-51626-2 on sale

Programme Notes

This work is a modest offering in response to the death of a great musical and spiritual presence. Messiaen was a protospectralist, that is to say, he was fascinated by the colours of the harmonic series and its distortions, and found therein a prismatic play of light. The tape part of my work is composed of piano sounds entirely tuned to harmonic series - twelve of them, one for each class of pitch. The ‘tempered’ live piano joins and distorts these series, never entirely belonging, never entirely separate. Tombeau de Messiaen was written for Philip Mead (who commissioned it with funds provided in part by Eastern Arts) and dedicated to him and to Jake Harvey Tavener who was born ten hours before Tombeau was finished. Sound projection by the composer.

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

'Tombeau de Messiaen' reviews

'At the end came Jonathan Harvey's remarkable Tombeau de Messiaen, for piano and tape, which seemed to extend Messiaen's already lavish color spectrum into another dimension… music which itself touched upon ecstasy and communicated much of the same to the large, ecstatic crowd.' LA Weekly (Alan Rich) 30 September 2000 Read more

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