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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.

Tombeau de Messiaen

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

Cédric Tiberghien, Jérémie Henrot (Sound Engineer), Ilan Volkov, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Tombeau de Messiaen

Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre (Melbourne, VIC, Australia)

Inventi Ensemble, Melissa Doecke, Ben Opie, Peter de Jager

Tombeau de Messiaen

St John's Smith Square (London, United Kingdom)

Eliza McCarthy

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Tombeau de Messiaen

Le Quartz (Brest, Bretagne, France)

Vincent Leterme

Tombeau de Messiaen

Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, University of Sussex (Brighton, United Kingdom)

Joseph Houston