Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … (Lightning Over the Beyond … ) is an orchestral work by Olivier Messiaen, written in 1988–91, his last completed composition.Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 150th anniversary in 1992, Éclairs was first performed by that orchestra at Lincoln Center with Zubin Mehta conducting on 5 November of the anniversary year, just over six months after the composer's death.
“Éclairs” are flashes of lightning; “sur” translates in this context as over rather than on (cf. éclairs sur Paris, lightning over London); “l’Au-Delà,” capitalized, refers to the Hereafter, the Afterlife, or, literally, the Beyond. Messiaen is extending the imagery of the heavenly “city” with pearly “gates” described in the Book of Revelation. The weather event has the “light,” representing Jesus, and links to space and astronomy — two of the three threads in the 70-minute composition. Expression of theological ideas from the Roman Catholic faith, and an often ecstatic intention, are characteristic of the composer.
The third thread, birdsong, is transcribed into several of the eleven movements of the score. The specific birdsong used originates in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Singapore. Messiaen's sole visit to Australia was during that country's bicentennial celebrations in 1988, during the period he was writing Éclairs. Although earlier works (for example, Saint Francis of Assisi) had included Australian birdsong, Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … is Messiaen's only work to use the sounds of Australian birds he notated in the wild.[ citation needed ] Messiaen's modes of limited transposition, another of his favorite techniques, are also used. The movements are:
The work is scored for an orchestra of 128, consisting of :
Trionfo di Afrodite is a cantata called "concerto scenico" written in 1951 by the German composer Carl Orff. It is part of Trionfi, the musical trilogy that also includes Carmina Burana and Catulli Carmina. In this case, "Trionfo" refers to the Roman and Renaissance trionfo, meaning "procession" or "festival". Trionfi was premiered in 1953 at La Scala in Milano, conducted by Herbert von Karajan.
Pli selon pli is a piece of classical music by the French composer Pierre Boulez. It carries the subtitle Portrait de Mallarmé. It is scored for a solo soprano and orchestra and uses the texts of three sonnets of French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé and single lines from two of his other poems. At over an hour, it is Boulez's longest work.
The contrabass clarinet and contra-alto clarinet are the two largest members of the clarinet family that are in common usage. Modern contrabass clarinets are pitched in B♭, sounding two octaves lower than the common B♭ soprano clarinet and one octave lower than the B♭ bass clarinet. Some contrabass clarinet models have a range extending down to low (written) E♭, while others can play down to low D or further to low C. This range, C(3) – E(6), sounds B♭(0) – D(4). Some early instruments were pitched in C; Arnold Schoenberg's Fünf Orchesterstücke specifies a contrabass clarinet in A, but there is no evidence of such an instrument ever having existed.
Saint François d'Assise is an opera in three acts and eight scenes by French composer and librettist Olivier Messiaen, written from 1975 to 1983. It concerns Saint Francis of Assisi, the title character, and displays the composer's devout Catholicism. The world première was given by the Paris Opera at the Palais Garnier on 28 November 1983.
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra is a 1945 musical composition by Benjamin Britten with a subtitle Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell. It was based on the second movement, "Rondeau", of the Abdelazer suite. It was originally commissioned for the British educational documentary film called Instruments of the Orchestra released on 29 November 1946, directed by Muir Mathieson and featuring the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Sargent; Sargent also conducted the concert première on 15 October 1946 with the Pool Philharmonic in the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England.
Music for Prague 1968 is a programmatic work written by Czech-born composer Karel Husa for symphonic band and later transcribed for full orchestra, written shortly after the Soviet Union crushed the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Karel Husa was sitting on the dock at his cottage in America at the time, listening to the BBC broadcast of the events on the radio. He was deeply moved, and wrote Music for Prague 1968 to memorialize the events. This piece is a standard among wind ensemble repertoire.
König Hirsch is an opera in three acts by Hans Werner Henze to a German libretto by Heinz von Cramer after Il re cervo, a theatrical fable (1762) by Carlo Gozzi. He revised it as Il re cervo, premiered in 1963 at the Staatstheater Kassel.
Éric Gaudibert was a Swiss composer.
The Lyric Symphony, Op. 18, was composed by Alexander von Zemlinsky between 1922 and 1923 and received its premiere in Prague on June 4, 1924, under the composer's direction. It is Zemlinsky's best-known work.
Die glückliche Hand, Op. 18, is a Drama mit Musik by Arnold Schoenberg in four scenes. It was composed between 1910 and 1913. Like Erwartung, composed a year earlier, it was heavily influenced by Otto Weininger's book Sex and Character. Unlike Erwartung, Schoenberg wrote the libretto for Die glückliche Hand himself. The first performance took place at the Vienna Volksoper on 24 October 1924. The underlying message of the piece is the idea that man continues to repeatedly make the same mistakes, and the plot is developed from events in Schoenberg’s personal life.
Hans Werner Henze composed the nine Sacred Concertos that comprise his Requiem over the course of three years from 1991 to 1993 on commissions from the London Sinfonietta, Suntory Corporation for the NHK Philharmonic, and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne. The first movement, Introitus: Requiem Aeternam was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta as part of a memorial concert for Artistic Director Michael Vyner who died on 20 October 1989. In addition to Henze, the London Sinfonietta also commissioned seven other prominent composers to write works in Vyner's memory to make up the program which was performed on the 6 May 1990.
Der Mond is an opera in one act by Carl Orff based on a Grimm's fairy tale) with a libretto by the composer. It was first performed on 5 February 1939 by the Bavarian State Opera in Munich under the direction of Clemens Krauss. The composer describes it not as an opera but as Ein kleines Welttheater ; the performance lasts for about one hour and is often paired with Orff's Die Kluge.
La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ is a work written between 1965 and 1969 by Olivier Messiaen. It is based on the account found in the synoptic gospels of Jesus' transfiguration. The writing is on a very large scale; the work requires around 200 performers. The forces required include a mixed choir, seven instrumental soloists and a large orchestra.
Winds of Nagual is a 1985 composition for wind ensemble by the North American composer Michael Colgrass. It has become a standard of the wind ensemble/concert band repertoire. Based on the writings of Carlos Castaneda, the work consists of seven movements.
Symphony No.1 is A three movement piece for Orchestra and Turntables by Jeremy Mayall. This piece is the first orchestral symphony to use the techniques of turntablism.
Des canyons aux étoiles... is a large twelve-movement orchestral work by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. American Alice Tully commissioned the piece in 1971 to celebrate the bicentenary of the United States Declaration of Independence. In 1972, while preparing the work, Messiaen visited Utah, where he was inspired by the birds and the landscape, particularly at colourful Bryce Canyon. It received its premiere in 1974. Performances of the work can have a duration in the range of 90 to 100 minutes.
Chôros is the title of a series of compositions by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, composed between 1920 and 1929.
Carré (Square) for four orchestras and four choirs (1959–60) is a composition by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is Work Number 10 in the composer's catalog of works.
Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum is a work for wind orchestra by Olivier Messiaen, written in 1964 and first performed the following year. It is composed in five movements.