I discovered this lengthy symphony whilst reading about the musical influences of Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who sites Turangalîla-Symphonie as his favorite piece of classical music. It is easy to see why. This gigantic symphony contains a variety of emotions, strange sounds and unusual motifs within its cyclic structure. Also, Turangalîla-Symphonie is notable for the use of an Ondes Martenot, an early French electrical instrument that produces a haunting, theremin-like sound. Messaien pieces are some of the most prominent uses of the Ondes Martenot, which has recently made resurgence due to Greenwood’s use of the Ondes Martenot in many of Radiohead’s songs from the album Kid A onward.
(This video is a good performance for the audio, but the camera work is little strange. Fortunately, it gives you a good look at the Ondes Martenot in action.)