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08 Sep 2008

The power and the glory of Messiaen's only opera

Tom Service [The Guardian, 8 September 2008]

If you hear only one thing this week, let it be this. Now, if you've no time for all six hours of Messiaen's only opera, St Francis of Assisi, you have to hear the final act. It's only a hour long, but you'll experience some of the most imaginative orchestral writing ever composed: the sounds Messiaen finds for St Francis's stigmata and his death and transfiguration are indelibly emblazoned on my brain after last night's Proms performance.

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