7pm (c.17 mins) – Movt 1 Crystal Liturgy; Movt 2 Angel Announcing End of Time; Movt 3 Abyss of the Birds.
7.30pm (c.12mins) Movt 4 Scherzo & Movt 5 Praise to the Eternity of Jesus
8pm (c.15mins) Movt 6 Dance of Wrath; Movt 7 Tangle of Rainbows
8.30pm (c.6mins) Movt 8 In praise of the immortality of Jesus
8.45pm (c.6mins) Movt 8 In praise of the immortality of Jesus
The choice of performance location takes inspiration from the lines:
A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest
Messiaen’s eight part, highly spiritual work, written for inmates in a German prison in 1940, will be performed by four of the UK’s finest classical musicians against the backdrop of the blackened wall at All Hallows by the Tower church which was damaged by German bombing in World War II, also in 1940.
The Steinway concert piano chosen and hired by the T S Eliot Estate is supplied and maintained by Steinway & Sons, London.
All Hallows by the Tower is the oldest church in the City of London and was founded by the Abbey of Barking in 675AD, 300 years before the Tower of London. An arch from the Saxon church can still be seen today. In the crypt beneath is a second century Roman pavement, discovered in 1926, evidence of city life on this site for nearly two thousand years.