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THE SCOOP | The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Releases Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie On Harmonia Mundi February 2

By Anya Wassenberg on January 31, 2024

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Photo courtesy of the TSO)
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Photo courtesy of the TSO)

As LvT reported back in November, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and recording label Harmonia Mundi had inked a deal that would fast track the first recording. That release, Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, drops on February 2, 2024.

“For the first of our recordings with Harmonia Mundi, the wonderful musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra brought an extraordinary level of energy, concentration, and commitment to their playing that I am simply in awe of,” said Maestro Gustavo Gimeno in a statement.

“This made the experience of capturing Turangalîla-Symphonie profoundly intense and beautiful, and it will always occupy a precious place in my memory. I sincerely hope that listeners, now and in the future, will share the wonder of that experience and of Messaien’s incomparable masterpiece.”

The recording adds to the TSO’s distinguished discography, and marks the orchestra as a flagship for the noted European label in North America. The TSO’s 1968 RCA recording of the same piece was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award. The remake marks Gimeno’s first recording with the orchestra.

“The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is very excited to be the first North American orchestra to partner with Harmonia Mundi. The inaugural recording of this partnership — the Turangalîla-Symphonie, among the greatest compositions of the 20th century — reflects the ebullient energy of today’s Toronto Symphony under the exceptional musical leadership of Gustavo Gimeno, while paying homage to our storied history,” said Beck Family CEO, Mark Williams.

The recording was taped during performance at Roy Thomson Hall as part of the TSO’s 100th-anniversary season. The performance also features soloists Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano) and Nathalie Forget (ondes Martenot).

What’s next?

The next two recording projects are already set out, including Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella with a work by Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy),and Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin with a work by Canadian composer Emilie LeBel. They will be recorded this season and next, and reflect Music Director Gustavo Gimeno’s characteristic blending of new and old works.

  • More information, and download/stream the Turangalîla-Symphonie recording as of February 2, 2024 [HERE].

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