Watch excerpt of George Richford plays ‘ Le banquet celeste’ by Olivier Messiaen.
‘It’s based an the exact durations played by messaien in his recording, expanded in time to last 75 minutes, and the arc amplified with added registrations’ writes Scott Tresham, who originally put this project together in 2008.
The evening was a meditation on Holy Communion, with the slowed down work by Messiaen. The historic girls choir of Romsey Abbey brought in a glacier-slow procession of candles to light the foot of the altar, where bread and wine were placed. In recognition of Messiaen’s synasthesia, there were coordinated lights which changed colour according to the tonality of the piece.
Incense was released during the performance, and in true Corpus Christi tradition, thousands of pink petals were dropped from the cleostory of the Abbey on the final chord of the piece.