Choice: Concert - From the Canyons to the Stars

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Indy Lifestyle Online
From the Canyons to the Stars, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) 7.30pm

With shamefully few exceptions, in the wimpish new world of Radio Three, you'll only ever find an unfamiliar but approachable composer like Messiaen in the furthermost reaches of the schedules. Heaven knows what that means for the future of classical music in this country, but fortunately tonight's concert, conducted by Simon Rattle, is being broadcast. However, anyone who considers themselves up for the physical thrill of live music should rush to the South Bank. This giant work - it's scored for piano and 43 instruments including a wind machine - was inspired by the Grand Canyon and is generally considered to be Messiaen's orchestral masterpiece. The piece is in 12 sections encompassing the vastness of the American landscape - with numerous allusions to birdsong and a sand machine helping to illustrate the desert. With tickets at just pounds 11 or pounds 7, you can't afford not to go.