The Power Of The Ondes

Thomas Bloch explores the little-known ondes martenot, an instrument that features in Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony in the second part of this evening's Prom.

A keyboard-like instrument with a distinctive sound, it was first built in the 1920s in France and was used by classical composers such as Messiaen and Boulez.

Since its creation, other composers from the worlds of film music and pop have also written for it.

A distinguished player of the ondes himself, Thomas talks to multi-instrumentalist and ex-Pogues player David Coulter about its history, its range and power and why it has been an inspiration to composers from many different musical fields.

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Thomas Bloch explores the little-known ondes martenot, an instrument that features in Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony in the second part of this evening's Prom.

A keyboard-like instrument with a distinctive sound, it was first built in the 1920s in France and was used by classical composers such as Messiaen and Boulez.

Since its creation, other composers from the worlds of film music and pop have also written for it.

A distinguished player of the ondes himself, Thomas talks to multi-instrumentalist and ex-Pogues player David Coulter about its history, its range and power and why it has been an inspiration to composers from many different musical fields.