Andrew, you seem to be the only person here who has ever witnessed a performance of the Turangalila. I've never even seen a performance announced. But I'm going to ask about another work, surely performed more frequently than Messiaen, but nevertheless new to me. Is anyone familiar with Telemann's Concerto for Three Trumpets? It was the first number in a concert of baroque music in Sacramento this past Sunday, and I was a little bit dubious. (Three trumpets?) Not to worry; I loved it. Melodic, high-energy...and joyous.
Back to Andrew's post. The mention of the musical saw brought back a memory. I've seen/heard a saw played only twice, both times in movies I saw as a child. The first was a short solo piece in some Saturday afternoon cowboy movie. What a marvel that was, hearing such gorgeous sounds from an instrument normally used for cutting down trees. The second time was in a novelty band. In addition to the saw player, there were guys playing a scrubboard, spoons, Jew's harp, jugs, an inverted washtub with broomstick and string, cigar-box banjo, a couple of other things I don't remember -- probably a kazoo and a drum of some sort. I think that was in a Fibber McGee and Molly movie, but I'm not sure. It was great fun.