Fête des belles eaux

Fête des belles eaux is a 1937 composition by French composer Olivier Messiaen.[1] The work is scored for six ondes Martenots and was commissioned for the 1937 Paris Exhibition.[2] The work was written to accompany the movement[3] of the fountains at the Exhibition.


This composition is in eight movements and takes approximately 30 minutes to perform. The movement list is as follows:

  1. Premières fusées
  2. L'eau
  3. Les fusées
  4. L'eau
  5. Les fusées
  6. L'eau (à son maximum de hauteur)
  7. Superposition de l'eau et des fusées
  8. Feux d'artifice final

The melodic theme used in IV L'eau was also used later in the fifth movement of Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps.


  1. "Music Obituaries - Yvonne Loriod". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  2. Christopher Dingle (2013). Messiaen's Final Works. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9780754606338. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  3. Ivan Hewett (15 March 2005). "Strange echoes of another world". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
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