Fête des belles eaux

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