|There's nothing else on earth like "La Legende d'Eer." It's a monumental piece of electronic music, based on a parable from Plato's "Republic" about a Lazarus-like figure (Eer) who dies, visits the underworld (Hades), then comes back to life.
Once you know the story, the piece is quite easy to follow. A long, very gradual preparatory section leads into a stormy transition (Eer's passage to the underworld). Suddenly the music dumps you into Hades (which sounds like huge trucks rumbling over rocky roads, interspersed with some drumming) and eventually back, via a spectacularly dense and complex transitional passage, to the world of the living. The final section reiterates the eerie calm of the beginning.
This piece is so intense that I can only bear to listen to it once or twice a year. But when I do listen, I feel like I've made the journey myself! Along with the percussion symphony "Pleiades," this is the work that most strongly convinces me of Xenakis' genius as a musical innovator.