Not many symphonies call for the large forces and vast stamina that Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla demands.

So it was altogether appropriate that the university, with its ample musical resources and relatively limitless rehearsal time, should take it on. Wednesday’s performance, conducted by John Stringer, was a signal achievement.

The symphony’s Sanskrit name encompasses the life-force of the cosmos, from human love to the whirling pulse of the galaxies. No problem for the composer there, then.

Messiaen solves it by throwing an orchestra of more than a hundred into the fray, with the addition of solo ondes martenot, representing a kind of disembodied “vox humana”, and piano, which provides the true narrative thread. His ten movements compare, contrast and interweave three themes, which relate in turn to Mexican monuments (and the brutality that went into making them), flowers and, most important of all, a “love” theme of sexual ecstasy.

These are centred round a central scherzo, Joy Of The Blood Of The Stars, ripe with the sort of fertility symbols heard in Stravinsky’s Rite Of Spring. This was given positively jazzy, dance treatment by Stringer and his attentive cohorts, and balanced by an especially tender Garden Of Love’s Sleep, the succeeding movement.

Joseph Houston brought supreme authority to the often relentless piano role, sustaining a sparkling staccato.

Cynthia Millar’s vital contribution on the electronic ondes was not always audible, but telling whenever it cut through.

And the orchestra’s discipline was total, brass to the fore. Bravo!