"Quartet for the End of Time" by the French composer Olivier Messiaen


"Quartet for the End of Time" by the French composer Olivier Messiaen
"Quatuor pour la fin du temps", also known by its English title Quartet for the End of Time, by the French composer Olivier Messiaen is a masterwork from the 20th century. Artistic Director, Carson Kievman who is a former student of Messiaen will introduce the concert, which is scheduled May 24, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in Miami Beach.

GIF

May 24, 2013 8:00 p.m. Open Friday Theater Concert - Quatuor pour la fin du temps, also known by its English title Quartet for the End of Time, by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. A masterwork from the 20th century. General Seating $10. / VIP $25. Also at 7:00 p.m. Arts Speaks, pre-concert talk by Artistic Director, Carson Kievman (a former student of Messiaen).

Messiaen was captured by the German army during World War II in June 1940 and was imprisoned in a prisoner-of-war camp. While in transit to the prisoner of war camp, Messiaen showed the clarinetist Henri Akoka the sketches for what would become Abîme des oiseaux. Two other professional musicians were also among his fellow prisoners and after he managed to obtain some paper and a small pencil from a sympathetic guard, Messiaen wrote a short trio for them; this piece developed into the Quatuor for the same trio with himself at the piano.

The quartet was premiered in Stalag VIII-A in Görlitz, Germany (currently Zgorzelec, Poland) outdoors in the rain on January 15, 1941, before an audience of about four hundred fellow prisoners of war and prison guards.

In the previous century, the Requiem Mass had given composers the opportunity to unleash all the thunder they could muster to depict the horrific details of God’s day of accounting. And not too long after Messiaen’s quartet was completed, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Britten, and Penderecki would write pieces expressive of the horrors of the Nazis and their war, music full of screams, howls, and cries for righteous justice against the oppressor.


But Messiaen composed a vision of heaven where anger, violence, vengeance, and despair are not so much repressed as irrelevant. This work has nothing to do with war, or prison, or “man’s inhumanity to man.” There is no darkness here. There is no bitterness. There is no rage. Instead there is power, light, transcendence, ecstasy, and joy eternal. Michael Linton, Tennessee State University.

Venue and contacts:

SoBe Institute of the Arts
2100 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Tél : 305-674-9220
events@sobearts.org
http://www.sobearts.org/


Article published May 21, 2013.

Dernière modification : 23/05/2013

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