ENG - London

22jun18:3020:00ENG - LondonKammermusik



Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps

Alice Sara Ott piano
Thomas Reif violin
Sebastian Klinger cello
Sebastian Manz clarinet


Alice Sara Ott’s piano is joined by a violin, cello and clarinet to play the masterpiece Messiaen unveiled while incarcerated in a World War Two prisoner-of-war camp.

In the frozen depths of winter, incarcerated in a World War Two prisoner-of-war camp, the composer Olivier Messiaen unveiled a work unlike anything heard before or, possibly, since.

His Quartet for the End of Time, inspired by his intense Christian faith, is visionary and iconoclastic. The title is drawn from the Angel of the Apocalypse, who announces ‘There will be no more time’.

Written for four instruments playing in various combinations, the work explodes our experience of time in music, from inventive rhythms to a meditative quality that seems to slow down the heartbeat.

Messiaen himself gave the world premiere with three fellow prisoners-of-war who were professional musicians. Their audience consisted of the other inmates of Stalag VIIIA and the German guards, all listening together.

The story of extraordinary music performed in equally extraordinary conditions has come to symbolise humanity’s resilience as well as the power of faith in extreme circumstances. Tonight a team of internationally acclaimed soloists conjure Messiaen’s first masterpiece to life.


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