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Quartet for the End of Time

The Waldstein Piano Trio in collaboration with clarinetist Benjamin Mason are bringing the Quartet for the End of Time

15 January 1941 – A premiere performance of an influential piece is about to be given at Stalag VIII-A prisoner-of-war camp in Görlitz, Germany during that chilly day of winter. Four prisoners: a clarinetist, a violinist, a cellist and a pianist are about to perform together the Quartet for the End of Time before the eyes of their fellow prisoners and German guards.

The composer of the piece, Olivier Messiaen, who also takes the role of the pianist later recalls: “Never have I been heard with as much attention and understanding”. Thus, in the midst of war and death an apocalyptic quartet like no other comes to life.

Inspired by text from the Book of Revelation and dedicated to “the Angel who announces the end of time” this transcendent piece through the journey of its eight movements takes us to the extremes of reaching as far away as possible from the mortal world and its flaws, into divine realms where time stops: the eternity of immortal life in the perpetual light of Paradise. The work reflects the composer’s devotion to Christian faith and his fascination with birds and birdsong.

Musicans:

  • Greta Papa – violin
  • Miguel Ángel Villeda Cerón – ‘cello
  • Christos Fountos – piano
  • Benjamin Mason – clarinet