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Quator pour la Fin du Temps


scored for violin, cello, clarinet and piano 

duration  18 minutes 

In addition to the masterpiece of Olivier Messiaen, pieces written under pseudonym were added. They are a commentary on artistic research and historical informed practice. 

Ensemble: TetraGonist

Released on all major streaming platforms in 2015 by Aliud Records

Sächische Zeitung (concert and recording Messiaen ‘Quatuor pour la fin du temps’): The piece, played by the musicians as tenderly and movingly as the composer would have liked, disappears as soon as it has faded away.

Opus Klassiek: Messiaen's 'Quatuor pour la fin du temps' quartet has a unique line-up and was in fact the starting point for the TetraGonist quartet (Tetra stands for four parts, in this case the size of the ensemble). on 15 January last the Tetragonist played the quartet of Messiaen on the site of the former camp Stalag VIIIa (not Stelag, as is printed in the CD booklet). It was a very impressive experience, both for the four musicians and for the audience.


It has already become clear from the foregoing: Messiaen's quartet is not war music, although it was written during the war and, moreover, in a camp under appalling conditions. Because of its religious character it rose above the camp reality. The other seven pieces by just as many composers on this CD are not so much a counterweight, but seem more intended as a response to Messiaen's usually contemplative quartet: "On the one hand, we wanted them to be a symbol of the different nationalities that made up the conflict at the time and who were therefore present in the camp, on the other hand we wanted to link that to the main styles that shaped the musical landscape in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century and which inevitably influenced Messiaen in finding his musical vocabulary.' The concluding, rather clumsily formulated sentence (I also found that elsewhere) makes the further intention of the foursome nevertheless clear: 'At last we were looking for works that would use the full range of possibilities of the instrumentation and the combinations that Messiaen had not used. would supplement in order to arrive at a unity here too.' By the way, if you think you recognize the slow middle movement of Ravel's Piano Concerto in G in Montfort's 'Éclat de nacre', you hit the nail on the head.

All in all, it has become an extremely successful production that stands out for its high level of performance and interpretation, as well as for the exquisite dialogues between symbiosis and contrast that make these performances a compelling event. Jos Boerland has captured it all eminently.

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