Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Upcoming in February

The Quartet for the End of Time
Sunday, Feb 13 2:30 pm

The St Catharines Chamber Music Society Presents:

Olivier Messiaen’s The Quartet for the End of Time with Konstantin Popovic- violin, Gordon Cleland- cello, Michele Jacot- clarinet, Erika Reiman- piano.

“I saw a mighty angel descending from heaven, clad in mist, having around his head a rainbow. His face was like the sun, his feet like pillars of fire. He placed his right foot on the sea, his left on the earth, and standing thus on the sea and the earth he lifted his hand toward heaven and swore by Him who liveth for ever and ever, saying: ‘There shall be time no longer, but at the day of the trumpet of the seventh angel the mystery of God shall be consummated’.”

-Revelation, X

The Quartet for the End of Time was written in the course of Messiaen’s captivity in a German concentration camp and first performed in Stalag 8 A on January 15, 1941. It was directly inspired by this quotation from The Revelation of St John. It’s musical language is transcendental. Certain modes, realizing melodically and harmonically a kind of tonal ubiquity, draw the listener into a sense of the eternity of space or time. Certain rhythms existing outside the measure contribute importantly toward the banishment of temporalities.

The quartet comprises eight movements. Seven is the perfect number, the creation of six days made holy by the divine Sabbath; the seventh in its repose prolongs itself into eternity and becomes the eighth, of unfailing light, of immutable peace.

The Quartet for the End of Time

I. Liturgy of crystal.
II. Vocalise, for the angel who announces the end of Time.
III. Abyss of the birds.
IV. Interlude.
V. Praise to the eternity of Jesus.
VI. Dance of fury, for the seven trumpets.
VII. Cluster of rainbows, for the angel who announces the end of Time.
VIII. Praise to the immortality of Jesus.

Accompanying Messiaen’s unique masterpiece will be:

Prayer, from Jewish Life #3
A powerfully moving piece for cello and piano by Ernest Bloch.

Miniatures in India
I. Prayers Ignite
II. Temple Incense
III. The River Pamba
A fascinating work by local St Catharines composer Neva Tesolin. It was inspired by her studies in India. She arrived in India during a religious festial in which the streets of the city were strung with fireworks and she captures the essence of religious fervour accompanied by explosions, the feelings of mystey in a shrine and the sacred beauty of the River Pamba.

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