Barenboim Messiaen: Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps on 180g Import LP
The title alone "Quartet for the end of time" and the fact that it was composed in 1940, when war was raging, give one an inkling of the ominous background to the writing of this piece of music. Messiaen had been captured by the German army during the occupation of France and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp near Görlitz, where he was held for a long, hard year. He was permitted to have manuscript paper, and was able to compose the quartet. On January 15th, he and three fellow prisoners were given the opportunity to perform the piece before an audience of about 400 prisoners.
Messiaen’s Quartet is not written in the classical four-movement form but as an eight-movement suite. Each section is a musical expression of programmatic meditation on the Creation and the Gospel according to St. John. The melodic writing is such that the listener is given a feeling of timelessness and endless space. Here, specific rhythms, which in contrast to 'classical' music have no set musical pulse, enhance the feeling that time is expanded and takes on a spiritual dimension.
Messiaen thus creates a thoroughly new concept, which is in direct opposition to traditional compositional ideas of precise and regular metrics and structures, development and the genesis of forward-moving music. There is certainly no more convincing performance of this exceptional composition, which was recorded in the presence of the composer and authorized by him.
Barenboim Messiaen: Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps Track Listing:
1. Liturgie de cristal
2. Vocalise, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du temps
3. Abîme des oiseaux
5. Louange à l'Eternité de Jésus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Fouillis d'arcs-en-ciel, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du temps
8. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus