Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time"

Free Performance of Messiaen’s "Quartet for the End of Time"
October 26, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
Antioch College South Gym
(intersection of Livermore and Marshall Streets, Yellow Springs)
Piece Written at World War II Prisoner of War Camp Spreads Spirit of Humanity

Nonprofit recital series Sunday at Central will present renowned French composer Olivier Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du Temps (Quartet for the End of Time) on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the South Gym at Antioch College. The free hour-long concert is funded by the Johnstone Fund for New Music.

One of the most vital works of the 20th century, Quartet for the End of Time carries gripping messages of wartime hope and redemption that still resonate today. Messiaen composed most of the work while an inmate at the Stalag VIII A prisoner of war camp in Görlitz, Germany. Sympathetic guards gave Messiaen and his fellow prisoner musicians manuscript paper, pencils, instruments, and allowance to rehearse four hours a day. It premiered at the camp in January of 1941 for 400 prisoners, officers, and guards. The ethereal piece contains eight movements, each with its own distinct color and form, and is inspired by text from the Book of Revelation.

Four accomplished and internationally recognized musicians will play in the ensemble: pianist Mariko Kaneda (Faculty, Ohio Wesleyan University ); violinist David Niwa (Assistant Concertmaster, The Columbus Symphony); cellist Pegsoon Whang (Utah Symphony); and clarinetist Robert “Woody” Jones (Second Clarinetist, The Columbus Symphony). Interpretive dance will be performed by Yellow Springs choreographer Melissa Heston, and technical artistry will be provided by Michael Casselli Video Design. Contextual artwork by Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia Delaunay, and other artists will be projected throughout the performance.

A brief interactive talkback led by Knowles will follow the performance. This program is recommended for ages 9 and older. Antioch’s South Gym is located at One Morgan Place and free parking is available.

Pictured (from left to right): Melissa Heston, Jack Johnstone, David Niwa, and Zoe Johnstone
Photo by Alexandra Kelley Fox