THE MAGIC HOUR:
QUARTET FOR THE END OF TIME
Sunset: Approximately 7.44pm
‘Between three and four in the morning, the awakening of birds: a solo blackbird or nightingale improvises, surrounded by a shimmer of sound, by a halo of trills lost high in the trees.
In the middle section are the impalpable harmonies of heaven. In the piano, sweet cascades of blue-orange chords, enclosing in their distant chimes the almost plainchant song of the violin and cello.
The abyss is Time with its sadness, its weariness. The birds are the opposite to Time; they are our desire for light, for stars, for rainbows, and for jubilant songs.
Music of stone, formidable granite sound; irresistible movement of steel, huge blocks of purple rage, icy drunkenness.
The angel appears in full force, especially the rainbow that covers him (the rainbow, symbol of peace, wisdom and all luminescent and sonorous vibration).
Its slow ascent to the acutely extreme is the ascent of man to his god, the child of God to his Father, the being made divine towards Paradise.’
– Olivier Messiaen
Sophie Rowell | Violin
Julian Smiles | Cello
David Griffiths | Clarinet
Aura Go | Piano
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Piano Trio in E flat, Op. 1 No. 1
II. Andante cantabile
III. Scherzo. Allegro assai
IV. Finale. Presto
Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
Contrasts, Sz. 111 for Clarinet, Violin and Piano
I. Verbunkos (Recruiting Dance)
II. Pihenő (Relaxation)
III. Sebes (Fast Dance)
Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992)
Quartet for the End of Time
I. Liturgie de cristal
II. Vocalise, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
III. Abîme des oiseux
V. Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus
VI. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
VII. Fouillis d'arcs-en-ciel, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus