Called to the battlefront in 1914, Maurice Ravel wrote this remarkable work in a great hurry. In a letter to Stravinsky, he confided that this hurried departure pushed him to write in 5 weeks a work that should have taken 5 months. The zeal and urgency of the writing have led to one of the most innovative and coloured pieces in the history of chamber music.
Clarinettist Geert Baeckelandt joins Trio Khaldei for the performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. This work was both composed and premiered in wartime (1941), more specifically in the Prisoner of War camp in Görlitz in which Messiaen was imprisoned. As in the trio by Ravel, mysticism and spirituality characterise this work, which takes its inspiration from a quote from the Apocalypse of St John. The première of this quartet took place within the same camp, in gruelling conditions. The work is in eight movements, with certain movements only featuring some of the musicians. The movement for solo clarinet, Abîme des oiseaux, is perhaps the most well known movement of the quartet.
Even today, the performance of the Quartet for the End of Time leaves a lasting impression on the listener.
In this gripping programme, Trio Khaldei translates into music both hope and despair, the beginning and the end, death and eternity.