Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time

Philharmonia

Southbank Centre London
Thu 7 March 2024

7.30pm

Hear one of the essential compositions of the twentieth century performed by four musicians from the Philharmonia Orchestra in this free early evening concert.

The quartet was written in a German prisoner of war camp in 1941, and premiered by Messiaen and three fellow-prisoners. Recalling that first performance, to an audience of 400 prisoners and guards, the composer said: “Never have I been listened to with such rapt attention and understanding”.

Taking its imagery from the biblical Book of Revelation, the music is by turns ecstatic and apocalyptic, troubled and serene.

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