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Quartet for The End of Time

Quatuor pour la fin du temps, also known as Quartet for the End of Time in English, is a piece of chamber music by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. Composed amidst exceedingly challenging circumstances, its premiere has been hailed as one of the great stories of twentieth-century music.

During the Second World War, Olivier Messiaen was captured by enemy forces in the summer of 1940 and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland. In this camp, Messiaen encountered three fellow detainees who happened to be professional musicians: clarinetist Henri Akpka, violinist Jean le Boulaire, and cellist Étienne Pasquier.

Taking on the role of pianist, Messiaen developed the fully formed quartet that was premiered in 1941, with instruments reportedly in a state of disrepair. Despite the challenges, the quartet was performed before an audience of around 400 prisoners and guards. As recounted by the composer himself, they listened with great intensity and appreciation.

Text by: Deyun Lin/Licha Stelaus Productions

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Disclaimer: We are fans of great sound and music. We are not agent nor presenter of musicians featured on this post. We do not own the photos and videos in this blog - Licha Stelaus Productions


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