Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time is currently on the 15th tier of the Talk Classical community's favorite and most highly recommended works.

Wikipedia article


Trout's recommended recordings:
1. Tashi (1975)
2. De Peyer, Gruenberg, Pleeth, Béroff (1968)
3. P. Meyer, Shaham, Wang, Chung (1999)
4. W. Meyer, Poppen, Fischer-Dieskau, Loriod (1990)
5. Deplus, Fernandez, Neilz, Petit (1963)
6. Vacellier, J. Pasquier, E. Pasquier, Messiaen (1956)
7. Damiens, Le Dizes, Strauch, Aimard (1986)
8. Desurmont, Yordanoff, Tetard, Barenboim (1978)
9. Ensemble Walter Boeykens (1990)
10. Pieterson, Beths, Bylsma, De Leeuw (1989)
My word, is this great music! To think that this was composed in a prisoners of war camp - wow!
What do you think of this work? Do you love it? Adore it? Haven't listened yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,403 Posts
This is one of my favorite works from the first half of the twentieth century. I hope many more generations of listeners get to hear it!

The TASHI recording is the one I usually listen to. The only other one I've heard is Loriod, and I don't like it nearly as much. I would like to hear De Peyer though....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time is currently on the 15th tier of the Talk Classical community's favorite and most highly recommended works.

Wikipedia article


Trout's recommended recordings:

My word, is this great music! To think that this was composed in a prisoners of war camp - wow!
What do you think of this work? Do you love it? Adore it? Haven't listened yet?
So it looks like the most recent star ensemble on Sony didn't make the cut?

Martin Fröst on clarinet, Janine Jansen on violin, Lucas Debarge on piano and Th. Thedeen on cello:

Rectangle Font Picture frame Cemetery Nameplate
 
  • Like
Reactions: science

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,403 Posts
So it looks like the most recent star ensemble on Sony didn't make the cut?

Martin Fröst on clarinet, Janine Jansen on violin, Lucas Debarge on piano and Th. Thedeen on cello:

View attachment 129394
Trout compiled the recommendations for this work about three years before that was released, so it's nice to know about this one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ras

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,303 Posts
Messiaen is in my top 5 favorite composers and I quite love this piece. I always find the ending particularly beautiful. I think it's one of his most accessible as I think the chamber ensemble makes his striking use of color and mysticism more digestible. Part of me wishes he continued to write more chamber works, but I suppose his ideas and style became too colossal.

Listening to the Frost recording now.
 

·
Registered
Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Sibelius, Mahler, Messiaen
Joined
·
3,475 Posts
This is a masterpiece of modernism IMO. One of the few atonal (I don't know whether that term is accurate here, but it sounds so to my musically conservative ears) compositions I've heard that I have been able to enjoy. There is a rich, haunting beauty beyond the surface of this music that I have to be in the mood to appreciate, but when I do, it is quite rewarding. Messiaen writes uniquely and brilliantly for all four instruments and really harnesses their coloristic potentials. What's really fascinating to me about this work (and about Messiaen in general) is his interest in theological themes. Though I don't believe the work should be treated as explicit program music, there is a definite sense of spirituality that is almost impossible to ignore. Movements like the long clarinet solo and "Praise to the Eternity of Jesus" seem to inspire an extended state of meditation. Of course, Messiaen had a very unique mind with his synesthesia and his very personal faith. I don't think it's fully possible to understand his complete intentions since they were so esoteric. But at the very least, it's music that makes us think abstractly, and music that engages the senses very intimately. And that's enough to celebrate for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,450 Posts
The Warner Classics CD of the Quartet paired with Dorati's Chronochromie is my current favorite. Recorded in the late 60s. I give this CD a 10/10 for sound and performance. A superb re-issue!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,462 Posts
This is a masterpiece of modernism IMO. One of the few atonal (I don't know whether that term is accurate here, but it sounds so to my musically conservative ears) compositions I've heard that I have been able to enjoy. There is a rich, haunting beauty beyond the surface of this music that I have to be in the mood to appreciate, but when I do, it is quite rewarding. Messiaen writes uniquely and brilliantly for all four instruments and really harnesses their coloristic potentials. What's really fascinating to me about this work (and about Messiaen in general) is his interest in theological themes. Though I don't believe the work should be treated as explicit program music, there is a definite sense of spirituality that is almost impossible to ignore. Movements like the long clarinet solo and "Praise to the Eternity of Jesus" seem to inspire an extended state of meditation. Of course, Messiaen had a very unique mind with his synesthesia and his very personal faith. I don't think it's fully possible to understand his complete intentions since they were so esoteric. But at the very least, it's music that makes us think abstractly, and music that engages the senses very intimately. And that's enough to celebrate for me.
I'm pretty sure Messiaen's music (including this piece) is not strictly atonal - but it certainly sounds like he is moving in that vein.

I love this piece and absolutely hated it in my youth. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,146 Posts
A great work with a backstory that I find deeply interesting - both as history and as an example of modern music being played and enjoyed in the most unlikely of circumstances. More and more I am becoming allergic to choosing best performances of favourite works! There are many that I enjoy but that are very different from each other - I don't think there is a single right way (although there may be wrong ways!) - and I think I get to know more about the piece by enjoying such a range. I could probably arrive at 3 or 4 very different favourites but anyway I have enjoyed these

Font Art Happy Symbol Illustration


Atmosphere Sky Rectangle Cloud Natural landscape


Line Font Symmetry Circle Metal


Rectangle Font Nameplate Gas Cemetery


World Poster Red Religious item Art
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
...that one has been my favorite since I first heard it and remains so in spite of the Gramophone reviewer Roger Nichols pointing out several mistakes such as "not being able to distinguish between semiquavers and demi-semiquavers", instruments out of tune etc.

You can read the entire review on amazon.co.uk posted as a one star review here :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-re...r&reviewerType=all_reviews#reviews-filter-bar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,146 Posts
^ I wonder how the players in the first performance - apparently great success - did? Meanwhile, interpreters have long made small changes to works they are performing and this can be criticised as (pedantically) "not what was written" or as (more meaningfully) (I didn't like the way the did that).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
...by the way - this recording:
Organism Font Line Adaptation Poster


has been re-released at a decent price coupled with the "Turanguila" symphony:
Organism Font Poster Art Circle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,146 Posts
^ Which one sounds tonal? Quite a lot of the Quartet for the End of Time is tonal, I am told. My ears don't tell me what music is and is not tonal (or if they do the message meets with incomprehension in my brain) so for me at least the distinction is of no value at all!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,745 Posts
My first exposure to this piece was a bit surreal. I had been in the habit of setting my morning alarm to a classical music radio station. I found myself half in a dream state, slowly waking up, and hearing this music for the first time. It was magical for me. It wasn't until a few years later that I really looked into it and got the Shaham, Wang, Chung, Meyer recording and fell for it.

It is an amazing work. The clarinet solo as a metaphor of the lone apocalyptic bird is mind-bendingly powerful. And the spiritual moments especially by the violin and cello in some of the outer movements are wonderful as well.

I'd call it one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.
 

·
Registered
Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Sibelius, Mahler, Messiaen
Joined
·
3,475 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: Brahmsianhorn

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,100 Posts
^ Which one sounds tonal? Quite a lot of the Quartet for the End of Time is tonal, I am told. My ears don't tell me what music is and is not tonal (or if they do the message meets with incomprehension in my brain) so for me at least the distinction is of no value at all!
A lot of it uses tonal-kind of chords (major and minor triads) but don't necessarily adhere to the general practice tonal system, or in other words it uses traditional chords in unconventional progressions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,100 Posts
One of the most interesting things about this piece to me is that it's not your typical fire and brimstone "apocalypse" piece. There are fiery moments for sure, but unlike most pieces with an "end of times" theme, it focuses much more on the transcendent/spiritual aspect of a hypothetical end of the world experience than most pieces of art would. At first I was turned off because it wasn't what I expected from the title, but now I find it to be an incredibly unique, refreshing take on the topic.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top