For the history of the work, I recommend this:^ I came across this article which I found quite informative about the circumstances that led to the work and Messiaen's intentions for the music.
Interesting quote from that article:From my absolute favorite classical music site on the Internet, an amazing article that is probably the most detailed and informative guide out there on this work:
Classical Notes - Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin de Temps (Quartet for the End of Time), By Peter Gutmann
Shaham/Chung's very slow take of the 5th movement is especially fantastic!I had a "I'm going to like this piece of bloody music" blitz a couple of years back, having never really understood the fuss. There's a real cold clarity to that Gil Shaham/Chung set on DGG, and perhaps surprisingly, that was the recording that allowed me to make a connection with the Quartet.
It's a problem with nested quotations. I probably should have responded to the message you responded to "The music is masterful but I find it incredibly sad and harrowing. I can't "enjoy" it."I think you intended to reply to someone else.