Trinity Alps Chamber Players – 2017 Season
Olivier Messiaen's “Quartet for the End of Time”
Sat, March 25 - SCARFF, Sierraville, CA
Sat, April 15 - Jarvis Conservatory, Napa, CA
This program features a masterpiece of 20th Century chamber music, with one of the most dramatic back stories you will ever encounter.
This work was written by Olivier Messiaen in 1941, while the French composer was a prisoner in a Nazi prison camp. The music depicts scenes of the apocalypse, as described in the Bible's Book of Revelation. Written while Europe and the rest of the world was faced with global terror and death, Messiaen's music is based on a series of visions by St. John, author of the Book of Revelation, and dedicated to “the Angel who announces the End of Time”. The work was written as a quartet for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano, because Messiaen met three other musicians in the camp, and convinced their Nazi guards to give them these instruments to play on. The first performance of this music was in the winter of 1941, for an audience of fellow prisoners and guards.
This concert will explore Messiaen's intensely Catholic faith through this work, as well as other fascinating elements to his music – his obsession with birdsong, his “synesthetic” connection between sound and color, and his attempts to create a work of hope for salvation in the midst of such terrible circumstances.
The concert will feature the quartet performance alongside a live theatrical video that will run with and compliment the music, showing photographs, artwork, program notes, and translations of the copious notes in Messiaen's score. Combined with a dramatic lighting design, this promises to be a truly moving theatrical, musical, and historical experience.
James Jaffe, cello
Matthew Boyles, clarinet
Rachel Patrick, violin
Ian Scarfe, piano