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Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Olivier Messiaen, Myung-Whun Chung
Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

No Description Available. Genre: Classical Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 9-JAN-2001


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CD Details

All Artists: Olivier Messiaen, Myung-Whun Chung
Title: Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 1/9/2001
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028946905227


Product Description
No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 9-JAN-2001

CD Reviews

The best I know.
Francisco Yanez Calvino | Santiago de Compostela, GALIZA, Spain. | 12/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Quatuor pour la fin du Temps is one of my favourite Messiaen's works, together with his Turangalila Symphonie, the Vingt Regards and his opera Saint Françoise. In all that pieces you can feel together with a great development of musical technique a great faith in the work, something that is specially present in this Quatuor, composed in the concentration camp in which Olivier Messiaen was captured.

With a curious and not very common instrumentation, Quatuor pour la fin du Temps, is the result of what Messiaen found in that camp and what he really needed in that moment, a mixture of anxiety for freedom and an incredible faith in the powerful of a presence that we can easily identify with God, the Christian God, as Messiaen was a pity and devout Christian, like we listen in many of his pieces. I'm not really in that way, but I understand something about that feelings and about what is musical techniques, and it really helps to love this wonderful, rare and particular quartet.

I've listened versions played by Barenboim, Tetard... (DG), Kontarsky, Palm... (EMI), De Leeuw, Bylsma... (Philips) and between all of them this is really the one I love much more. I have to mention Palm, Kontarsky, Gawriloff and Deinzer in a wonderful recording that was together with the Turangalila conducted by Simon Rattle, but now deleted. I hope EMI will release again this performance, because it's very, very good too. But the best I know nowadays is this one full of virtuosity and compromise with Messiaen language, very well known by Chung, who have conducted lot of very good CDs of the French composer, apart from being during many years a close assistant to Messiaen in his last period. The other players are really outstanding, specially a terrific Gil Shaham, who is, in my opinion, one of the best young violin players from our time.

The recording is, too, the best I know for this piece, amazing!. Everything is clear and well balanced. The sound is very present and you can even listen the touch of the fingers with the different parts of the instruments. An amazing experience to listen the soloists in this recording.

In sum, one of the best Messiaen's work in the top performance. A must have for all those interested on XXth Century Classic Music.
The Zenith of Virtuosity
Francisco Yanez Calvino | 09/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An incredible recording of a monumental work. This ensemble is made of four high caliber soloists. With the ominous timbre of Paul Meyer, the technical virtousity of Myung-Whun Chung, and the sorrowfull, tear jerking musicality of Gil Shaham and Jian Wang, this recording stands out as an icon of what true virtousity is. The blend of these four is precise, full, and pure, but most importantly, the music being made is unreserved and inspiring.

This is powerful music played by four powerhouse musicians. This recording is one of the best recordings I have in my library. There is no doubt in my mind that these musicians' interpretation of the Messiaen will be remembered as legendary."
A Treasure among 20th Century Works
Shota Hanai | Torrance, CA | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I still may have much to learn about Olivier Messiaen's music if I was to focus at a scholarly/doctorate level, yet I feel incredibly lucky at a relatively young age to understand and fall in love with his music since I heard it for the first time. He was a devout man, and his music represents " the truth".

To a casual audience, Scheonberg and Messiaen might as well sound the same, but unlike Scheonberg, Messiaen seems to take us at a whole new dimension of "Art Music" in general, and his religious fervor (he was a devout Catholic) and obsession for this "truth" reflects that. That's why I rank Messiaen as one of my favorite composrs, along with Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, two more composers I deeply admire whose music seems to go beyond this world.

He wrote different works at different scales; some are written for a large orchestra, such as the "Turangalila Symphony", and some only utlize a single piano player, such as "Catalogue of Birds" and "Gazes at the Infant Jesus".

Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" is written for a quartet, but the instrumentation is beyond normal; the work requires a violin, a clarinet, a cello, and a piano. He wrote it during his imprisonment at a German camp, the instruments the only ones available. The work musically describes the Revalation of St. John the Divine, an angel announcing the end of time.

Of the eight movements, I especially like the dazzling "Dance of Frenzy", when the four instruments play in unison to give a unique color, imitating trumpets and gongs, and the two hauntingly beautiful "Eulogies", innocent and beautiful as the words of God itself.

There are different performances of the Quartet and I did listen to some, but I decided to own this version, because of its recent release (with the most advanced recording technology available), the "Yellow" label every one loves (Who Doesn't?), and the roster of internationally-combined soloists - the American violinist Gil Shaham, the French clarinetist Paul Meyer, the Chinise cellist Gian Wang, and last be certainly not least, the Korean pianist Myung-Whun Chung, also a conductor and superb interpreter of other Messiaen works. I don't necessarily agree with the Amazon reviwer about the preference of tempi. Fast segments seems more frantic, while slower segments seems much more meditative.

With all that being said, I consider Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time", a treasure among 20th century works, music that should be cherished forever as long as music lives. And I recommend to buy this album if you want to own this beautiful work."