Here one of Britain’s most foremost chamber ensembles perform the Quartet that has been transformed into an iconic symbol of the strength of the human spirit in adversity, of inner freedom maintained against all odds through spirituality and art.
Created in a German prisoner-of-war camp in Silesia in 1940-41, its eight movements united four remarkable artists and brought into focus many ideas that would be central to Messiaen’s music for the rest of his life.
The Quartet was premiered in the Stalag on 15 January 1941 for an audience of prisoners and guards, in freezing temperatures and with makeshift instruments.
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1) Liturgy of Crystal
2) Vocalise, for the Angel who announces the end of time
3) Abyss of the Birds
5) Praise to the Eternity of Jesus
6) Dance of Fury, for the seven trumpets
7) A mingling of rainbows, for the angel who announces the end of time
8) Praise to the Immortality of Jesus