Clarinet virtuoso’s apocalyptic vibe
Quartet For The End of Time is the title of an evocative and apocalyptic sounding piece that will be performed at the Regent on Broadway next Tuesday.
Inspired by a verse in the Book of Revelation, French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote and performed its premiere during 1941 while an unwilling ‘‘guest’’ at German prisoner of war camp, Stalag VIII-A.
Played on whatever instruments were available, its first audience comprised 400 fellow prisoners of war and camp guards.
That was 75 years ago, and the Quartet will provide the finale of the Chamber Music New Zealand Regent on Broadway concert by British clarinet virtuoso Julian Bliss and the NZTrio.
NZTrio pianist Sarah Watkins says the Quartet is a combination of sonority and colour reflecting a ‘‘mystical world of birdsong, deep spirituality and faith, all wrapped in a timeless luminous haze’’.
For the CMNZ tour, Kiwi composer Ross Harris was commissioned to write a complementary piece to the Quartet.
The result is There may be light. It joins Debussy’s Premie`re rhapsodie for clarinet and piano, and Milhaud’s suite for violin, clarinet and piano.
Next Tuesday’s 7.30pm CMNZ concert opens with a free pre-concert talk at 6.45pm.
Tickets are available through ticketdirect.co.nz or 0800 224 224. For further details visit chambermusic.co.nz/ julianbliss
British clarinet virtuoso Julian Bliss is joined on the Chamber Music New Zealand tour by the NZ Trio, with a 75th anniversary performance of Messiaen’s Quartet For The End of Time.