Concert by Ensemble Chamarré “Quatuor pour la fin du temps” (“Quartet for the End of Time”)
Please join us on Sunday, February 26th at 3pm in the Cathedral Nave as we host Ensemble Chamarré for a concert of the music of Olivier Messiaen.
Ensemble Chamarré is dedicated to performing the powerful and moving “Quatuor pour la fin du temps” by Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992). This piece (translated as the “Quartet for the End of Time”) was composed during an excruciatingly difficult time while Messiaen was captured and held in a German POW camp during World War II. “Quartet for the End of Time” draws its inspiration from the Book of Revelation, birdsong, and the colors of the northern lights. The first performance was held in the camp during the bleak winter of 1941 with Messiaen at the piano, and fellow prisoners playing violin, cello, and clarinet. Ensemble Chamarré seeks to help the listener to experience the context of this extraordinary masterpiece of chamber literature by describing the conditions at the camp and details of Messiaen’s experience as it relates to the music. Listeners may draw inspiration from this musical and spiritual journey of triumph and redemption over despair.
Past performances were greeted with great enthusiasm from audience members, who described it as “a transforming experience”. Following these successful performances together playing Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”, and witnessing the transformational qualities of that musical work and the audiences’ response, as well as the musicians’ chemistry of working together, the musicians decided to formally create an ensemble dedicated to playing this powerful piece. The musicians who make up Ensemble Chamarré individually bring a great mix of experiences to the ensemble: from performances with the Boston Symphony on international stages to recording for Aerosmith, from movie soundtracks to concerto solo performances. They have performed worldwide, earning praise from reviewers citing their “mesmeric” and “brilliant” playing and “amazing delicacy” and “musical wizardry”.