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Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 1, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time by Jonathan Cohler, Ilya Kaler, Andrew Mark, Janice Weber

Review

Inhuman perfection
This astonishing performance blows away any and all previous recordings of this magnificent work. Ilya Kaler, probably the greatest living violinist, is only one component here of a musical collaboration that makes Tashi sound arid by comparison. Yes, the two Louanges are breathtaking and sensitive almost beyond comprehension (hallelujah Janice Weber!!!), but there is not a moment anywhere here where any performer fails to achieve transcendence. (The filler Theme and Variations for violin and piano, from 1932, are also a major revelation.)” --Michael Celbar, Amazon.com

“The purpose of this recording, as set forth in the (excellent) liner notes, is to adhere "more closely to the artistic desires of Messiaen, as indicated by his detailed markings in the score, his later writings and musings on the work, and his supervised recording of 1991". And these are no ordinary performers…For starters, the ensemble is wonderfully recorded. Each player shines in the extended solo passages. More than that, the unison in VI is breathtaking. By avoiding any vibrato, the sounds of clarinet, strings, and piano mesh into one perfect whole. It's brilliant. The players explore the stillness of the piece to great effect. Tempos are "inexorable" (to use the composer's word) when necessary, but the stillness goes beyond tempo choices. In music without a consistent time signature there is a danger of sounding aimless. Not here. The performers manage to make the music sound like it is unfolding rather than wandering.” --Jason Sundram, American Record Guide

“I am using your CD as a model. It's absolutely stunning. I was so impressed by how perfectly in sync and in tune the sixth movement is and also by how delicate is the first movement…The recording is absolutely incredible. The whole thing sets a new standard for recordings of that piece. Congratulations!” --Rebecca Rischin, Author of "For the End of Time"

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