CAMERATA PACIFICA PRESENTS: Prokofiev & Messiaen

Camerata Pacifica’s November program features two breathtaking mid 20th-century masterpieces; Prokofiev’s F Minor Violin Sonata, Op. 80 and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

Prokofiev’s Sonata is at turns mysterious, edgy, dynamic, beautiful and frenetic. It will demand a virtuosic display from violinist Giora Schmidt and pianist Gilles Vonsattel, who here makes his Camerata Pacifica debut. On this program, it is presented to bring heart and mind into focus for one of the great works of art of all time: Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time .

"I saw a mighty angel descending from heaven, clad in mist, having around his head a rainbow. His face was like the sun, his feet like pillars of fire. He placed his right foot on the sea, his left on the earth,and standing thus on the sea and the earth he lifted his hand toward heaven and swore by Him who liveth for ever and ever, saying: "There shall be time no longer, but at the day of the trumpet of the seventh angel the mystery of God shall be consummated.”’

Quoting from the Book of Revelation, Messiaen so prefaces the score to his Quartet. The piece was written and premiered in 1941 whilst the composer was interned in Nazi camp Stalag VIII A. However, despite the circumstances of its origin and its inspiration from the words of the Angel of the Apocalypse this is not an apocalyptic, dystopian commentary. Quite the opposite, from the pen of a devout Roman Catholic, it is a transcendental meditation on the cessation of time. Beyond any denomination or belief system this is a work that has powerfully affected audiences since its premiere in sub-zero temperatures in a 2nd World War prison camp.

 


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