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“As the four men tackled this extraordinarily difficult work, their technique, their musicality, their relationship, and their thinking became transformed. At the center of their musical universe revolved a mysterious composer whose brilliance reflected wonder, radiated light, but whose unshakeable faith in the face of the seemingly hopeless surroundings often raised puzzling questions.” 2
http://tillbyturning.com/images/QBorealis.coverpic.jpg Rischin, Rebecca (2003), For the End of Time, The Story of the Messiaen Quartet, Cornell University Press, New York (pg.37)
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These notes are solely prepared to aid you in your preparation to teach the comparison of the two interpretations as set on the VCE syllabus. Please do not reproduce in any form. I have tried to reference clearly so that you can access the sources yourselves for further investigation.
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Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
• • • • • • •
Born in Avignon on the 10th December, 1908 French composer, organist and teacher Influenced by composers such as Debussy, Stravinsky and Bartók From the very beginning of his composition developed an individual modal system that he stayed true to throughout his compositional career Was a committed Catholic Between the ages of 7 & 9 he began to compose and play the piano and was said to have instructed himself a great deal in the beginning Was said to have demanded operatic scores of great works for Christmas presents. Because of this he became familiar with the work of Mozart, Gluck, Berlioz and Wagner In 1919 he entered the Conservatory and was one of its youngest students. “...a photograph of Jean Gallon’s harmony call in 1923 shows a child in the company of young men and women” 3 (Griffiths, 2009, pg.1) In September 1931 he took the post of organist at La Trinité in Paris. He was to work here for more than 60 years Much of his music is religious and was said to “manifest the doctrines of the Christian faith.” 4(Griffiths, 2009, pg.2)
Griffiths, Paul "Messiaen, Olivier." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 17 Feb. 2009 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/18497 (pg. 1)
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• In 1936 he began teaching at the Ecole Normale de Musicque and the Schola Cantorum • He was called to military service in May 1940 and was captured and taken to a prisoner-of-war-camp at Gorlitz in Silesia. This is where he completed the Quartet for the end of time. He was released in 1941. • Messiaen taught many influential composers • He was incredibly interested in the study of bird song (ornithology) and used their songs as impetus for his compositions. He could identify by ear 50 species of birds in France and with visual aids he could identify some 550 other species living in France and Europe. He travelled all over the world transcribing birdsong as though taking musical dictions. Messiaen had to adapt his transcriptions to accommodate the limitations of the human ear and musical notation. While La Nativité du Seigneur (1935) was his first reference to birdsong the Quartet was his first attempt at depicting particular species 5
“...he devoted himself to copying the songs of particular species he had heard in nature, and from this point on he journeyed throughout France – and later throughout much of the world – collecting birdsongs by ear” 6 “It is not just the songs of birds that are projected through this music but also the intense colours of avian plumage, and the awe Messiaen felt for birds as being, like angels of resurrected souls, free in flight and one with God.”7
• Messiaen often talked about how certain sounds and harmonies evoked a sense of colour for him. For example the use of an A major chord with an added 6th was always bright blue • He cited paintings and tapestries by Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) as being influential to his idea of sound colour • He also cited his meeting with Charles Blanc-Gatti – a painter of sounds who suffered from a disorder of the optic and auditory nerves that
Griffiths, Paul "Messiaen, Olivier." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 17 Feb. 2009 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/18497 (pg. 2) 5 Rischin, Rebecca (2003), For the End of Time, The Story of the Messiaen Quartet, Cornell University Press, New York (pp.57-58) 6 Griffiths, Paul, "Messiaen, Olivier." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 17 Feb. 2009 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/18497 (pg.4) 7 Ibid
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permitted him to see colours as he heard sounds and stained glass windows 8 “The Quartet is unique among Messiaen’s compositions in that its ‘soundpainting’ stems not merely from the composer’s lifelong fascination with colour, but from his physical deprivation as a prisoner in Stalag VIIIA.” “In later compositions, the brush worked hand in hand with the pencil, serving as one of Messiaen’s principal guiding instruments.” 9
Robert Delaunay Painting 10 • In 1978 he reluctantly resigned from his teaching position 11
Rischin, Rebecca (2003), For the End of Time, The Story of the Messiaen Quartet, Cornell University Press, New York (pg.56) 9 Ibid (pp. 56-57) 10 http://www.artinthepicture.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/bleriot.jpg
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the seventh day of this Rischin. with a rainbow on his head. It is ironic that it emerged almost by accident.” 14 The Quartet for the end of Time is based upon the Revelation of Saint John. 129) 11 6|P ag e . . Which is why the Quartet is an overpowering now as it was on that frigid night in 1941”12 Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time was significant for musicians and Messiaen himself.Conception of “Quartet for the end of Time” “. but in the days when the seventh angel is to blow his trumpet. • It was his first composition to include bird song • First composition to include a treatise on rhythm It is considered one of the most significant 20th century chamber works yet is his only chamber work. the Creation in six days sanctified by the divine Sabbath. New York (pg.’”15 This piece is in eight movements: “This Quartet comprises eight movements. The New Yorker. instead.56) 12 Ross. 13 “Although the Quartet was born in Stalag VIII A.html Acessed 24/02/09 (pg. . For the End of Time. . who would unknowingly contribute to the shape of musical history. Setting his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land . saying: ‘There will be no more Time. where Messiaen met two musicians.Messiaen’s apocalypse has little to do with history and catastrophe. it records the rebirth of an ordinary soul in the grip of extraordinary emotion. New York (pg. For the End of Time. Cornell University Press.com/2004/04/quartet_for_the_2. Why? Seven is the perfect number. http://www. Rebecca (2003). Alex (2004) The Rest is Noise.2) 13 Rischin.therestisnoise. the mystery of God will be fulfilled.1) 14 Ibid 15 Ibid (pg. . Etienne Pasquier and Henri Akoka. Chapter 10. it was actually conceived in Verdun. .. standing on the sea and on the land. and his legs like pillars of fire . Rebecca (2003). “And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven.. his face was like the sun. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. Cornell University Press. USA. he raised his right hand toward Heaven and swore by He who lives forever and ever . . The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. and. wrapped in a cloud.
for the seven trumpets 7. towards the end of the piece. Use of added values. for the Angel who Rischin. “In the beginning was the Word. The melody stretches majestically into a kind of gentle. “infinitely slow”. a rainbow upon his head and clothed with a cloud. Sound-colour 4. for the Angel who announces the end of Time 3. Rhythm 3. Music of stone. the most characteristic piece of the series. The first and third parts (very short) evoke the power of this mighty angel. of augmented or diminished rhythms. of a more individual character than the other movements. icy drunkenness.” 16 • It contains four main elements: 1. 5. huge blocks of purple rage. who sets one foot on the sea and one foot on the earth. Interlude Eulogy to the eternity of Jesus 6. irresistible movement of steel. Scherzo. and for jubilant songs. enclosing in their distant chimes the almost plainchant song of the violin and violoncello. formidable granite sound. and Word was with God.org/wiki/Quatuor_pour_la_fin_du_temps Accessed 23/02/09 1. The four instruments in unison imitate gongs and trumpets (the first six trumpets of the Apocalypse followed by various disasters. Catholic doctrine 2. for stars.repose extends into eternity and becomes the eighth day of eternal light. In the middle section are the impalpable harmonies of heaven. For the End of Time. sweet cascades of blueorange chords. regal distance. “whose time never runs out”. Liturgy of Crystal Between three and four in the morning. and the Word was God. they are our desire for light. Transpose this onto a religious plane and you have the harmonious silence of Heaven. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. by a halo of trills lost very high in the trees. of nonretrogradable rhythms. Birdsong • It is the second of eight compositions by Messiaen inspired by Revelation Messiaen Preface Notes Translated from Programme http://en. of unalterable peace. The abyss is Time with its sadness. Hear especially all the terrible fortissimo of the augmentation of the theme and changes of register of its different notes. Abyss of the birds 4. Cornell University Press. Dance of the fury. magnifies with love and reverence the eternity of the Word. In the piano. Vocalise. powerful and gentle. Clarinet alone. A broad phrase. the trumpet of the seventh angel announcing consummation of the mystery of God). its weariness. The angel appears in full force. Rebecca (2003). New York (pg. the awakening of the birds: a solo blackbird or nightingale improvises.wikipedia. especially the rainbow that covers him (the 2.” (John 1:1 (KJV)) Rhythmically. on the cello. The birds are the opposite to Time. surrounded by a shimmer of sound. Tangle of rainbows.129) 16 7|P ag e . but linked to them nevertheless by certain melodic recollections Jesus is considered here as the Word. for rainbows. Recurring here are certain passages from the second movement.
Rebecca (2003). a tournament.” 17 • 1st movement based on 3 Hindu rhythms • 6th movement employs non-retrogradable rhythms as well as augmentation. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. I pass through the unreal and suffer. counterpart to the violoncello solo of the 5th movement. with ecstasy. wisdom. Its slow ascent to the acutely extreme is the ascent of man to his god. 5 & 8) 18 17 Rischin. the Word made flesh. Cornell University Press. added values and derivation of Greek rhythm and meter • The preface “rhythm” was the 2nd treatise on rhythm – the first being in 1935 work for organ – La Nativité du Seigneur • Non-retrogradable rhythms is one of the technical means by which Messiaen realised the musical cessation of time – others are: . immortally risen for our communication of his life. I hear and see ordered chords and melodies.Reliance on rhythmic duration rather than meter (Movements 3. then. rests not with the notion of the interminability of captivity. musical as well as philosophical. the child of God to his Father. symbol of peace.6) . as the composer explained. For the End of Time.52) 18 Ibid (pp.Extremely slow tempi (movements 3. these sudden stars: there is the tangle. there are the rainbows! Large violin solo. a roundabout compenetration of superhuman sounds and colours. The notion of time. after this transitional stage. In my dreams. Jesus the Man. known colours and shapes. this blue-orange lava. New York (pg.52-54) 8|P ag e .5. Rhythm and Time The title of the piece is actually a ‘play’ on words: “The dual meaning of the title. diminuition.The length of the work (approximately 52 minutes) .announces the end of time 8. Why this second eulogy? It is especially aimed at second aspect of Jesus. the being made divine towards Paradise. Eulogy to the immortality of Jesus rainbow. It is all love. These swords of fire. but with the composer’s desire to eliminate conventional notions of musical time and of ‘past and future’. and all luminescent and sonorous vibration). is central to a basic understanding of the quartet.
For the End of Time. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. New York (Figure 7) 19 9|P ag e . Rebecca (2003). Cornell University Press.First Performance & Performers Henry Akoka (original clarinettist in Stalag VIIIA) • Born June 23rd 1912 in Palikao. Algeria • He earned money playing in a band associated with the wallpaper factory where he was employed • At 14 he found work playing for silent films • Studied music at the Paris Conservatory and received the premier prix in clarinet in June 1935 19 • In 1936 he joined the Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio – diffusion de Strasbourg • Soon after he became a member of Orchestre National de la Radio • In 1939 he was “mobilized” into the army and was sent to be part of the military orchestra at the citadel of Vaubean near Verdun • It was here that all three became very good friends • It was in Verdun that Messiaen began writing his famous Abyss of the Birds for unaccompanied clarinet • Akoka’s playing style had a great influence on Messiaen’s future musical preferences 20 Rischin.
1940 he. For the End of Time.11-12) 21 Ibid. Cornell University Press. 23 • On the evening of the 15th January. New York (pp. (pg. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet.13) 22 Ibid (pp. 1941 the Quartet was premiered in Stalag VIIIA • The concert was given special permission to have the whole evening to itself – often music concerts would be followed by comedies and variety shows Rischin. René Charles (actor) and a Polish prisoner fled the camp • After travelling for 350 miles they were captured 13 miles from the Czechlovakian frontier • Akoka charmed the officers so that he could keep his instrument and was returned to Stalag VIIIA where he was put in solitary confinement. Rebecca (2003).44-5) 23 Ibid (Figure 20) 20 10 | P a g e . more “metallic” sound than that of a modern day clarinet 21 • Akoka attempted to escape Stalag VIIIA two times and on his second attempt was successful • Sept. He liked this very much as this was warmer than the normal barracks 22 This is said to be the piano that the piece first premiered on.• Akoka played a Couesnan clarinet and a Couesnan mouthpiece with a Périer facing • Akoka played with a brighter. thinner.
The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. doctors etc. For the End of Time. as it would appear. but for an entirely different Rischin. factory workers. Rebecca (2003).” 24 • The demand for tickets was so great that special authorization for the prisoners in quarantine to attend was given • There is some conjecture about how many people really did attend that first playing of the Quartet. intellectuals. especially with reference to the instruments – the piano had continually sticking notes. the title of the composition. Messiaen has been quoted as saying 5000 but his fellow musicians have all stated that they played to a full barrack which only had the capacity of approximately 350-400. New York (pg. the names of the performers. the name of the composer. “To Messiaen the composer and Messiaen the devout Catholic is added Messiaen the dramatist. Cornell University Press. and the camp’s official stamp. one who misreported history not for the sake of a little personal amusement. 61) 24 11 | P a g e . there were only three strings on the cello and one key on the clarinet had been melted because it was sat too near a heat source – these memories of Messiaen’s are somewhat exaggerated.If the clarinet really did have a melted key then the rest of the clarinet would be up in flames too! . As it was the middle of Winter (-20 below outside) there can be no confusion that this was an event held outside • The crowd was diverse with farmers. the date of the premiere.Yes the piano was inadequate . • Before the concert Messiaen gave a short lecture • Messiaen likes to recall that the playing conditions were harsher than they really were. .• The commandant saw this as a special occasion and he ordered programmes to be printed with the camp name on them “He ordered programs to be printed listing the name of the camp.Pasquier has insisted to Messiaen and others that he had four strings to play on and that this piece is impossible to play with three • Pasquier has been quoted as saying that Messiaen exaggerated to merely amuse himself – others have different theories.
“From anticipation to anxiety. amazed.”26 25 Rischin.. redeeming the earth through music. Rebecca (2003). Messiaen imbued his story with an even greater aura of the miraculous. 66) 26 Ibid (pg. a quartet of musicians rising above the Apocalypse.” 25 • The audience reaction was varied from stunned..reason. Cornell University Press. In perpetuating the legend of the three-stringed cello. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. New York (pg. For the End of Time.. with an image of birds flying over the abyss. 70) 12 | P a g e . from bewilderment to awe – for a brief musical moment the prisoners were free.
303rdbg.The Journey to Stalag VIII A 27 Etienne Pasquier – Performed in Original Premiere in 1941 • • • • • • • • • Born on the 10th May 1905 Child prodigy who started learning cello at the age of 5 At 13 he was enrolled at the Paris Conservatory It was here that he received the premier prix in cello in 1921 In 1921 he became the youngest member of the Concerts Colonne Orchestra In 1927 he founded the Trio Pasquier with his brothers Jean and Pierre At the age of 24 (1929) he married singer Suzanne Gouts and joined the Paris Opera Orchestra A year later he was appointed as the Assistant Principal Cellist In September 1939 he was “mobilized” in the army 27 http://www.com/pp-stalag7a.jpg 13 | P a g e .
near Verdun.11) 31 Ibid (pp. who had been unable to bring his cello with him. 12) 28 14 | P a g e .11-12) 32 Ibid (pg.9-10) 30 Ibid (pg. Rebecca (2003). Akoka has been said to have extremely helpful throughout this journey encouraging the others to keep moving forward • It was not until they were near Nancy that the Abyss of the Birds was first played 31 “While Akoka played and Messiaen listened. Cornell University Press. He was corporal of music • Four other Frenchmen were under his command and Messiaen was one of these • Messiaen asked to be on watch with Pasquier so they could listen to the “music” of the awakening of the birds 29 “Here.”32 Rischin.28 • In 1940 he was transferred to the citadel of Vauban at Verdun where a French general (Utziger) created a theatre orchestra for the troops. the chorus of birds that Pasquier found deafening inspired the composition that would later become the third movement of a monumental work. For the End of Time. assumed the function of the “music stand”. 1940 they were all captured and force marched many miles to the vicinity of Nancy. Pasquier.” 30 • In May of 1940 Germany launched an attack and all three musicians were forced to flee • On June 20th. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. New York (Figure 35) 29 Ibid (pp.
New York (pp. It is said that an instrument was found and one actually given to Boulaire by the German commandant. Rebecca (2003). For the End of Time. Messiaen all the while encouraging him that he could do it • We have to remember that this was a time when the technical standards were lower than what we have today – even today this clarinet part is considered technically challenging • In Stalag VIIIA the trio met the violinist Jean Le Boulaire Jean Le Boulaire • • • • • • • Was born on the 2nd August 1913. Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine.32-35) 34 Ibid (Figure 18) 33 15 | P a g e . There are a few stories of Boulaire actually being taken into town to choose an instrument for himself 33 34 Rischin.• Akoka sight-read the piece and made many grumbles that it was too difficult to play. France Began lessons on the violin at the age of 7 At 14 he entered the Paris Conservatory Served in the military from 1934-1936 and was re-mobilised in 1938 He was captured in June. The Story of the Messaien Quartet. 1940 and sent to Stalag VIIIA Was quartered with Henri Akoka All the prisoners shared 4/5 violins so Boulaire had to ‘fight’ for the use of one. Cornwell University Press.
the majority of them French 35 36 http://www.org/etexts/WH2Pris/WH2Pri15b.nzetc.jpg http://www.nzetc.jpg 16 | P a g e .org/etexts/WH2PMed/WH2PMe26b. 000 prisoners in Stalag VIIIA.35 36 • There were approximately 30.
000 volumes • A small Polish ensemble grew into a 24 piece multinational classical orchestra conducted by a Belgian prisoner Ferdinand Caren • There was also a jazz band (at the time when the quartet were in Stalag VIIA the orchestra and jazz bands were not up and running) • René Charles (actor) gained permission to organise weekly concerts and variety shows every Saturday night. mines and factories • At any given time only about 1000 lived in the camp itself • Germany’s unexpectedly rapid conquest of France caused prisoner lodging problems • When Messiaen. hair and teeth • Messiaen developed chilblains due to the extreme cold and malnutrition • He was housed in Barrack 19A with other French and Belgian prisoners but would often take refuge in the priests barrack to read in peace and quiet • Pasquier lived with the cooks so was able to steal food – he was never caught • Conditions in Stalag VIIIA improved as Germany was more victorious • The library by 1943 had 10. One ticket cost 20 pfennings and ended by 9pm in time for the curfew • All programming for concerts was controlled by the Germans • Between 1941-1944 the officers in the camp organised art exhibitions • There was a prisoners monthly newspaper but once again the content was censored by the Germans • The camp was described by Jules Lefebure as a “veritable university” with academic conferences and courses in English and German • After Messiaen’s departure the camp was split into two sections – West Europeans & Russians and Italians • All cultural and recreational resources were on the Western European side of the camp 17 | P a g e .• Most prisoners lived in outlying commandos (annexes) where they were sent to work on farms. Pasquier and Akoka arrived in the summer of 1940 the camp was still under construction • Until the Red Cross arrived there were severe food shortages • Health of inmates deteriorated but not as bad as the deportees • Inmates lost weight.
1940 the camp authorities designated Barrack 27 for plays.• Preferential treatment was not only determined by nationality but by profession – musicians were especially privileged • It is not certain whether this is because Germans appreciated music or were merely putting on a show for the Red Cross • Pasquier was originally put to work in a mine but the German officers were told of his career as a musician and he was moved back to safer employment in the camp 37 “Once it became known that Messiaen was a famous composer . was Jewish . Cornell University Press.27-31) 18 | P a g e . . Rebecca (2003). the tale of his survival contains as many miraculous twists and turns as the story of the Messiaen ‘Quartet’ itself. . The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. the lavatories became a stage.30-31) 41 Ibid (pp.19-27) 38 Ibid (pg.” 38 • There is some controversy as to whether he was locked in the latrine or a barrack to compose but most accounts agree that you were not allowed to disturb him and this was patrolled by the German officers • In 1991 Messiaen revealed the name of the officer who supplied him with pencils and paper for his compositions – Monsieur Brull • He was a lawyer before the war and not only did he help Messiaen and his trio but he was also one of the few officers who went out of his way to protect Jewish prisoners 39 “Henry Akoka . New York (pp.27) 39 Ibid (pp. .27-31) 40 Ibid (pp.” 41 • Lectures were presented and one was delivered by Messiaen who spoke on the importance of colour in the Book of Revelation – “Colours and Numbers in the Apocalypse” 37 Rischin. concerts and movies “The larger half of the barrack was transformed into a theatre. . he was immediately exempted from prisoners’ duties and placed in a barrack so that he could compose in peace.” 40 • Soon after June 25th. . and the rest of the barrack served as a dressing room. . with enough wooden benches for the seating of approximately four hundred people. For the End of Time.
felt lost when liberated from the prison of conventional expectations.37-8) 44 Ibid (pg. • Fellow prisoners were said to have begged for autographs from Messiaen and the trio 42 • Every evening at 6pm the Quartet would rehearse. . They also used free time on Saturday evenings to rehearse. Cornwell University Press.40) 42 19 | P a g e . not just musical matters.• He said this lecture rekindled his desire to compose and was a precursor to the Quartet • Not long after this lecture a piano arrived in the camp – it was out of tune and the keys would intermittently stick • Messiaen became something of a celebrity in the camp and was consulted on all matters. a Le Boulaire recalled. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet.35-7) 43 Ibid (pp. who. They were allowed 4 hours of practice a day. • Messiaen used to rehearse in the evening and Officer Brull was said to have helped this happen • Brull was also said to have provided the quartet with a more comfortable environment to rehearse in – more fuel for their fire etc. Messiaen’s unusual rhythms and frequent elimination of meter posed great challenges to the other three musicians of the quartet. New York (pp.” 44 • The cellist was said to have had “to acquire a new technique” 45 to play the piece • Pasquier was troubled by the intonation and the swift leaps from a high register to a low one and harmonics in the 1st and 5th movements too • After the piano arrived Messiaen made some adjustments to the score • Messiaen consulted his trio on elements concerning their particular instruments 46 Rischin. . • Finding time to rehearse as a quartet was still very hard as the piano was kept in a general public area and noise and interruptions were an issue • Messiaen’s writing was also very hard to put together – in ensemble terms this piece is extremely difficult 43 “. For the End of Time. Rebecca (2003).40) 46 Ibid (pg.39) 45 Ibid (pg.
Louange á l’Eternité de Jesus (Praise to the Eternity of Jesus) for solo cello with piano was taken from a section of Fetes des belles eaux for ondes Martenots (1937) • The 8th movement – Louange á I’Immortalité (Praise to the Immortality of Jesus) for solo violin and piano was reworked from the organ work Diptyque (1930) 49 Rischin. New York (pp.Order of Composition • Abyss of the Birds was first conceived in Verdun • musicologists have claimed that the 4th movement. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet.16-7) 48 Ibid (pg. Rebecca (2003). Interlude. For the End of Time.”48 • The 5th movement . was the first movement written and that it became the compositional germ out of which the Quartet evolved • Messiaen’s conversations often conflict with his friends memories and it has been suggested that Messiaen’s memories may have been affected by his experiences throughout the war • A compromise with Messiaen’s recollections and Pasquier’s would be that the first version of the Abyss for birds simply formed the basis for a more developed piece that he finished in Stalag VIIIA47 “It is possible that the physical and emotional hardships that Messiaen endured during the war may have caused certain events to become effaced from his memory.19) 47 20 | P a g e . Cornwell University Press.17) 49 Ibid (pg.
joyful moderate lighting. pour l’Ange qui announce la fin du Temps – Vocalise. for the Angel who announces the end of Time Form of Vocalise. vif. modéré Ad libitum (Ad. joyous Modéré Fulgurant. as you wish – to depart from the written notes or script and improvise nearly presto. impalpable. lointain Gouttes d’eau en arc-en-ceil Sourdine Otez la sourdine 21 | P a g e .Analysis of Vocalise. as much as desired. presses ce trait moderately robust at pleasure. press the feature Lighting. press the line Dazzling. pour l’Ange qui announce la fin du Temps Ternary Form For ease of analysis these bar numberings are used as per Anthony Poples’s analysis book – Cambridge Music Handbooks A (Section 1) B (Section 2) A (Section 3) A1-2 B1-9 C1-7 D1-6 E1-8 F1-6 G1-10 H1-7 Definitions for terms used on the score Robuste. Lib) Presque. press the line Dazzling press this feature (Presses also means to squeeze) Nearly lento (very slow) Drops of water in a rainbow Put mute on Take mute off Presque lent.
Durand. France (pg. bars D1-3) 22 | P a g e . O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. bars B1-3) Ibid (pg.9.1.Comments on the structure throughout B1-3 50 B1-3 Nearly identical pitches can be seen in D1-3 D1-3 51 • This is accompanied by the resonance of the notes in the piano 50 51 Messiaen.
France (pg. UK (pg. 8. CUP. 8.Violin Clarinet E Cello C# A 52 In the ternary form there are instances of repetition – reversed ordered in most instances. Durand. Anthony (2001) Quatour pour la fin du Temps. this time in reverse order – bottom (cello). O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. France (pg. O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. bars C3-5) Violin F# Clarinet A 54 Cello D 52 Messiaen. top (violin) and middle (clarinet) Messiaen. bottom (cello) and then middle (clarinet). 53 This is repeated in the return of the A section in H3-5. France (pg. Top (violin). 5) 54 Messiaen. C3-5 an A major triad (decorated by trills) is built and sustained. Durand. 8. bars H3-5) 23 | P a g e . bars C3-5) 53 Pople. Durand.
France (pg. 8.The flourish in the piano as seen in C5 is then seen in H5. H1-2 55 56 Messiaen. Durand. bar H5) 57 Ibid (pg. O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. H5 C5 55 56 Note that instead of ascending it is descending C1-2 has ascending semiquavers for two bars in the violin and the cello. 8. bars C5) Ibid (pg. bars C1-2) 24 | P a g e . 14. C1-2 57 When repeated in H1-2 instead of ascending it is descending.
Messiaen. France (pg. Rebecca (2003). For the End of Time.14. violet-red. 8.The flourish seen in the piano at C6 is seen in reverse order in H6 C6 58 H6 59 Messiaen talks of the 2nd movement and its colour associations: “In the piano: gentle cascades of chords blue and mauve.55) 59 58 25 | P a g e . Durand. bars C6) Ibid (pg. New York (pg. Cornell University Press. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. bar H6) 60 Rischin. blue-orange-all dominated by steel greys. O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps.”60 Birdsong in the 2nd Movement • Messiaen tried to depict the blackbird and the nightingale in the Quartet • In the 1st movement the clarinet parts (the blackbird) and the violin (the nightingale) • In the score the bird songs were indicated in general as “comme un oiseau”. gold and green.
These are derived from the clarinets opening motive in the first movement B2-4 trill followed by 16th note triplets B7-8 61 62 61 62 Messiaen. bars B7-8) 26 | P a g e . O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. 7. bars B2-4) Ibid (pg. 8.• Blackbirds in the 2nd movement can be seen in the trills and the 16th note triplets in the clarinet part . France (pg. Durand.beginning of the 2nd and 7th measures of B.
mvdaily. EMI.jpg 27 | P a g e .Cello 63 63 http://www.Quatuor pour la fin du temps. O (1968) Messiaen : Turangalila-Symphonie.com/articles/2007/11/william-pleeth.1 Abbey Road Studios • Is listed as one of the 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die • Performers are as follows William Pleeth (1916-199) . • Was recorded at No.Messiaen.
He was the youngest student ever to be admitted to this programme.org/wik/William_Pleeth http://www. 1925.cello.com/start/strings/violins/gruenberg/gruenberg. • Taught at the Menuhin School in 1977 and wrote a book titled “Cello” which is part of the Yehudi Menuhin Music Guide Series • Preferred chamber music to symphonic and solo work 6465 Erich Gruenberg (b.musiciansgallery. • In 1940 her joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra on radio • In 1952 organised the Allegri String Quartet with Eli Goren and James Barton (violins) and Patrick Ireland (viola).) Violin 66 • Born in Austria – Vienna 64 65 http://en.• Was born in London and became known as one of the greatest cellists and pedagogues of the 20th century • His family were Jewish emigrants from Poland • His family was renowned for producing professional musicians so it was no surprise that he was showing great promise on the cello by the age of seven • By the age of fifteen he had learnt a substantial and advanced cello repertoire • At the age of 10 he studied with Herbert Walenn at the London Cello School then in Leipzig with Klengel on a scholarship.gif 28 | P a g e .htm 66 http://www.wikipedia.org/cnc/pleeth.
wikipedia.B.• • • • • • • • • Studied at the Jerusalem Conservatory Led the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra 1938-45 In 1947 he won the Carl Flesch Violin Competition In 1950 became a British Subject He plays an extensive repertoire with an “active advocacy” of contemporary works He has led the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.) – Clarinet 69 • English conductor and clarinettist • Born in London and studied at the Bedales School 67 http://www.net/michael. the London Symphony Orchestra.jpg 29 | P a g e .musiciansgallery.org/wiki/Erich_Gruenberg 69 http://freespace.harrold/images/depeye40.com/start/strings/violin/gruenberg/eric. the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and been the first violin in the London String Quartet He is now a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and gives master classes all around the world Was awarded the O.htm 68 http://en.E in 1994 One of Britain’s most distinguished and musically wide ranging violinists 6768 Gervase de Peyer (1926 .virgin.
and incorporates a judicial use of vibrato." In Grove Music Online. the Melos Sinfonia.org/wiki/Gervase_de_Peyer Pamela Weston. Oxford Music Online.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/07580 (accessed March 4. 2009). http://www.” 71 Michel Béoff (b. 71 70 30 | P a g e . Gervase. • He has conducted the English Chamber Orchestra.• Won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied clarinet with Frederick Thursten and piano with Arthur Alexander • When he was 18 he joined the Royal Marines Band Service • He returned to the Royal College of Music after the war and later went to study in Paris with Louis Cahuzac • He was a founding member of the Melos Ensemble of London who played from 1950-1974 • From 1955-1972 he was principal clarinettist for the London Symphony Orchestra • 1969 was a founding member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. He played with this ensemble for 20 years. May 9th.wikipedia.oxfordmusiconline. enhancing a warmth of tone inherited from the Draper/Thurston school of playing. directed the London Symphony Orchestra Wind Ensemble and is the associate conductor of the Haydn Orchestra • In 1959 he began teaching at the Royal Academy of Music • He has made it a feature of his performance to play solos from memory70 “His Style is suave and confident. "De Peyer. the London Symphony Orchestra. 1950-) – Piano • Is a French pianist and conductor • Trained at the Nancy Conservatory and completed his studies with Yvonne Loriod at the Paris Conservatory • He won many prizes including the Messiaen Competition in Rouen on his debut in Paris in 1967 • He has toured extensively throughout the world and been an exclusive artist for EMI for 20 years • Is considered to be one of the most outstanding Messiaen interpreters http://en.
classicalarchives. Cornell University Press.com/images/cpic/pic200/drz000/z060/z06011x5ycy.transartuk. For the End of Time. New York (Figure 26) 73 72 31 | P a g e .com/beroff/index.htm http://www.• Currently teaches at the Paris Conservatory 72 73 Messiaen seated at the piano with Béoff’s piano teacher Yvonne Loriod 74 http://www.jpg 74 Rischin. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. Rebecca (2003).
European Union Performers • Violin (Jean Pasquier). • For information on Messiaen see “Oliver Messiaen (1908-1992)” & for Etienne Pasquier see “The Journey to Stalag VIIIA” 32 | P a g e . Germany.Messiaen. Accord/Universal. in Gorlitz. O (1956) Olivier Messiaen – Quatuor pour la fin du temps. Clarinet (André Vacellier). Cello (Etienne Pasquier) and Olivier Messiaen (piano) • Etienne Pasquier and Olivier Messiaen performed at the original premiere in 1941 at the Stalag VIIIA prisoner-of-war camp.
C2 Track 4 • • • • • • • • There is good definition by strings in the C1. B4 the clarinet does not observe the tenuto mark greatly on the demi-semi quaver fff attack on each trill not really apparent • • • • • More clarity between violin & cello B1. Universal/Accord 1956 Time: Track 1 1A&B A1-A2 B1-B9 B1-3 • • • • • Violin & cello are not joyous B1-3 not clear . B5 & B8 EMI 1968 Time: Track 2 • • Piano is robust and accented Tenuto not observed in B4 in clarinet part A2 & B6 B4 C3 Track 3 1C C1-C7 C6 • • C3 • • C5 • • • Piano starts early in C5 and is too tame.blurred Clarinet does not play ad lib. B2 & B3 More detached semiquavers Clarinet does play ad lib. C2 More of the expected dynamic level Chords more defined on this recording Excellent tempo @ C3 C3-5 C5 Trills well observed at the dynamic level Piano begins on beat 1 instead of observing the quaver rest 2 E-G D1-D6 33 | P a g e Track 5 • Tempo appears excessive for the directions on the score Track 6 • Tempo more in line with directions on score . Molto C1.Two Interpretations Section Bar No. This is meant to sound like lightening fff C6 needs to be much stronger in the piano for dynamic fff Accented piano chords not clearly seperated Tempo is way too fast at C3 for the 54 crochet metronome marking C1 • Strings do not observe the p cresc. B4 the clarinet does not observe the tenuto mark greatlyon the demi-semi quaver greater emphasis/attack at the start of the trills • Piano not robust and no accents observed A1.
the airstream • • • Lighter sound. crescendo to mf Greater decrescendo – to p Track 7 2F F1-2 • Begins at F1 quite loud already rather than using the crescendo • • • Track 9 G8 • • G9 • • • • Entry slightly late? No change in tempo here for pulse set Comes in slightly late for pulse set Violin quite loud for ppp entry Final semiquaver longish? Track 10 • • • • • • Final semiquaver longish? Clearer mezzo staccato throughout – maybe because of the slower tempo set Entry a semiquaver late for set pulse Slight speeds up in this bar Correct entry for pulse Very much attempt at ppp compared to other recording G10 Track 11 3H H1-2 • • • • • • • • Cello starts late? P cresc. fewer overtones in the sound Uses vibrato (possible to make up for the fewer overtones) Vibrato is used in a typically English style 34 | P a g e .E1-E8 • • Dynamic not really pp Ends of phrases not really apparent • • Slightly softer dynamic Slightly more separation between phrases written in the strings line – more like singing “Vocalise” Track 8 Adherence to score markings of soft. Does not build to fff Piano chords murky compared to clarity in other recording Accented quavers need more space between them Speed is well above what is written in the score Violin trills need more power for dynamic level Demi semiquavers are not clear and lack pulse Clarinet not as bright/heard as clearly as in other recording Track 12 • Excellent crescendo H6 • • Piano chords more seperated Quavers are more impressive in this recording • • • • Good tempo set as per score H3-5 Trills are full of power for the dynamic level – more attack at beginning of each H5 H7 Excellent clarity in the clarinet - General – Tone of Clarinet in both • • Darker sound. more resonant It is a bigger sound. more overtones.
the cut of the reed. age of the reed and moisture content can all affect the tone Thanks to Mr Wayne Bowden & Mr Allister Cox who also listened to these two interpretations and offered comments on interpretation and tone colour of the instruments. Mouthpieces are all different as well Strength of reed. but it seems now to be an individual thing The wide-bore Boosey and Hawkes (Gervase de Peyer – 1968 EMI) may give him more dynamic contrast with a possible loss of “colour”. 35 | P a g e .recordings • • • • • sounds more “forward” – sitting right on the embouchure Sometimes it appears almost ‘forced’ as if the mouth muscles are on the edge of collapsing from the breath pressure The fast passages are ‘cleaner’ of clarinet playing – the continental sound tends not to use vibrato.
96-7) 36 | P a g e . Anthony (2001) Quatour pour la fin du Temps. CUP. The ‘t’ standing for transposition and the number indicating the upward semitone interval with which it is transposed • Messiaen felt that these two modes (scales) had been used excessively by his predecessors so he liked to employ them where they could be hidden t0 T1 75 75 Pople. UK (pp.Appendix 1 Messiaen’s Seven Modes of Limited Transposition Mode 1 • more commonly known as the whole-tone scale • regular in construction • two transpositions • he calls these t0 & t1.
55) 79 Pople. Gold and brown are dominant. highlighted b y a bit of violet-purple.” 78 T2 79 Mode 3 • extension of the ‘hexatonic’ collection Rischin.” 76 • Second transposition “gold and silver spirals against a background of brown and ruby-red vertical stripes. Rebecca (2003). silver.55) 78 Ibid (pg. New York (pg. with specks of blue. red.97) 76 37 | P a g e .55) 77 Ibid (pg. cobalt blue.” 77 • third transposition “light green and prairie-green foliage. Anthony (2001) Quatour pour la fin du Temps. ruby and stars of mauve. gold. For the End of Time. Dominant is green. black and white. CUP. and reddish orange. Cornell University Press. deep Prussian blue. Blue violet is dominant. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet.Mode 2 • is more often known as the octatonic scale • is generated from a two-note cell transposed successively • each transposition includes four major triads and is a rich resource of triads and other recognizable harmonies t0 T1 • first transposition “blue-violet rocks speckled with little gray cubes. UK (pg.
For the End of Time. DEb-E natural) • each transposition “contains six each of major and minor triads. Anthony (2001) Quatour pour la fin du Temps. • “Mode 5 is a truncated form of both modes 4 & 6. 97-8) 82 Rischin. dominant 7ths. Cornell University Press. Rebecca (2003). New York (pg. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. and augmented triads. which in turn are truncated forms of mode 7. together with major seventh chords. half diminished 7ths. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. Pople suggests that this might be because they are less individually distinctive. Cornell University Press.55) 81 Pople.• made up of successive transpositions of a three-note cell (e.98) 80 38 | P a g e . minor triads with a major 7th.g. UK (pp.” 82 • Each mode exists at six transpositional levels Rischin. New York (pg. For the End of Time.”80 t0 T1 T2 T3 81 Mode 4-7 • used less frequently than Modes 1 & 2. CUP. Rebecca (2003).
UK (pp. 98-9) 39 | P a g e . CUP. Anthony (2001) Quatour pour la fin du Temps.Mode 4 Mode 5 Mode 6 Mode 7 83 83 Pople.
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org/etexts/WH2Pris/WH2Pri15b.wikipedia.htm (accessed 20/02/09) Erich Gruenberg picture http://www.com/images/2008/04/06/arts/06tomm600.Websites http://books.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gervase_de_Peyer (Accessed 5/03/09 Michel Béoff http://en.mvdaily.jpg (Accessed 11/03/09) 56 | P a g e .com/beroff/index.jpg (Accessed 20/02/09) William Pleeth http://en.1.nzetc.harrold/images/depeye40.303rdbg.com.nytimes.com/start/strings/violins/gruenberg/eric.jpg (Accessed 9/03/09) Painting by Delaynay http://www.virgin.au/books?id=5zBeGrMJJf4C&pg=RA1-PA93&lpg=RA1PA93&dq=Quartet+for+the+end+of+time+1956+universal&source=bl&ots=H9pvn3JCsq&sig=zyEqBWfAFtR yPUNpW6isYEMi3KU&hl=en&ei=gwmaSYeRFdK6kAWwo_mdCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct= result (Accessed 2/02/09) http://www-rcf.coverpic.com/pp-stalag7a.com/articles/2007/11/william-pleeth.nzetc.classicalarchives.wikipedia.edu/~echew/performances/messiaen-qtet.org/wiki/Erich_Gruenberg (Accessed 3/03/09) Gervase de Peyer picture http://freespace.html (Accessed 2/02/09) http://en.htm (Accessed 3/03/09) http://en.References .jpg (Accessed 3/03/09) Gervase de Peyer http://en.net/michael.musiciansgallery.org/etexts/WH2PMed/WH2PMe26b.google.org/wiki/Michel_B%C3%A9roff (Accessed 9/03/09) http://www.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/bleriot.jpg (Accessed 22/02/09) Between Barracks Stalag VIIIA http://www.gif (Accessed 20/02/09) Erich Gruenberg http://www.musiciansgallery.jpg (Accessed 22/02/09) William Pleeth Picture http://www.wikipedia.com/start/strings/violins/gruenberg/gruenberg.jpg (Accessed 9/0/09) Cover Picture http://tillbyturning.org/wiki/Quatuor_pour_la_fin_du_temps (Accessed 4/02/09) Picture of Messiaen at the organ http://graphics8.transartuk.usc.jpg (Accessed 22/02/09) Inside a Barrack Stalag VIIIA http://www.org/cnc/pleeth.htm (Accessed 9/0/09) http://www.jpg (Accessed 14/02/09) Aerial view of Stalag VIIIA http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Pleeth (Accessed 20/02/09) http://www.com/images/cpic/pic200/drz000/z060/z06011x5ycy.artinthepicture.com/images/QBorealis.cello.
Pamela Weston." Grove Music Online.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/07580 (accessed March 4. UK.html Acessed 24/02/09 57 | P a g e . O (1942) Quatuor Pour La Fin du Temps. http://www.com/2004/04/quartet_for_the_2. Messiaen.Books. 17 Feb. Oxford Music Online. Gervase. USA. Rischin. Journals & CDs Griffiths. 2009 http://www.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/18497 Machlis. The New Yorker." In Grove Music Online. Alex (2004) The Rest is Noise. O (1956) Oliveier Messiaen – Quatour pour la fin du temps. The Story of the Messiaen Quartet. New York. new York Ross.References . 2009). Anthony (2001) Quatour pour la fin du Temps. Messiaen. Cornell University Press. CUP. European Union.therestisnoise. Durand.oxfordmusiconline. http://www. Rebecca (2003). Joseph (1979) Introduction to Contemporary Music Second Edition. France. O (1968) Messiaen : Turangalila – Symphonie – Quatour pour la fin du temps. Messiaen. Norton & Company. Olivier. Oxford Music Online. Accord/Universal. Paul "Messiaen. Pople. EMI. For the End of Time.oxfordmusiconline. "De Peyer.
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