Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time

ECSU Author/Contributor (non-ECSU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nurhak Tuncer-Bayramli, Librarian (Music), Cataloger (Creator)
Elizabeth City State University (ECSU )
Web Site: https://www.ecsu.edu/academics/library/index.html

Abstract: In recent discussions of the Quartet for the End of Time, scholars seek to explain its technique and genesis. Musicologist Leslie A. Sprout describes how the work was misunderstood in earlier times and notes that "judging from the high level of interest by contemporary scholars and musicians in the circumstantial details surrounding the Quartet, it is a misunderstanding that persists today.” Sprout's point is that there is still a need to explain the piece today. It is difficult to understand because of its relation to war, its symbolic relationship with religion, and its modernistic language. Agreeing with Sprout, in this paper, I will explain why it isn't easy to understand the musical piece concerning its three concepts: the history of the work, its religious representations, and its technique. It is essential to understand the music in terms of these concepts to understand how this work was a turning point in developing Messiaen’s musical language.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Olivier Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time, clarinet
Olivier Messiaen

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