The pivotal role of Messiaen’s quartet for the end of time in the establishment of the clarinet-piano quartet genre

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rena Catherine Keen Hock (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Kelly Burke

Abstract: Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time played a pivotal role in the development of the clarinet-piano quartet genre. Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time and the subsequent rise of the clarinet-piano quartet genre exemplify a modernist shift in genre identity in twentieth century chamber music. Contributing factors to this identity include the success of professional quartets in performing, promoting, and expanding the repertoire, the quality of work within the genre, and the ability of ensembles who promote this genre to sustain themselves in a changing socioeconomic environment. In this study I examine the different factors of genre identity that relate to the clarinet-piano quartet. These factors include: the problem of genre identity in the twentieth century; a historical account of the development of the clarinet-piano quartet genre from the first performance of Quartet for the End of Time through the work of current professional ensembles; the quality of literature for this genre, represented by the analysis of Toru Takemitsu's Quatrain (1978) and Paul Moravec's Tempest Fantasy (2002); and how this new genre meets the social and economic demands of the current information age. The appendices provided with this study are reference tools designed to help musicians discover works within this genre, and to collect the available literature in one location. They include an annotated list of influential or most recently published quartets, a complete list of all clarinet-piano quartets arranged by composition date, and a list of commissioned quartets organized by their commissioning ensemble.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Clarinet, Genre, Messiaen, Quartet
Messiaen, Olivier, $d 1908-1992. $t Quatuor pour la fin du temps
Takemitsu, To¯ru. $t Quatrain
Moravec, Paul, $d 1957- $t Tempest fantasy
Quartets (Piano, clarinet, violin, cello)

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