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Ives Collective – January 31, 2016

Ives Collective
The End of Time

Susan Freier, violin; Stephen Harrison, cello; Elizabeth Schumann, piano; Peter Josheff, clarinet

Paul Hindemith Quartet
Olivier Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time

Paul Hindemith composed his quartet for piano, clarinet, violin and cello in 1938 as he was emigrating from Germany. It is often paired with Messian’s quartet as each shares the same ensemble of instruments. Incarcerated in the German prisoner-of-war camp, Stalag VIII-A, in 1940, the 31 year-old French composer Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time was first performed in January 1941 before a freezing audience of prisoners and German guards. The reception was said to have been respectful if bemused. As the critic Alex Ross later explained: “By 1941, this composer no longer wanted to hear time being beaten out by a drum — one, two, three, four; he had had enough of that in the war. Instead, he devised rhythms that expanded, contracted, stopped in their tracks and rolled back in symmetrical patterns.”