Showing posts with label Quartet for the End of Time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quartet for the End of Time. Show all posts

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The End of Time comes to Ealing

Absolutely thrilled that the Ealing Autumn Festival is about to put on my Messiaen play, A Walk through the End of Time, even though it is feeling very much like spring outside! The performance takes place at the Church of Christ the Saviour, New Broadway, Ealing, London W5 2XA, on Saturday 5 March 2016. 

The actors are Caroline Dooley and David Webb and after the play the complete Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time will be given by Colin Bradbury (clarinet), Richard George (violin), Adrian Bradbury (cello) and Gillian Spragg (piano). Gillian is artistic director of the festival and it is thanks to her indefatigable dedication to making this project happen that it is indeed taking place.

The drama is designed to illuminate the quartet from a creative, philosophic and aesthetic perspective, exploring the ideas behind the music and the circumstances of its composition. Through the story of two people whose lives have been deeply touched by the quartet it pays tribute to the enduring power of music, love and the human spirit. Messiaen's quartet is not only a work of genius; it is in many ways a message of hope, composed and first performed in a prisoner-of-war camp in Silesia in January 1941.

More information at this link. Do come along if you can - at present this is the only performance planned for 2016.

Book now! Tickets via Eventbrite here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Marvels of Messiaen

It's Messiaen's birthday today. Above,  the last movement of the Quartet for the End of Time, 'Louange à l'immortalité de Jésus' played by Gil Shaham and Myung Whun Chung. One of the most heavenly pieces I know.

Next year my play A Walk through the End of Time, which centres on the quartet, is due for a couple of performances. It's a one-act two-hander and is usually followed - either after an interval or in some cases in a related event soon after - by a complete performance of the music. Will post performance details in due course.

This extract relates to the final movement:
Christine: But can I tell you what I thought I was looking for? I wanted the depth of tenderness I discovered that night in the Messiaen. I think the tenderness in the violin solo represents the greatest possible strength. It takes unbelievable courage to be still and show love and vulnerability. Expose your heart and you’re laughed at, or trampled on... I had a longing for an emotion that I knew must exist – because it’s in the music. ...Love is an ultimate freedom, isn’t it? And if freedom is within you, then perhaps love is, too. If it isn’t already in your heart, if you don’t know how to give it…It was something in myself, some unfulfilled capacity, but I didn’t understand. I got it the wrong way round.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Countdown to my play...

Here's the latest news regarding A WALK THROUGH THE END OF TIME at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, this weekend.

As you know, the scheduled performance at 2.30pm sold out about six weeks in advance. Due to popular demand, the theatre and the International Wimbledon Music Festival decided to put on a second one, beginning at 5.15pm. This, too, is now sold out.

If you want to go and you still haven't booked, please call the box office and ask to be put on a waiting list for returns. Phone number: 020 8940 3633.

I've been having fun, meanwhile, working out how to incorporate some actual music. Originally the play was designed as a curtain-raiser for a complete performance of the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, but for practical reasons the Messiaen itself this time will be part of the festival concert by the Nash Ensemble the following evening, 19 November. So we need a little sonic illustration. Hopefully what I've cooked up may find favour with Anthony Wilkinson, Henry Goodman and Harriet Walter; we'll see the outcome soon.

There's not much point my being nervous, because there's nothing more I can do - it is over to our expert team to make it all real. My calming-down mantra normally goes: "I don't have to play the piano... I don't have to play the piano... I don't have to play the piano..." Hope it works.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Music World Fair

Here's that bit of news I promised...

My play A Walk Through the End of Time is to be performed in this year's International Wimbledon Music Festival, starring Penelope Wilton and Henry Goodman. [with all the normal 'subject to availability' clauses.] It will be at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond-on-Thames, Sunday 18 November, at 2.30pm. The following night, 19 November, at St John's, Spencer Hill, Wimbledon, the Nash Ensemble will perform the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time. Alongside the play in the afternoon, there will be a talk by Anita Lasker Wallfisch about her experiences in the Auschwitz Women's Orchestra.

This year's IWMF is 'A Music World Fair' - a tremendously international job, lighting up South West London with performances by the Kopelman String Quartet, Alina Ibragimova, Nicholas Daniel and Sam West, Christine Brewer, Zuill Bailey, Cristina Ortiz, Mark Padmore and many more. Three special highlights are Patricia Routledge and Piers Lane in Admission: One Shilling, a music-and-words theatrical recall of the National Gallery wartime concerts of Dame Myra Hess; a newly co-commissioned work by Benjamin Wallfisch entitled Chopin's Waterloo; and pianist Mikhail Rudy in a new interpretation of Petrushka with the Little Angel Marionette Company and the piano as the ultimate puppet.

The site goes live later today and you can find all the details here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The End of Time: 9 January 2012

No, it's not another bleak economic forecast, nor an attempt at the Rapture... Actually it's my Messiaen project, which has undergone a surprising rapture of its own, being resurrected by a dynamic concert manager, a superb team of actors and a quartet drawn from the creme-de-la-creme of young British musicians. Please book soon for our showcase performance at Bob and Elizabeth Boas's beautiful salon in central London on the evening of 9 January. All details below.

The End of Time
Monday 9th January 7pm
22 Mansfield Street W1G 9NR

THE END OF TIME is a unique project, matching drama and music:
a one-act play, A Walk through the End of Time, written by Jessica Duchen  and read by Susan Porrett and Patrick Drury

presented before a performance of Olivier Messiaen's great Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps with:

Viv McLean - piano
Tamsin Waley-Cohen - violin
Gemma Rosefield - cello
Matthew Hunt - clarinet
The performance starts at 7.30 pm with drinks at 7pm.
There will be drinks and canapes afterwards at about 9.30pm
Tickets are £25 (£5 for students) with all the proceeds going to the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.

 Seating is strictly limited in this intimate venue so you are advised to get your tickets early.
1. Contact Mr. Robert Boas by email:
(Payment to: The Nicholas  Boas  Trading Co. Ltd)

2. Alternatively you  can book through Yvonne Evans: 07889 399 862

You may also wish to make a separate donation to The Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust