Local Composer To Tell Story Behind Messiaen's 'Quartet ...' At Spruce Peak Performance In Stowe

Feb 1, 2018

When four of Vermont's finest young classical musicians take the stage this weekend in Stowe, they will share that stage with concert-goers in a purposefully intimate setting. The performance by Vermont Symphony Orchestra and TURNMusic musicians: Olivier Messiaen's, "Quartet For The End Of Time."

The piece was written when Messiaen was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II.

This weekend's quartet features musicians from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and TURNmusic including cellist Emily Taubl, violinist Brooke Quiggins, pianist Claire Black, and clarinetist Dan Liptak.

Recently, Burlington-based composer and instructor, Matt LaRocca spoke to VPR about the concert at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and about the unsettling origins of Messiaen's work.

Messiaen was already a well-known French composer at time, and when in prison, his music-appreciating captors provided him with an empty cell, pencils, erasers and composition paper. The composer also found other musicians among the captors whom he enlisted to play his piece and they eventually performed in at the prison camp for other captives.

Before this weekend's concert, LaRocca will give a pre-concert talk about the piece's origins, introduce the musicians and then facilitate a talk-back session with the musicians and audience members after the performance.

The performance of Olivier Messiaen's, "Quartet For The End Of Time," is Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m., at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe.