Sundays at Three Series Begins with ‘Quartet for the End of Time’

by News Bureau on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 30, 2011 – The Chamber Music Sundays at Three Concert Series will kick off its 2011-2012 season with the “Quartet for the End of Time” on Sept. 11.

The concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall on Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. Performing the concert will be Brandon Christensen, violin; Sara Edgerton, cello; Jennifer Judd, piano; and special guest, Clarinetist Andrew Hudson.

Hudson won the 2008 MTNA National Senior Woodwind Competition, the 2011Northwestern University Concerto Competition, the 2009 and 2010 Jaqueline Avent Memorial Concerto Competition in Sewanee, Tenn., the 2010 Columbus State University Concerto Competition and the 2008 MTNA Southern Chamber Music Competition. He also was a finalist in the 2010 Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition and awarded honorable mention at the 2011 Coeur d’Alene Young Artist Competition. Hudson was awarded the Presser Scholar Award and Stipend as well as the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Grant by Columbus State University.

An avid proponent of contemporary music, Hudson has premiered numerous works and each summer is a professor of clarinet at the Tennessee Valley Music Festival. He holds a bachelor of music degree in clarinet performance from Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in clarinet performance at Northwestern University.

The “Quartet for the End of Time” is considered a work of profound beauty and introspection, reflective of difficult times. It was composed by Olivier Messiaen while he was being held in a World War II Nazi prisoner of war camp in Görlitz, Germany known as Stalag VIII-A.

In the Stalag VIII-A camp, Messiaen was given ample time to complete the quartet and was provided with mediocre instruments for the theater barracks premiere on Jan. 15, 1941. In addition to Messiaen on piano, the other musicians were fellow prisoners Henri Akoka, clarinet, Jean le Boulaire, violin, and Étienne Pasquier, cello. The audience remained silent and still throughout the performance, allowing the spiritual effect of the music to transcend differences in nationality and social class. Whether he had intended to or not, Messiaen’s music had temporarily freed the prisoners’ minds and hearts from their physical reality of cold, hunger, and hard labor.

The “Quartet for the End of Time” is a musical translation of Messiaen’s vision of eternity and Paradise. Messiaen was a devout yet open-minded Catholic, and the confidence of his faith can be detected within his music. In this piece and others, Messiaen draws upon “Revelations,” the last chapter of the Bible, for musical inspiration. The quartet’s title references the words of the angel from Revelations: “Il n’y aura plus de délai,” translated by Messiaen as: “There will be no more Time.” Messiaen understood the eternal to be unrestricted by time or space. He strove to communicate this through music by frequently employing palindrome rhythmic patterns designed to operate independently of meter.

Tickets may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at MetroTix.com, keyword “Quartet,” or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.

For more information, visit http://www.chambermusicsundays.com.