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04 October

Arcturus

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The Quartet for the End of Time is Messiaen’s most frequently recorded composition and may be regarded today as one of the great examples of 20th Century music. Messiaen composed and premiered the Quartet in 1941 when he was a prisoner of war in Silesia. The piece was inspired by the following passage from The Revelation of St John the Divine, chapter 10:

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun and his feet as pillars of fire… and he set his right foot upon the sea and his left foot on the earth…and the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever… that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished