As Olivier Messiaen recalled never had been his piece listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension than on that miserable, snowy night.
The venue was the prisoner-of-war camp near Görlitz, the date was January 15th, 1941. The friendship, talent and faith of four French prisoners of war – professional musicians in civil life – made it possible to present the work composed in the camp by one of them, Olivier Messiaen for their fellow prisoners played on decrepit, partly damaged instruments acquired amid great difficulties. The composer himself was sitting by the piano, Henri Akoka was playing the clarinet, Étienne Pasquier was playing the cello, Jean Le Boulaire the violin, playing the Quartet for the End of Time (Quatuor pour la fin du temps). On May 4th, at the closing concert of Balázs Fülei’s series incorporating nearly sixty years of French music, this piece by Messiaen will be played by the Auer Trio and Balázs Rumy clarinet artist at the Klebelsberg Kultúrkúria.
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Messiaen in Görlitz