Omega Ensemble presents Three Quartets of Time, Mortality and Eternity, featuring the music of Schubert, Barber and Messiaen.
Death and music have always made an unlikely couple, but perhaps no two composers have directly reflected on their own mortality more than Schubert and Messiaen.
Written and premiered in the dead of winter whilst Messiaen was a prisoner of war in a Nazi camp, his Quartet for the End of Time not only presents Messiaen’s spiritual resilience, but also the unlikely combination of piano, clarinet, violin and cello. This unusual instrumentation was a reflection of the resources available in the camp.
Schubert’s Death and the Maiden was one of his last works, written as he suffered from a long illness. Both pieces are not just reflections of mortality, but an affirmation of life.
Also included is a rare presentation of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings rendered in the original string quartet version. A staple piece with orchestras since its premiere, this work becomes personal in its original chamber form.