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2006 Mozart and the End of Time

The first half of Disc Seven features one of the modern era’s great masterpieces, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, composed within the confines of a Nazi prison camp. Messiaen wrote of this work, “It was directly inspired by this quotation from the Apocalypse. Its musical language is essentially immaterial, spiritual, catholic. The modes . . . transport the listener towards eternity in space or infinity. Unique rhythms, completely out of measure, contribute to the banishment of the temporal.” Mozart’s miraculous Clarinet Quintet, completed near the end of the composer’s life, answers the elysian meditation of Messiaen’s Quartet. In celebrating the redemptive quality of Mozart’s music, no work more fully speaks to a vision of utopian bliss.

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