Quartet For The End Of Time

Quartet For The End Of Time

By Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992)

25 October 2018




Anmari van der Westhuizen and Samson Diamond (members of the renowned Odeion String Quartet), will join with the award-winning soloists Grethe Nöthling and Danrè Strydom to perform one of the 20th century’s most compelling chamber music works, Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. These musicians need no introduction to Bloemfontein audiences.

Composed while he was a prisoner of war, Messiaen's Quartet has continually wowed audiences since its creation. The oppressive conditions within which the work was conceived - set against the backdrop of wartime conditions in Nazi Germany - contribute to the work’s inner narrative. In this unsettling time of global political and social uncertainty, we aim to reframe this work from the past in order to contemplate the present. Music woven together with other art forms elicit and explain a range of emotions where words often fail.

A selection of striking WWII photos will be projected behind the musicians - reflecting the theme and history of the composition.

About the composition
Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 92)
Quatour pour le fin du temps (1940 - 41)

Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time was written in perhaps the most incongruous spot any great score has been composed in: an unheated barrack in Stalag VIII-A, a German prisoner-of-war camp, during the second winter of World War 2. Messiaen wrote this mystical quartet for the instruments available in the camp (clarinet, violin, cello, and piano) in a setting that is arguably among the least conducive for creative work.

The quartet is Messiaen's musical depiction of and rumination on Revelation 10:1-7, which the composer included as a heading to the score:

“I saw a mighty angel descending from heaven, clad in mist, having around his head a rainbow. His face was like the sun, his feet like pillars of fire. He placed his right foot on the sea, his left on the earth, and standing thus on the sea and the earth, he lifted his hand toward heaven and swore by Him who liveth forever and ever, saying: "There shall be time no longer, but at the day of the trumpet of the seventh angel the mystery of God shall be consummated."


  • R120 (adults)
  • *R80 (pensioners)
  • *R70 (UFS staff)
  • *R50 (students, learners and block bookings of 10+)

Tickets available at Computicket or online at http://online.computicket.com/web/

*Please note that tickets for pensioners, students, learners and UFS staff can only be purchased at a Computicket outlet (Shoprite Checkers) or at the doors since a valid card or ID has to be presented to qualify for the above-mentioned discount.

Ninette Pretorius (tel. 051 401 2504)

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