Messing with Messiaen

There’s a remix of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” to be perforned on Wednesday Jan. 28 at Stanford: One part klezmer, one part normal (classical), one part sort of hip-hop.

It’s been put together by David Krakauer (clarinet) and Matt Haimovitz (cello) as part of the university’s year-long celebration of the Messiaen centennial. (Link requires free registration.)

In addition to the mixing of styles (without messing with the notes themselves, apparently) the presentation will have a heavy visual element added, making it more theatrical. The Quartet has a rich history of its own, having debuted in a Nazi prison camp in 1941 — there’s even a book about it. Krakauer and Haimovitz are focusing in particular on Henri Akoka, a Jewish clarinetist who played in that premiere and later had to escape for his life. Full details in this article. (That link’s reg-free, for the time being.)

Stanford Lively Arts’ own page for the event is here, although I think that info gets wiped out once the event’s done.

The Messiaen party concludes in more straight-laced fashion, with pianist Christopher Taylor on Feb. 22.

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