PRINCETON UNIVERSITY CONCERTS CONTINUES
PERFORMANCES UP CLOSE SERIES
Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time Performed by violinist Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell, clarinetist Yoonah Kim, and pianist Orion Weiss
Princeton University Concerts (PUC) has been at the forefront of shaking up traditional classical music concert presenting through its Performances Up Close series. Launched three years ago in anticipation of PUC’s 2018-19 125th anniversary season, this series invites audience members to sit onstage alongside the performers to experience a single, hour-long musical work. On Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 6PM and 9PM, the second of this three-concert series focuses on Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time “up-close,” as performed by violinist Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell, clarinetist Yoonah Kim, and pianist Orion Weiss. By offering this remarkable piece of music a chance to breathe and stand on its own, this forward-thinking series goes straight to the spiritual and communal core of chamber music. Every detail of this concert, from stage lighting to seating configuration, is specially curated to foster as direct an experience of the musical work as possible, with concert design by Broadway actor and director Michael Dean Morgan and lighting designer Wesley Cornwell.
Tickets for both performances are sold out. Any returned tickets will be released for purchase an hour prior to each performance at Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.
On Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3PM, the community is also invited to a free screening of the documentary “The Charm of Impossibilities,” directed by Nicolas Buenaventura Vidal, at the Princeton Public Library. The film tells the story of the genesis of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. This event is not ticketed.
No words can adequately capture the towering mystery of the Quartet for the End of Time. One can speak of this musical work’s backstory, composed in a World War II concentration camp and inspired by the biblical depiction of an Angel of God heralding the end of days. One can describe the musical language, which incorporates birdsong, plainchant, shimmering cascades of light, a sonic depiction of eternity, and everything in between. But ultimately, the only way to truly understand it is to sit in wonder as this hour-long musical journey reveals the depths of our humanity while simultaneously opening the door to the infinite.
The last concert in PUC’s Performances Up Close series will take place on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 6PM & 9PM, when the Brentano String Quartet and clarinetist Anthony McGill, horn player Jennifer Montone, bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa, and bassist Leigh Mesh perform Franz Schubert’s beloved Octet for Winds & Strings, D. 803. The 6PM performance is sold out; a handful of tickets are still available for the 9PM performance at princetonuniversityconcerts.org.
For more information about Princeton University Concerts’ 125th anniversary 2018-19 season, please visit princetonuniversityconcerts.org.