Manchester Collective — Isolation Broadcast: The End of Time

Johnny James, Managing Editor
The End of Time

13 June 2020 Entrance is free

Join Manchester Collective this Saturday for an online broadcast of their 2017 concert, The End of Time.

Despite being under lockdown, Manchester Collective stay firmly committed to their mission to give us unforgettable musical experiences. As part of their Isolation Broadcast series, each week they stream a free concert on Facebook and YouTube – newly issued films of their electrifying performances, interspersed with home-recorded insights from the performers themselves.

On Saturday 13th June, the Collective will broadcast their 2017 performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Written in 1941, while the French composer was imprisoned in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, the piece was premiered by fellow inmates to an audience of 400 prisoners and guards, outside, in the rain. “Never was I listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension”, the composer later said of the performance.

A tour de force for players and listeners alike

By turns heartrendingly beautiful, ecstatic and psychotic, Quartet for the End of Time is a desperately moving paean to the human spirit. It eschews regular rhythms and metres in favour of ever-changing patterns which often emulate birdsong. Scored for violin, cello, clarinet and piano, it’s a technically fiendish piece that represents a tour de force for players and listeners alike.

The Collective performed the piece at The Stoller Hall in December 2017, shortly after they became the venue’s Ensemble in Residence. When interviewed for The Cross-Eyed Pianist, Rakhi Singh (violinist and Manchester Collective’s Music Director) said the performance was one she was particularly proud of: “[The concert] felt like a very special occasion. At the end the silence was tangible, I felt like I could feel the emotional weight of the music in the air particles!”

This Isolation Broadcast promises to be a highlight of the series, which has recently featured Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Paradise Lost. We can’t wait to tune in at 8pm on Saturday.

13 June 2020 Entrance is free

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