26 November 2023

End of time

It sounds dramatic but it was a dramatic final musical outing of this trip. Again it was in St Katharinakirche. This was one of a series called Apokalypse. There's lots of talk of it these days. I haven't fathomed why this church has as musical event with this theme, but it is a Christian theme (other religions have their own eschatologies, too). Scott Morrison is looking forward to it, but then he's got it made ... at least so he thinks. The music was truly profound, touching but also exploratory and inventive to a profound degree. The main work was Quartet for the end of time and it's famed and difficult and I hadn't heard it live before but I was floored. The works were Hindemith Four Rilke songs, Messiaen again with a huge organ work and increasingly dissonant, Apparition of the eternal church, Hans Abrahamsen Autumn song (Rainer Maria Rilke) and the end on Messiaen Quartet for the end of time. I tried to track down the musicians: they were very good. At least two taught at the local Hochschule (university) for music and one played in a local radio orchestra. But for all four instrumentalists, I was floored. And also for the mezzo-soprano who sang 1 and 3. Again, powerful and experienced. So a first class outing with stunning fluency, expression, composition, relevance. Wow. There's light (or perhaps darkness) to be seen here and it's emblazoned, and there's also stunning musical intelligence at work. A truly devastating final musical outing for this trip. PS. Just to confirm the thesis, I passed the famed Euro-Skuptur outside the Eurotower (once the seat of the European Central Bank) and three stars and a large part of the blue bottom of the € was unlit. Just goes to show...

Maria Hilmes (mezzosoprano), Jaan Boussier (clarinet), Laurent Weibel (violin), Kristin von der Goltz (cello), Günther Albers (piano) and Klaus Eldert Müller (organ) variously played Hindemith, Messiaen, Abrahamsen and Messiaen at St Katarinenkirche, Frankfurt.

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