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Het Collectief

Emanuel Maes

On 15th January 1941 5,000 French prisoners of war in an ice cold barracks in concentration camp Stalag VIII in Görlitz heard the world premiere of the ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ by Olivier Messiaen. “Never was I listened to with such rapt attention or concentration,” the French composer later said of this performance. The quartet, which he wrote as a prisoner of war, is about the end of time and the abandonment of the musical concept of time. In some sections Messiaen’s endlessly long, slow melodies appear to make time stand still. He uses the complex rhythms of Indian music to rupture the regular pulse of Western music. The free rhythms of birdsong were another of the composer’s influences, for whom nature and music were nothing other than the image of the divine.
The ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ occupies a central place in Het Collectief’s repertoire. The Belgian chamber music ensemble combines the quartet with works by contemporary composers who have been influenced by Messiaen’s experiments with rhythm and tonal colour. This year Het Collectief won the prestigious German Record Critics’ Award for its Janáček CD, a joint recording with Reinbert de Leeuw and the Collegium Vocale Gent. Het Collectief guarantees chamber music of the highest level.

Kaija Saariaho

Karel Goeyvaerts
Voor Harrie, Harry en René  

Pierre Boulez
Sonatine voor fluit en piano             

Giacinto Scelsi

Luc Brewaeys
Ni fleurs ni couronnes                                  

Olivier Messiaen
Quatuor pour la fin du temps   


Violin - Wibert Aerts
clarinet - Julien Hervé
Piano - Thomas Dieltjens
Fluite - Toon Fret
Cello - Martijn Vink