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OLIVER MESSIAEN
Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus - Performed by Lucy Railton 10"
18
Modern Love 115 / UK / 2020
‘Louange à l’éternité de Jésus’ is the fifth movement for cello and piano from Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Quatuor pour la fin du temps’ (Quartet for the End of Time), adapted here for cello and organ. It was composed while Messiaen was a prisoner of war in Stalag VIII-A, Görlitz, Germany, and first performed with other detained musicians inside the Nazi camp in January 1941. Inspired by the Book of Revelation, this music invokes the composers vision of “immutable peace”, in its infinitely slow, ecstatic pacing and metre, described by the pianist Steven Osborne as “seeming to touch the far edges of human experience, subverting the idea of linear time”. Earlier this year, confronted with a multitude of shared human maladies, the idea for this record took shape as if through a fog. Performed by Lucy Railton on Cello and Andrew Marx on Organ, the recording was made a decade ago and captures an intangible human presence - a cough, a baby crying - oddly contextualising the complex existential dimensions of the music itself. “10 years ago in spring I performed Messiaen’s Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus in a concert at Buckfast Abbey in Devon.