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Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time; Kurt Rohde: One Wing - Anna Presler (violin); Eric Zivian (piano); Jerome Simas (clarinet); Left Coast Chamber Ensemble; Tanya Tomkins (cello)
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  1. Quatuor pour la fin du temps, for violin, cello, clarinet & piano, I/22
  2. One Wing, for violin & piano
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Recordings of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time are not scarce, but this one has several distinctive qualities. The Quartet has a dual aspect: it is quite a virtuoso work, with demanding harmonics, feats of long-line endurance, especially in the clarinet solo "Abyss of the Birds" third movement, and more. However, as much as any other work in the repertory, it also brings to mind the circumstances of its first performance, in a German prisoner-of-war camp in 1940, with the composer at the piano. One might find ...