Wartime Stories: Reich and Messiaen

This event has been moved to the Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall at a new time: 7:30 PM.

Steve Reich: Different Trains
Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

St. Lawrence String Quartet; Joshua Rubin, clarinet; Sarah Rothenberg, piano
Video: Mihai Cucu
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton

Get an inside look at Wartime Stories in these exclusive videos:
Part 1: Sarah Rothenberg introduces Steve Reich’s Different Trains and Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time
Part 2: An inside look at the multimedia elements

Two masterworks of the twentieth century depicting profoundly contrasting personal experiences of the WWII era are presented together: Steve Reich’s ground-breaking Different Trains, presented with original synchronized video, interweaves live and pre-recorded string quartet with sounds of trains, whistles, sirens, recorded voices from the American past and fragmented memories of Holocaust survivors. Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, composed  in a German prisoner of war camp in 1940, is dramatized with lighting by renowned designer Jennifer Tipton.

Praise for the recent preview performance at New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center. Read the full review.

This is a work of utmost rapture, in fact romantic raptureEach of the seven movements, written on the bleu céleste screen, heralded the simplest motifs. One was a huge orb over a series of changing colors. The most complex was like a static cirrus wisp of cloud, which later floated off the screen…the colors were pastel or light or–and this was the genius–gradually, oh so gradually changing”

From the Artistic Director: “Wartime always brings uprootedness and absence from home. Reich’s Different Trains was inspired by the composer’s childhood memories of transcontinental trips across America as he was shuttled between divorced parents and their homes in New York and LA; years later, he realized with horror that tragic train journeys of Jewish children like himself had taken place at the same time in Europe, and he composed this high-energy, powerfully kinetic work as a testament to both experiences. Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is a world apart, a transcendent spiritual statement of mystical faith that looks beyond earthly time.” — Sarah Rothenberg

“a magnificent pianist” – Olivier Messiaen on Sarah Rothenberg

“A rare gift for combining interpretive spontaneity and fierce musical commitment.” – The New York Times on the St. Lawrence String Quartet

“incapable of playing an inexpressive note.” — The New York Times on Joshua Rubin