Mozart: Piano Quintet in E flat major, K. 452
Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major, op. 70, no. 1 („Ghost”)
Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Lucas Debargue piano, András Keller violin, László Fenyő cello, Csaba Klenyán clarinet, Béla Horváth oboe, Bálint Mohai bassoon, Bálint Tóth horn
“I consider this piece to be the best I have composed…” wrote Mozart to his father enthusiastically about his Quintet in E flat major after its premiere. “I wish you had heard it!” The piece – composed for a unique ensemble that consists of a piano, an oboe, a clarinet, a bassoon and a French horn , was quite novel as it had particularly extravagant wind parts. No wonder it enchanted the audience at the premiere. Moreover, it also enchanted Beethoven, who took inspiration for his op. 16 Quintet from his predecessor. The well-known nickname of the Trio in D major (op. 70, No. 1) by the maestro born in Bonn does not, of course, originate from the composer, but from Carl Czerny, whose overactive imagination is well-known: “The character of the Largo, which should be played extremely slowly, is spooky and gruesome like a spirit from the underworld. Like the first apparition of the Ghost in Hamlet…” However, not too much imagination is needed to feel Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time to be spine-chilling. And not only because of its title and music, but also due to the circumstances under which it was composed: Messiaen, together with three of his musician friends, was a Silesian prisoner of war in 1940-41, when he was working on the piece. The visions brought on by that the northern lights and constant starvation, together with the apocalyptic sentences from John’s Book of Revelation that resonated deeply with him, made him compose this eight-movement work for his friends. It was first performed for 5,000 people in the prisoner of war camp in January, in terrible cold weather.