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"Abyss of the Birds", Oliver Messiaen
Seeded by pkluttik on 17 May 2013
Author: Karen Luttik
Oliver Messiaen met clarinetist Henri Akoka for the first time in a French town, Verdun. Henri, an outgoing and funny fellow, prodded Messiaen to write something for him. Since Messiaen loved to make early morning walks in the fields, listening to the birds, he incorporated their songs into his first piece for solo clarinet called Abyss of the Birds. Henri Akoka first sight read through this piece in 1940 in an open field near Verdun where he and Messiaen were temporarily being held by the Germans ultimately on their way to Stalag VIIIA in Görlitz, Germany. Here, as Prisoners of War, Messiaen and Akoka premiered the complete Quartet for the End of Time; the solo clarinet movement being one of 7 movements for cello, clarinet, piano and violin. Messiaen composed this piece(during his imprisonment in Stalag VIII) referring to the "End of Time" as he understood the apocalyptical events referred to in Revelations 10. He also musically expressed his forward thinking regarding the "End
Instrument: Clarinet ; Basset Clarinet